Fort Desoto in early January

Little birds along the shore at Fort Desoto Park.

Weird sea slugs that were on the sand at low tide. The muck was full of these.

The tide would be coming in soon to wash this guy back into the water.

A very large raft of ducks far out in the water near the Sunshine Skyway bridge. I think these were mostly ring neck ducks.

Scenes from the beach.

In early January I was walking the trails and noticed an owl sitting in an old osprey nest.

Not a bad way to be stuck in traffic. On my way home I got stuck on the bridge for a few minutes while the bridge was up waiting for some tall boats to pass underneath.

SkyWatch Friday

Birds at the downtown Tampa coastline

Willet, laughing gull, oystercatcher, young blue heron and cormorants can all be found along the water at Davis Islands, a small island next to downtown Tampa.

Loggerhead shrikes are most prevalent there. They were in the bushes next to the boat ramp, in the trees that lined the yacht basin and on the fence that lined the airport. The ones on the fence were a parent and young one that was still being feed.

Mangroves line the yacht basin and the sea grapes in were in full bloom.

At first glance, there aren’t a lot of birds at the south end of Davis Islands where the small private airport and yacht basin meet up. There are lots of bicycles, joggers, walkers, and dog walkers along the road, most are not paying attention to the birds. People look at me like “Why is that girl staring up in the tree?” When you look along the shore line and up in the trees you see lots of things.

Linking to Wednesday Around The World.

Summer at the beach

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A black bellied plover eating something gunky.

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Some of the resident oystercatchers.

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A sandwich tern flying by.

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“Got a light?”

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More laughing gulls.

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Trying to get a fish.

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Typical Florida shot.

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Dowitcher looking for snacks.

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One of the red breasted mergansers is still hanging around the fishing pier.

Stuff at Fort Desoto in early June.

┬áLinking to Saturday’s Critters

Birds on the beach at Fort Desoto

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A ruddy turnstone staring at me.

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The usual oystercatcher walking along the water.

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A willet walking by.

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These godwits and willets were trying to sleep in the water.

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I tried not to wake anyone up. They looked so peaceful.

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The above are all black bellied plovers hanging around the marsh.

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A sandwich tern fly by.

A handful of shorebirds that were hanging out at Fort Desoto in late September.

Saturday's Critters

Napping and breakfast in the morning

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It’s always sad to see a one footed bird. This laughing gull seems to be doing okay though.

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Take a “tern”. Royal terns and a sandwich tern.

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The always present oystercatcher.

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Dowitchers and willets taking a morning nap.

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A baby laughing gull screaming for his mom to bring food.

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Breakfast time for dowitchers.

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Keeping an eye on me.

A few birds on the beach in the middle of summer.

Fort Desoto in mid-May

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Lots of black bellied plovers on the beach.

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Tiny Wilson’s plover.

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Gimpy, one of the resident oystercatchers was watching me as looked for food.

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A pretty red breasted merganser coming up for air.

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I think this is a white eyed vireo but I can’t tell for sure from this shot.

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The only Cape May warbler I saw this spring.

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Mom is all alone now that her kids have gone off to “college”. She’s getting some much-needed rest after raising two hungry owlets.

 

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Crazy wild parrots flying around near the beach.

Some left over shots from a trip to Fort Desoto beach in mid-May.

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The famous but still alive scarred oystercatcher

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I was standing on the beach in mid-December when I saw this oystercatcher fly right in front of me.

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He was coming in for a landing on the beach.

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Screaming the entire time.

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I think he was just yelling for his mate to come over and join him.

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He was looking for a good spot to look for food.

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Which happened to be right in front of me so I sat down on the sand and watched for a few minutes.

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He was picking through the seaweed and shells on the beach. I noticed the ring around his leg.

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Back in April 2013, this oystercatcher had fishing line wrapped around his leg. The leg was swollen and it took several days for the rangers to catch him and take the line off. He would have lost that leg or worse if he hadn’t been caught in time. He still has the scar and is easy to spot if you can see his leg. He still shows up occasionally with his mate.

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Such a beautiful bird.

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His mate was keeping an eye on me.

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I sat for while and watched them look for food. They slowly made their way down the beach and I left. I’ll always be on the look out for him.