Things around the water

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Even though you don’t see any spots now, this is a spotted sandpiper. During breeding season (summer) this guy has brown spots all over his stomach. Isn’t that sexy?!?

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I think these are least sandpipers.

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A wood stork watching the fishing boats go by.

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A face only a mother could love. They look prehistoric.

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Cormorants swimming by.

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An oystercatcher trying to take a morning nap.

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This is a regular couple at the north beach tip.

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I’m not sure if I would want to stand in water waist deep fishing all morning. These guys didn’t seem to mind. At least they stayed cool.

Just a few critters around Fort Desoto Park on a recent trip.

Linking to Saturday’s critters

On the beach at Fort Desoto

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A regular on the beach. About a year ago, this oystercatcher had some fishing line wrapped around his leg and was cutting off the circulation. Someone took a picture of it and posted it on Facebook and a team of people were able to catch him and get the line off. You can still see the ring around his leg just above his foot.

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Not a regular but a once in a while visitor, the piping plover.

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The great blue heron kept walking back and forth right behind this guy and kept getting closer. We finally got his attention and told him to turn around. By then the heron was too close for him to even get a shot.

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Someone on the beach told me this was a merlin. He was across the  marsh so this is extremely cropped. It could also be a cooper’s hawk. Anyone know which?

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A kingfisher flew over my head with a fish stuck on his beak. She took off into the woods to enjoy her snack alone.

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A juvenile night heron has a crab.

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Oh no, he dropped it.

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He got it back quickly.

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And gulped it down fast before it could get away again.

A quiet but perfect morning in mid-September at Fort Desoto.

Check out more pictures at Our World Tuesday  Our World Tuesday Graphic

Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention  for 

On the beach in early August

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A great egret getting a fish.

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Sanderlings running around as usual.

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Willet taking off.

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There’s usually a reddish egret on the beach.

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Tiny plover showing off his crab breakfast.

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The beach was full of plovers this morning.

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A marbled godwit in the water.

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A black bellied plover.

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The oystercatcher couple was in their usual spot.

Nothing unusual at the north beach tip at Fort Desoto in early August. I had heard red knots were moving through the area but no sign of them on the morning I was there.  This was a quick visit. It was just too hot even with the sea breeze.

Mandarin Orange Monday

Shorebirds at Fort Desoto in July

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A marbled godwit trying to sleep in the middle of dowitchers.

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A lost oystercatcher. “Excuse me, can someone tell me where the restroom is?”

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A few willets mixed in.

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Giving me the eye.

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A shorebird convention.

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“Can you please keep your peeping down? Us oystercatchers are trying to sleep.”

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A young laughing gull.

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A “loud as usual” laughing gull.

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Dowitchers busy looking for breakfast.

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Taking a break from the crowd.

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I think this is a Forester’s tern in non-breeding colors. Could also be a common tern.

Shorebirds are starting to move through the area. For the past month, there’s been almost no birds at the north beach marsh at Fort Desoto. When I went in late July, the marsh area was starting to fill up with birds. Mostly dowitchers, willets and marbled godwits. It was the usual hot sunny perfect morning on the beach.

Check out more pictures at Our World Tuesday Our World Tuesday Graphic

Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention  for 

Fun morning at Fort Desoto – Skywatch Friday

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An oystercatcher couple were feeding along the shoreline right when I walked out on the beach.

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Upclose. He was digging pretty deep.

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A dowitcher also digging for food.

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It was dig deep day at the beach. Even the ibis were doing it.

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A snowy egret cruising for tiny fish.

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Turtle nests were everywhere at the park. I’ve never seen so many nests there before. The rangers keep them roped off and has even relocated a nest if the turtle lays the eggs right in the middle of a main tourist area. Taken with my Iphone. Update – on 7/20, the park reported having 86 turtle nests there. This is a record!

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A busy day for some photographers. I think they were shooting a great blue heron. When you fly down from across the country, you’re out there concentrating and getting the most for your day. Kind of like what I did when I was in Arizona for vacation. Every day was packed. It’s nice to know I can stop by here for a leisure stroll and get pictures if I happen to see something fun. The guy in the bright blue shirt is the famous photographer, Moose Peterson. I have his book Captured and love it. I stayed away from his group since I knew they were busy but I have chatted with him before in the parking lot a few years ago.

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Before I left the park, I stopped by the fishing pier to see if anything interesting was going on. There’s always snowy egrets chasing after dropped bait fish.

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A great blue heron staring down at me from the shelter.

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Someone had asked me how I had gotten the close up pictures of the bird’s face looking down at me. I took the above with my Iphone. There are several rain shelters on the pier and the birds hang out on the roof. You can walk right up to the edge of the roof and they stare down at you. They want to know if you’re going to throw them some food or fish.

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Crazy cormorant on the light post was giving me a big yawn.

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Overhead, a frigatebird flies by.

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“Sailing takes me away…”

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Off into the wild blue yonder! The view from the end of the pier.

Another perfect hot sunny morning at Fort Desoto park.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday

Rainy stop on Gandy beach

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Royal terns coming in for a landing.

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A least tern on the beach.

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A banded royal tern. I think this is a juvenile.

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“Make room for me!”

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Taking a bath.

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A juvenile least tern. Probably born a few months earlier.

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Another one screaming at the parent to be fed. Even though they are flying now, they are still being fed by the parents.

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A least tern taking a bath.

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Flapping hard.

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Getting the underarms.

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Oystercatcher flying right over my head.

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Laughing gull coming in for a landing.

It had just stopped raining when I left for work in late June but still drizzling just a little. Since traffic was bad I decided to stop on the Gandy beach and see if there were any new shorebirds around. I figured the rain would have kept the people off the beach. There were a few cars on the beach but none were at the end near the walled off sanctuary. Nothing unusual there but there were a few of the baby royal terns and least terns. They were just starting to fly and will hang out on that beach for a while before they are gone for good. All grown up and somewhere to go.

On the beach in early April.

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It’s always fun watching a skimmer taking a bath.

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Splashing around like a kid in a bathtub.

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“Clean your underarms” I told him.

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Face in the water.

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All done.

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That’s a little too close.

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Royal terns are showing up on the beach with their summer hat on. During breeding season the top of their head is all black. During winter, they have mostly white on their head with a little gray on the sides.

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Willet shaking it off.

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Marbled godwit digging for snacks.

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I think these are dunlins in non-breeding feathers.

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Oystercatcher taking a nap. It’s amazing how they can sleep on one foot. I couldn’t sleep on one foot much less standing up.

Just a few birds I found out on the beach in early April when I was waiting for the baby owl to decide whether he wanted to fly or not. I know people stand there for hours waiting for “that” shot but I have to get out and walk around.