After running around in the woods at Fort Desoto Park taking pictures of small birds migrating through the area in late April, I stopped at the fishing pier before heading home. The dolphins were feeding on the bait fish, swimming back and forth in front of the pier. The water was clear that morning so it was easy to see them as they rose to the surface. It was fun watching them splashing around.
Pelicans were also floating close to the pier.
Not too many people on the beach yet near the pier. The crowds were just starting to form north of the pier where the beach is a little wider and nicer.
I saw this red shoulder hawk sitting high up in a cypress tree. Took a couple of shots and then I kept going down the trail, thinking she was taking a break.
I got all the way across the pond and heard the hawk screaming. I looked over and saw the above. These are extremely cropped. Guess we’ll be having baby hawks soon. These were all taken at Possum Branch Preserve. It’s a small watershed area not too far from my house. It sits on a corner of one of the busiest intersections in the area. Except for the traffic noise, the trail is very quiet.
High up – loggerhead shrike, kestrel and a starling.
Great blue heron posing on a light post.
One I helped save and one I couldn’t. The first one was walking around on the pier. I had a bait fish in my hand and he walked right up to me. He was all tangled up in fishing line with a hook on his wing. I was able to borrow clippers and a nice man was able to grab him as I was giving him the bait fish. While he held the pelican I clipped off all of the wire and the hook. He seemed okay so we let him go. He gave me one last look and took of into the sunset. The other pelican was sitting on the ferry boat. His feet were tangled up in fishing wire but he was able to fly and took off.
I was able to head down to Fort Desoto for a quick walk before sundown in late October before the time changed. Now it’s dark after work. Can’t wait till April.
The above got a fishing hook stuck on his feather. The fisherman started to bring him in and when the pelican took off the feather just got pulled out with the hook. It looked like it was a clean pull. Off pelican went and the fisherman had a really big feather stuck to his hook. This bird was lucky.
This one had a big hook stuck on his leg. The lifeguard swam out to him with a big net but the pelican took off flying.
A few of the pelicans hanging out on the jetty next to the pier. The one in the bottom picture has a band on his leg so he’s probably been in a bird hospital before. They usually band them before they release them back out in the wild.
I walked up to pier to see a lifeguard and park ranger cutting the fishing wire that had been wrapped around this pelican’s legs and wing. It’s a sad thing to say but these guys are experts. They had him caught, cleaned up and released in minutes. They must do this a lot.
The pelican gave them one last look before taking off.