Fort Desoto Park in early March

I hadn’t been down to Fort Desoto Park since the middle of December so I was due for a trip in early March. The first stop at the park was North beach to look for shorebirds and reddish egrets. Most of the shorebirds were scarse this morning but I did see a cute little piping plover.

I was trying to focus on the laughing gull flying with something in his beak and realized you can see the Don Cesar Hotel far away on St. Pete beach. It’s hard to miss that big pink hotel.

This willet had a great snack and was trying to hide it from the other willets.

 

One last shot of the old bay pier and the old iconic yellow bait shop. It’s all being torn down now and replaced with a new pier.

Some of the shorebirds that were hanging around the small beach next to the big fishing pier. The willets and sanderlings were trying to sleep. At some point something spooked them and off they went before flying in a circle and landing back again. That common tern had been taking a bath and flew into the sleeping guys to catch a nap.

It was windy on the fishing pier and the usual birds were having trouble with their hair.

Someone caught a fish although it looks too small to eat.

I was out on the end of the fishing pier and could see this great egret with a big snack in his beak,

Another morning at Fort Desoto

I think I found some spring migrating birds. But only two. A red eyed vireo and a rose breasted grosbeak were the only birds in late April at Fort Desoto Park.

After walking the trails, I headed to the beach. The royal tern was doing a big stretch.

I caught these two willets fighting over the best spot.

Other usual birds on the beach include a ruddy turnstone and a piping plover.

I could see two big osprey babies on the nesting platform in the parking lot. The babies have white spots on their brown feathers when they are young.

A few of the boats from the fishing pier.

SkyWatch Friday

 

Little birds on the beach

A perfect morning out at Fort Desoto wouldn’t be complete without seeing an oystercatcher. This one with the red band is a regular at the park. Someone out on the sandbar walked by and he came flying right by me.

A sandwich tern making a landing.

A  tiny snowy plover on the exposed sand.

Piping plovers have orange legs.

A great egret cruising by.

A young red knot.

Lots of different shorebirds at Fort Desoto in early October.

Lots of little birdies on the beach

There were a few marbled godwits at Fort Desoto Park.

Least terns

I think this is a juvenile sandpiper.

Lots of plovers running around including the Wilson’s plover in the first picture and piping plovers with orange legs.

Sleeping sanderlings

Soon the skimmers will be gone. They are rare to see in the winter at the park.

Little birds on the beach.

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.

On the beach at Fort Desoto

DSC_5483

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.

DSC_5498

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

DSC_5486

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.

DSC_5503
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?

DSC_5514

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

DSC_5563
A juvenile night heron has a crab.

DSC_5564

Oh no, he dropped it.

DSC_5568

He got it back quickly.

DSC_5573

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