Least terns were just starting to mate on the beach at Sand Key Park in late June.
A crazed looking juvenile mockingbird was also on the beach.
On osprey was guarding the jetti with his fish.
A small storm was moving in across the beach. The tourist pirate ship started to head out into the gulf but then turned around and came back into the bay. That trip must have gotten cut short. It started to sprinkle as I walked back down the beach to my car but then the sun came out just as fast.
I think it was going to end up being a perfect day after the morning storms moved through. I had stopped by the park to see if the least terns were nesting yet. They were there but none of them were sitting on eggs yet. People were starting to come out to the beach once the sun came out. It was time for me to go home and have lunch.
Hubby has eaten lunch here. Good tourist food. You can just barely see one of the big dinner boat cruises to the right of it.
One of the painted turtles is housed inside the Clearwater marina building. This is a perfect example of some of the snow birds who spend the winter here, black ankle socks with brown sandals.
A view from the marina facing the beach. Nothing says “tourist spot” like a dolphin and sunset painted on the building.
A night heron hanging around the dock.
Lots of tourist boats at the marina. You can go sailing, sight-seeing, deep-sea fishing, para-sailing, dinner cruising and the best tourist thing to do is ride on the pirate ship.
There aren’t many docks that don’t have a resident green heron hanging around.
Creepy looking fish head skull nailed to the post.
After spending several hours looking for the common eider with no luck, I stopped by the Clearwater beach marina to walk around for a few minutes. I hadn’t been since early last March when my sister came to visit. It looks the same. I don’t think anything about it has changed in the last 20 years. It was before lunch and the tourists were starting to line up to take a trip on the sight seeing boats. When I was really young I used to come down to Clearwater to visit the grandparents with my family. One of my dad’s favorite things to do before dinner was going to the marina to watch the 5pm deep-sea fishing boats come in. They would haul their catch off the boats and gut the fish right there. You could buy fresh fish right off the boat. We would walk around and he would take pictures of the pelicans hanging around for a handout. Those were the good ole days.
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A fun thing to do if you have good balance.
Nothing says “tourist spot” like a pirate ship going by.
Here’s a boat I haven’t seen before. A shark boat!
A night heron hanging around the fishing piers.
“Is that a fish on the boardwalk?”
Snowy egret looking for a handout from the fishermen.
Later I caught the pirate ship coming back in to the bay.
This was my 2nd trip to Sand Key park to look for the common eider in early August. He’s been seen on and off hanging around the fishing piers under the big bridge. Still no luck. It was a beautiful Saturday morning, the first sunny day in a long time so the area was crowded early with people. I’ll keep checking back for that duck.
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