I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier at the end of March and got lucky seeing manatees. I usually see them most of the time but occasionally they are a no show. This time there were several together close to the pier. They were rolling around as they cruised by.
A few of the birds flying by the pier and a pelican sitting in the mangroves.
This family was already starting the social distancing thing. Kayaking out to a spit.
There was hardly anyone on the pier and I sat for a while taking in the quiet staring at Tampa far off in the distance.
Now that I’m working from home, I’ve been taking a short walk in my neighborhood early in the morning before starting work. The weather has been cool in the mornings so I wanted to take advantage of that before the heat and humidity sets in. I’ve been taking pictures of the flowers along my walk with my phone. It sure beats sitting in traffic.
On a cloudy morning, an osprey was eating breakfast on a light pole on my street.
This cute mallard mom started with 7 babies but she is now down to 6.
This muscovy mom started with 20 babies and now has 2.
Black bellied whistling ducks hanging low in the grass, trying to avoid the haws and eagles flying overhead.
A blue headed vireo being cute.
An osprey was sitting on a branch that crossed over the trail. I was trying to make sure he didn’t poop on me while I was trying to take his picture. I’m not sure what type of fish that was but it had a red tint to it.
A cooper’s hawk hiding in the bushes across the canal.
Out on the nature trail at Honeymoon Island, there had been a prescribed burn recently. I didn’t see a date on the sign but green was already starting to sprout.
There are a lot of dead trees all along the trail now. The pine trees seem to dying quickly. This trail use to be shady but now it’s mostly in the sun (although there wasn’t much sun the morning I was there).
I saw very few osprey. Years ago I would walk down the trail and see 20 to 30 osprey. Most of the nests were gone as well. They should change the name of the trail from Osprey trail to Dead Tree trail.
There was still a lot of color though. It was a quiet day. No sign of the eagles or owls. Only the 3 osprey I saw and a few catbirds. Maybe I just hit it on a tough day.
Waiting for Brett’s family to come over on Christmas day, I looked out the glass sliding door and saw what I thought was a snake in the muhly grass up against the screened-in porch. My phone was close by so I ran out and snapped the above. It was just a small harmless black racer. They are good to have around because they eat any rats (our neighborhood gets fruit rats due to all of the citrus trees). Since he looked like he wasn’t going anywhere I ran inside and got my camera.
A few closeups taken with my 300mm lens.
Taken through the screen.He eventually left that morning.
A few of the plants around the yard. The bottom one is growing in my neighbor’s yard. Not sure what type of fruit that is. I think it’s a papaya.
As I’m taking pictures of the snake, an osprey cruises by.
The wolf moon in January, taken in my driveway when I got home from work.
I had heard he was there for a over a week before I made it down to Fort Desoto. I headed down to the park early one Saturday morning in late October thinking it would be a needle in the haystack story. As I drove into the park I saw several people with binoculars in a field near the boat ramp. After walking through ankle deep ant infested water (the field was flooded due to recent rains) I found the Vermilion Flycatcher. He was out in the open buzzing from tree to tree so it was pretty easy to spot that flash of red unless you weren’t paying attention and thought it was a cardinal. It was the first time I have heard of one being in the Tampa bay area so there were a lot of people coming through that morning looking for him. He’s a beautiful bird and totally worth enduring the over 50 ant bites.
Otherwise, there were just the usual migrating birds at the park. This female rose breasted grosbeak was very accommodating.
The white pelicans are back but they were across the lagoon. You can tell how much bigger they are than our resident brown pelicans.
Osprey have taken over the park. They are everywhere.
Shorebirds near the fishing pier.
TOTO is still hanging out at the park. He’s got a band on his legs with TOTO. I’ve been taking pictures of him for over 8 years. He’s always there with his girlfriend.