A nice warm windy day in late July. The beach wasn’t crowded early in the morning. Plus there was a storm heading our way so most people probably were staying home this morning. The wind was blasting but the sun was out early before the clouds moved in at lunchtime.
Looking across the channel at Clearwater Beach. Most of the tourist were over there.
I walked over to the fishing piers that sit near the bridge and found a few birds waiting for handouts from the people fishing.
A typical scene looking across at Clearwater beach. The pirate ship passed under the bridge but turned around just outside the channel and headed back into the intercoastal waterway. I’m assuming they stayed inside the intercoastal this morning since the water was choppy. There were a few people on it but I’m sure not nearly as crowded as past summers.
This looks like fun but you would need a lot of upper body strength on a windy day like this was. They stayed inside the channel as well.
Different herons down the trail, A great blue, tricolored, a night heron and then another tricolored almost swimming.
Turtle on the trail.
Why do always get the butt shot pose? I almost never see these guys walking around and when I do they have their back to me. Usually I just see the below, snoozing and cruising.
All along the trail.
Trees and flowers along the trail.
A quick early walk at Chesnut Park in early May. The park started to get crowded pretty quickly so I left and headed out to another park close by.
Possum Branch Preserve was void of people but not many birds there either. At least it was a nice walk outside.
A few birds there included a juvenile night heron and a red bellied woodpecker.
I caught this common snapping turtle cruising down the back trail. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a snapper out in the wild. This one was pretty small.
Spending more time at home, I’ve been going out for a walk around the backyard after work. These were all taken in April. Now that it’s late May, I would get eaten alive by mosquitoes if I’m not covered in bug spray.
A few critters on my plants (or weeds).
I noticed this juvenile night heron on my neighbor’s screened in porch.
The sun going down on the ducks.
Sunset over my neighbor’s palm trees.
The snowy egrets were showing off and flirting.
The little blue herons were doing the same thing.
Some of the other birds were also showing off with their breeding faces.
The turtles were watching all of the action.
Even the cormorants were flirting and chasing each other high up in the trees.
Unlikely pair in the same tree, a wood stork and an osprey.
After a really cold week, I headed over to the TECO (Tampa Electric Co) plant to see the manatees that hang out there in the winter. The warm water coming off the electric plant in the lagoon keeps the manatees warm during the coldest weeks. Years ago, the plant built a manatee viewing center with a big deck that wraps around part of the lagoon. All of those dots in the water are manatees. There were hundreds of them the morning I was there in late January.
The plant says that the smoke coming out of the stack is actually clean steam. It doesn’t feel smoky when you are there and the sky was clear blue.
Part of the deck overlooking the lagoon. This was still early in the day before the big crowds get here. I got here well before they opened at 10am and waiting in line to park and was out before lunch. They can get crazy crowded and parking is a challenge when the manatees are here in large numbers. The news channels report on them when there’s been a prolonged cold spell so everyone heads over including me.
Some of the birds around the plant. White pelicans were flying high, a young night heron flew by the deck and a vulture was sitting on a platform built for an osprey nest.
Down at the very end of the lagoon, it’s roped off so boaters or kayakers cannot follow the manatees into the area. There is no swimming with the manatees here.
There’s usually some stingrays splashing around.
I took a ton of manatee pictures so more to come on those.
The usual herons along the trail.
A green heron sneaking around looking for food.
A house wren singing.
A coot getting friendly.
The yellow flowers always make the preserve look pretty in the fall.
The view from the blind.
Some of the ducks at Crescent Lake Park near downtown St. Pete. That grebe was here in June. He should have been up north for the summer. Maybe some of the grebes stay all year round. Normally they are only here in the winter.
The wild parakeets nest in the water tower near the park. I was able to catch them right along the lake in the trees and feeding right on the ground.
Other usually birds at the park.
Checking me out. No snacks for him.
A beautiful tree across the street.
Views from the park. I always love this view. Seeing the fish water tower in front of the few tall buildings in downtown St. Pete. As I’m coming around the corner at the far end of the park I always remember to turn around.
The Flamingo Gardens near Ft. Lauderdale takes in a lot of permanently injured animals to live their lives out here. As I was walking around the aviary this pelican came right up to me as if to say “Come hang out with me.”. It looked like he had an injured wing.
A barred owl with a missing eye.
A few other birds in the aviary.
The white pelicans had very distinctive faces.
The pelicans were nesting and swimming around.
A pretty cattle egret posing for me.
All taken in the permanent injured aviary.
I’ve been recently posting a lot of older pictures on Instagram. If you are over there you can find me at @dinaj1.
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.