It’s not often you can get this up close with an eagle. This one was missing part of his wing and was spending his time at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. I caught him taking a bath.
Pelicans were hanging out in their big open space. Some were starting to nest.
Other birds were just hanging out and preening when I was there in mid-November.
I caught these two wild night herons fighting over nesting space over the roof of an exhibit.
You can also get close to the spoonbills. And since the flamingos were right behind you, you wouldn’t have to look at them and think they were flamingos.
I needed to get out of the house and go for a short walk so I headed down to Fort Desoto to walk out on the fishing pier. It was a dark and windy late morning and was threating to rain so there wasn’t a lot of people out.
The laughing gulls were driving the pelicans crazy. They would wait until the pelican had a scoop full of fish in their beaks and then try and steal one from them. Or at least catch any smaller fish that fell out of the pelican’s mouth.
A willet on the jetti.
Far down on the beach, I could see a wedding taking place. Looks like it had just ended. Good thing since it was starting to drizzle.
Kiteboarders were having fun at the other end of the park facing the Skyway bridge. I don’t often see girls kiteboarding but the one in the bottom shot was keeping up with the boys.
The rain was starting to move in so I headed home.
Lots of little birds on Outback Key at Fort Desoto. After a morning of looking through all of these little birds for anything unusual with no luck, I headed over the fishing pier to see what was going on there.
My friend TOTO was hanging out near the fishing pier (he is tagged with a band that has TOTO on it). He’s been around for years.
A snowy plover was skipping around in low tide.
Sushi for breakfast.
Pelicans were also diving for their sushi breakfast.
“Whatta you want lady?”
I think that’s a piece of apple in this crow’s beak. At least it’s not a chip.
What is he doing up here? I have never seen a reddish egret hanging around the fishing pier. They are usually feeding along the shoreline.
Back in mid-September when things were quiet at Fort Desoto, I stopped by the pier to see if there were any dolphins swimming around. There wasn’t any dolphins this morning but the pelicans were diving for fish and the gulls were driving them crazy trying to steal a fish from them.
Harry, the usual great blue heron/great egret hybrid, was hanging out on the roof on the pier panting in the heat.
Not many ships passing by this morning.
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.
The yacht basin next to the pier.
Only at Fort Desoto can you find a parrot tree. They grow all over the park.
“No, I’m not going to steal your fish. “
“Or your tiny fish scrap from you, Ruddy.”
Fighting over a spot.
Out in the bay.
Lots of oystercatchers at the north beach at Fort Desoto. Including the first one that has the TO bands on his legs. I have pictures of him as far back as 2011.
A ruddy turnstone still in his summer feathers.
Two little plovers. A piping plover on top and a semipalmated plover on the bottom.
A mom and juvenile sandwich tern.
An almost grown black skimmer taking a break on the sand.
Pelicans resting on the shore.
Linking to My Corner of the World.
The Flamingo Gardens near Ft. Lauderdale takes in a lot of permanently injured animals to live their lives out here. As I was walking around the aviary this pelican came right up to me as if to say “Come hang out with me.”. It looked like he had an injured wing.
A barred owl with a missing eye.
A few other birds in the aviary.
The white pelicans had very distinctive faces.
The pelicans were nesting and swimming around.
A pretty cattle egret posing for me.
All taken in the permanent injured aviary.
I’ve been recently posting a lot of older pictures on Instagram. If you are over there you can find me at @dinaj1.
Some of the critters in the water at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park north of Tampa. I made my annual winter trip in mid-January, hoping to see manatees along the river but the weather had warmed up for a few day and the manatees had scattered around the area.
Yes, this guy was on the other side of the glass. You usually see them sleeping in the back with their eyes closed.
It seemed to be mating day that morning. Both pelicans and some wild vultures were getting frisky in the warm weather.
The calm water in the springs.
A common loon swimming under the bridge. Loons are usually only here in the winter so this guy is either really early or really lost.
The usual pelicans hanging around the bridge.
Royal terns were also there.
Far off in the distance we could see dolphins. It looked like they were playing but I think they were herding the fish close to the causeway to feed off of them.
On the other side of the bridge, you could see planes taking off from the Tampa airport.
The sun was going down on my Sunday night walk over the Courtney Campbell Causeway pedestrian bridge.