Early April at Fort Desoto

Pretty flowers on the trail to the beach.

A few of the usual birds on the beach.

I looked back as I was leaving the parking lot and saw the cardinal checking himself out on my side mirror.

A northern parula was the only bird in the woods in early April.

An osprey checking me out.

A pelican flying by and a common bird soaring over the beach in the summer, a frigatebird.

The storm clouds were moving in at Fort Desoto.

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Early April walk at 2 parks.

Lots of brown thrashers were being seen in April.  First 2 were taken at Chesnut Park and the bottom 2 were taken at Possum Branch Preserve later that morning. The video is a short one of the thrasher singing at the top of his lungs.

Other usual suspects at Chesnut Park.

The mulberries were ripe, waiting for the birds to come chow down in early April. I didn’t realize Possum Branch Preserve had so many mulberry trees along the trail. The birds eventually showed up in late April. More of that to come.

A small gator sleeping on the grass. I took this from across the pond.

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Birds that eat fish

Anhingas are pretty common along any body of water in central Florida. They swim under water and spear fish with their beaks. They flip the fish into their mouths and swallow them whole.

I caught this one struggling a few minutes before getting it down.

There was an osprey flying right above me looking for fish. They swoop down and grab fish with their talons.

Checking on the nests at Honeymoon Island

True to its name, the Osprey Trail on Honeymoon Island is known for having a lot of Osprey along the trail. There are many nests along the trail and when I was there in late January, the osprey were working on refreshing the old ones.

Both eagles were sitting in a tree near the nest which was a bad sign. They were sitting on eggs earlier so something must have happened to cause them to abandon the nest. They might try again. It was still early.

Towhees, catbirds and yellow rumped warblers were all along the trail.

Lots of vultures here.

New growth in some of the prescribed burn areas.

This guy walked right in front of me on the trail.

I hadn’t been to Honeymoon Island since last spring. I wanted to see if the osprey were nesting yet. Honeymoon Island is a barrier island north of Clearwater Beach. In the 1940’s the island was a place known for people to spend their honeymoon in the cottages on the island. Once World War 2 started people stopped coming to the island and later the cottages were torn down.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World

Chesnut Park on a Saturday morning.

Standing on the observation tower, an osprey saw me and said “Hey, there’s Dina. I’m going to swing by and give her a hug.” or maybe not.  He just banked and kept cruising by.

A juvenile moorhen eating yucky pond grass.

Limpkins were everywhere. Up on the boardwalk and down in the swamp with a snail.

This guy must have gotten a piece of some bad tasting grass.

Trying to hide on a log. Not sure what this guy was but I was using a long lens.

Before Hurricane Irma took down a lot of the trees.

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