A quiet night at Fort Desoto

Coming in for a landing.

Cute little plover looking for a snack.

Snowy egrets and ibis hanging around the marsh.

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.

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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

Early November birds at Fort De Soto

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Another plover on the beach.

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This short billed dowitcher didn’t even bother looking up.

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The palm warblers really like having their picture taken.

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Kestrel on a branch. I usually only see them on the utility lines.

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Hawk looking for something in the grass.

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One of the Fort De Soto eagles on top of the utility tower in the middle of the park. Two years ago their nest in the tree got knocked down during a storm and they moved to the tower. The nest is up high and it’s not a good view to get a picture. Both eagles have been seen hanging around lately.

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Yet another palm warbler shot. They have become as common as gulls now.

It was early November and a nasty storm came through on Saturday. The brave birders were out and saw several rare sightings at the park. I read about it Saturday night so I headed out Sunday afternoon. After searching for several hours with other birders, I saw none of the birds that were sighted there the day before. When am I going to learn to get out in the rain??? It seems like the only avocet sightings here are when it’s raining or just stopped raining. I can never seem to catch them. One of these days!

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Eating crabs

“Here comes some more photographers. I guess I should put on a show for them. I am a little hungry anyway.”

“Wait, don’t take the shot. I’m choking here.”

“Got another one. This is way too easy.”

“I feel like an owl twisting my head this way.”

“Yummy, I wish I had some butter for these crab legs.”

“Down the hatch”

“Hey, what about me? I got a crab too.” says the tiny Wilson’s plover.

The long billed curlews at the North Beach sanctuary at Fort Desoto have a reputation for being very accommodating if they’re out in front of the ropes. A large part of this section of the beach is roped off to allow the shorebirds to rest and nest. Sometimes they wander out of the roped off area to feed in the lagoon area and you can see them a little closer. We all sat down on the sand and spent a half hour watching this curlew dig for crabs right in front of us. He wandered pretty close to where we sitting for a while.  He must have pulled up 10 crabs while we sat there. Eventually, he headed over to the other side of the lagoon. I wonder if the crabs pinch the inside of the curlew as it goes down. Those shorebirds must have some tough insides.