Honeymoon Island beach before the tourists get here.

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After walking the nature trail at Honeymoon Island State Park, I headed over to the beach to see if there were any shorebirds hanging around.

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The usual birds were there: marbled godwits, royal terns and dowitchers.

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The waves were splashing over the jetties. It was fun to be out in one of the last cool windy days before the heat sets in (and the tourists).

SkyWatch Friday

On the beach in early August

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A great egret getting a fish.

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Sanderlings running around as usual.

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Willet taking off.

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There’s usually a reddish egret on the beach.

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Tiny plover showing off his crab breakfast.

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The beach was full of plovers this morning.

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A marbled godwit in the water.

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A black bellied plover.

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The oystercatcher couple was in their usual spot.

Nothing unusual at the north beach tip at Fort Desoto in early August. I had heard red knots were moving through the area but no sign of them on the morning I was there.  This was a quick visit. It was just too hot even with the sea breeze.

Mandarin Orange Monday

Shorebirds at Fort Desoto in July

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A marbled godwit trying to sleep in the middle of dowitchers.

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A lost oystercatcher. “Excuse me, can someone tell me where the restroom is?”

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A few willets mixed in.

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Giving me the eye.

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A shorebird convention.

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“Can you please keep your peeping down? Us oystercatchers are trying to sleep.”

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A young laughing gull.

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A “loud as usual” laughing gull.

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Dowitchers busy looking for breakfast.

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Taking a break from the crowd.

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I think this is a Forester’s tern in non-breeding colors. Could also be a common tern.

Shorebirds are starting to move through the area. For the past month, there’s been almost no birds at the north beach marsh at Fort Desoto. When I went in late July, the marsh area was starting to fill up with birds. Mostly dowitchers, willets and marbled godwits. It was the usual hot sunny perfect morning on the beach.

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On the beach in early April.

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It’s always fun watching a skimmer taking a bath.

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Splashing around like a kid in a bathtub.

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“Clean your underarms” I told him.

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Face in the water.

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All done.

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That’s a little too close.

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Royal terns are showing up on the beach with their summer hat on. During breeding season the top of their head is all black. During winter, they have mostly white on their head with a little gray on the sides.

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Willet shaking it off.

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Marbled godwit digging for snacks.

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I think these are dunlins in non-breeding feathers.

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Oystercatcher taking a nap. It’s amazing how they can sleep on one foot. I couldn’t sleep on one foot much less standing up.

Just a few birds I found out on the beach in early April when I was waiting for the baby owl to decide whether he wanted to fly or not. I know people stand there for hours waiting for “that” shot but I have to get out and walk around.