At the fishing pier

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These two female red breasted mergansers are still hanging around the fishing pier. They should be north for the summer by now.

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A ruddy turnstone on the rocks.

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A royal tern brings her a fish. Since she’s eating it, I guess they are an official couple.

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The laughing gulls are pretty this time of year.

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Having a conversation about something. All of the gulls are pairing up.

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The juvenile reddish egret is still hanging around the pier.

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Two baby osprey on the smokestack tower nest.

 

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Someone got their snack stolen. Or maybe, the bird is being paid to advertise.

Saturday morning at Fort Desoto.

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Another Saturday morning walk at the Fort Desoto fishing pier

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I caught this kestrel flying over my head.

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He flew over to the top of a pine tree.

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Then a frigatebird flew close to the pier.

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A juvenile hawk.  He let me get pretty close.

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The young reddish egret is still hanging around the pier. I’m beginning to wonder if this is a hybrid of some sort. Is it an offspring of a reddish egret and a white morph reddish egret?

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A cormorant preening on a light post.

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The osprey  couple that nests near the Fort were hanging around together. If this warm weather keeps up this December, nesting season will be starting much earlier this year.

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A usual sight at the pier. A big boat passing the lighthouse at Egmont Key.

Just another perfect day at the beach. SkyWatch Friday

Birds at the fishing pier

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Snowy egrets waiting for a handout from a fisherman.

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Cormorants keeping an eye on things from up high.

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The juvenile reddish egret is still hanging around the pier.

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The usual oystercatcher couple trying to stand out in the crowd.

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A sandwich tern taking a bath.

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A young sandwich tern still screaming for Mom to bring a snack.

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A laughing gull with a shell.

Lots of different birds hanging around the fishing pier at Fort Desoto.

Saturday's Critters

A Big Red addiction

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I had not been to Fort Desoto in a couple of weeks so I headed to the park on a recent Saturday morning not expecting to find much. It was right before the bulk of the fall migrating birds had come through. I just wanted to get out on the beach and stretch my legs. It’s pretty usual to find a reddish egret fishing for food somewhere around the north beach area. There are several that hang out there all year. I stopped and watched him standing still and thought to myself “Move on, I’ve got a million pictures of him” but when he stepped off the spot and started to dance around looking for food, I couldn’t stop myself. I finally realized I am addicted to reddish egrets. After a while a juvenile reddish egret came flying in (flight shots in the middle). He doesn’t have his deep colors yet. The adult did not want him fishing in his spot and chased him away. They both flew across the beach and I thought they were gone but the adult came right back and kept on feeding. After close to a hundred pictures, I finally moved on.

Saturday morning walk on the fishing pier

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Another sighting of the juvenile reddish egret. He’s just a little bit bigger than when I saw him a few weeks ago.

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The juvenile osprey flying by the pier.

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Great blue heron flyby.

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Black skimmers cruising by the fishing pier.

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Ghost crab.

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A really big boat.

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In the shadow of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

A sunny morning at Fort Desoto before the summer rains started.

Skywatch Friday

Very few birds in late December

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I stopped by to visit my buddy Big Red. When there are no other birds around you can always count on Big Red to be there.

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Taking off to catch some fish.

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Mullet up close. Some guys were on the beach catching mullet in a net. After 10 years of watching them jump out of the water in my backyard, this is the first time I’ve seen one up close.  Other than the smoked mullet that my husband likes to eat.

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Sorry guy, but you’re going to end up on a cracker.

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Eating a dropped chip on a picnic table.

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Berries were all over the park.

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Butterflies are still around.

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As well as the yellow beach flowers.

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Weird grass growing on the beach.

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Two female ring billed ducks looking for some action.

Not many birds around at Fort Desoto park right before the holidays.

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Yes, more shots of Big Red.

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Look who just flew in!

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He looks hungry.

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He started jumping around trying to catch the tiny fish.

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He’s so funny to watch.

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Oooh! He got a fish.

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And, he drops it.

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Trying again.

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He got it this time. He turned around to show me.

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This is gonna be good.

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Oh no, he drops it again!

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He caught it again. This time he got it down.

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He was not about to let Mr. Great Egret move in on his fishing spot.

I could have sat there all day taking pictures of this reddish egret. When I first got out to the north beach at Fort Desoto I saw Steve sitting down taking pictures. I said “How many pictures of that bird are you going to take?” We had just spent an hour a month ago taking a ton of pictures of this bird already. He said the same thing I tell my husband “You can never have too many pictures of any bird, especially Big Red”. They have so much personality. The few that hang around Fort Desoto Park do not seem to mind the photogs taking their picture. If you sit down and watch, they will start dancing for you and get close. I had to get up and move back because this guy kept getting closer. So yes, I plan to post even more of this bird if I see him again.