Looking for manatees

When my sisters were here over Thanksgiving weekend we went out looking for manatees. The most dependable place to find them is at the Manatee Viewing Center at the Tampa electric plant on the other side of the bay. The manatees congregate here in the winter months due to the electric plant’s discharge canal where the water that cools the electric plant is sent back out into the bay warm and clean. I’ve been there before over the years when you could see hundreds of manatees near the boardwalk but this time there were none. You could see a few far out in the canal but they just looked like bumps floating in the water. We would have been crushed if we hadn’t seen the below the day before.

Another reliable place to see manatees (and much closer to my home) is the Safety Harbor fishing pier. We were out running around one afternoon and stopped by on the way home. We counted at least 6 swimming around the pier so we hung out there for a while watching them come up for air.

Linking to My Corner of the World.

A walk at the Botanical Gardens.

It’s always fun to watch the wild parakeets eating high up in the trees. They are so loud that it’s easy to spot them.

Lots of the usual birds at my walk at the Florida Botanical Gardens.

Across the pond, an osprey flies by with a snack.

Just a few plants at the gardens in early October.

Linking to Wednesday Around The World

In Our Yard.

Late summer babies. Blondie came back in August with another new baby.

The usual critters in our yard during the past few months.

One day I came home from work and grabbed the mail from the mailbox that is on the side of our house next to the front door. This guy came out with the mail. I dropped the mail to the ground and was glad he didn’t land on me. I think I woke him up.

The muhly grass blooms pink in the fall. These started blooming in late October.

Different skies in the front and back yards.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Everyone was eating except me.

Typical awkward teenager, this several month old sandhill crane was so funny to watch. He was trying to be brave and walk off on his own and then go running back to mom.

It looks like this great blue heron bit off more than he could chew but he got it all down. His neck was bulging for a while.

A grackle with a snack.

This night heron was trying to hide in the reeds along the pond but it was hard not to miss those bright red eyes.

It was weird seeing this purple gallinule hanging over the trail. He was eating something on this plant.

These hawks were across the marsh. Looks like they were fighting over a snail.

Breakfast was going on during my walk at Circle B Bar Reserve in mid May.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

 

Birds at Lettuce Lake Park

Usual birds at Lettuce Lake Park in north Tampa.

A rare bird you only see soaring high in the sky in the summer, two swallow-tail kites were cruising by while I was on top of the observation tower. One looked like he had something in his claws.

It looked like it was part of a duck or maybe a baby bird. These guys snatch baby birds right out of a nest. They eat while they are soaring, mostly dragonflies though.

A cute black bellied whistling duck cruised by as well.

I stopped by the teeny tiny golf ball size hummingbird nest before leaving the park. At first the almost grown baby was sitting alone on the nest. Then mom flew in to feed it.