Pink on a cloudy day

It was a cloudy day in late September and I stopped by the Oldsmar pier to look for the eagles. I didn’t find any eagles but I did see something almost as good. Two spoonbills were feeding along the grass next to the pier. The white ibis are almost always feeding here but this was the first time I had seen spoonies at this pier.

They fed for a while, stopping a few times to keep an eye on me.

Someone walked up behind me and off they went.

A yellow crowned night heron was also walking around. I think he was looking for lost mangrove crabs.

So glad to see the eagles again

I finally caught the bald eagle in the tree at the Oldsmar pier. I had stopped by several times with my camera before finding him sitting high up there. He didn’t stay long, taking off not long after I had arrived.

As he left, he flew by so close that I couldn’t fit his wings in. I still haven’t figured out if this is one of the eagles that has a nest in my neighborhood or somewhere else. There is a another nest nearby but that couple did not use it this past year. He always flies north towards my neighborhood when he leaves which is why I’m thinking it’s him.

Walking on the pier I noticed another eagle sitting in a tree at the far end of the park. He was facing the water and wasn’t very visable from the sidewalk but I caught the above from the pier.

A few of the other birds at the pier. I think that tricolored heron was keeping his eye on the sky in case the eagle was heading towards him.

A cormorant cruises by the pier.

The black terns were still there.

The next day I was heading up to Tarpon Springs for a walk and I saw 2 eagles on a tower. I pulled over into a parking lot and shot the above. It wasn’t until later when I cropped up the picture that I realized the eagle on the right is a dummy. I don’t know if they put the fake up there to attract or repel other birds. The real eagle on the left didn’t seem to mind. Now I laugh when I drive by there and see that fake sitting up there.

SkyWatch Friday

Storms and an eagle

I was out for an early morning walk and stopped by RE Olds Park (named after Ransom Olds who invented the Oldsmobile and developed what is Oldsmar now) to see if there were any storm clouds moving in. After walking the pier I looked up in the big tree at the end of the pier and saw an eagle sitting there. I was bummed I didn’t have my camera. I took the above with my phone. I was glad to see it back here. Last fall I saw them here pretty regularly.

The storms were far away this morning but I could see a little bit of lightning so I didn’t stay long on the pier. They were coming off the gulf coast.

A few days later I stopped by the pier again with my camera and of course there was no sign of the eagle. This time there were storms out in the bay and over land. The sun was out over the park but there wasn’t any rainbows.

I caught some great blue herons cruising by.

I was surprised to find black terns here. I’ve only seen them at Gandy beach before.  There was a small flock of them flying around trying to get bait fish. They were in all stages of molting with a few still having mostly black feathers. By now they are somewhere in South America for the winter.

A pelican with a pouch full of bait fish.

A creepy mangrove crab was walking along the railing.

SkyWatch Friday

 

Foggy morning at the piers

At the end of December I woke up and peeked out the window. It was really foggy so I got ready quickly and headed out the door. I love it when it’s foggy. I stopped by the nearby fishing pier early that morning and could not see across the bay. I could barely make out the end of the pier.

I noticed these strands of oyster shells hanging under the pier and looked them up when I got back home. These are VOG’s (vertical oyster gardens). The water around the shore of Safety Harbor and Oldsmar (which is Old Tampa Bay) was found to be the least healthy in all of the Tampa Bay. Not surprised. There’s a new Save Our Bay program and the easiest thing to start with was using oysters to filter out the water. One oyster can filter out 50 gallons of water a day. There were a lot of these on the dock and they are encouraging people who live on the water to hang these on their docks as well. It will take several months for the oysters to start to grow on these so I’ll keep an eye out.

Next I headed to the Safety Harbor fishing pier since I was close by running errands. It was foggy here as well but that didn’t stop those kayakers from being out.

I saw several manatees coming up for air right next to the dock and was bummed I didn’t have my camera with me but these phone shots turned out okay.

I think the sun was trying to peek out by the time I left.

SkyWatch Friday

Friendship Friday

A hot morning in August

A quiet (swampy) place to reflect. Just ignore the Beware of Alligators sign on the right.

This one was watching me as he cruised in front of the dock.

I found a few wood ducks in front of the dock at Chesnut Park.

Young cardinals were all over the park. They were all pretty scruffy looking, not having gotten their adults feathers in all the way yet.

A limpkin trying to hide behind some weeks.

The little chickadees were so cute. There were a lot of them here in early August. I saw my first one here at this park more than 10 years ago and then didn’t see any for a long time. Now I’ve seen a few around on most of my visits in the past few years.

After leaving Chesnut Park and heading home, I stopped at a small park nearby on the bay to see if anything was around the fishing pier. I had fun watching this dog romp around in the low tide. He stuck his tongue in the water for a drink but he did not like that salty water.

The one that got away. After taking a bunch of pictures of the dog in the water, I look up and see the back of an eagle heading the other way. I’ll have to keep an eye out here during the winter to see if there’s a nest nearby.

My Corner of the World