Just being outside

A beautiful morning out at Fort Desoto. Out on Outback Key, you can see St. Pete beach far off in the distance. That big pink hotel (Don CeSar) really stands out.

Rush hour traffic on the water.

Usual birds around the fishing pier. A ruddy turnstone, loggerhead shrike and a ring billed gull with just a touch of orange around his eye.

TOTO, the banded oystercatcher, was there in his usual spot.

His mate was close by looking for food.

A nice cool morning for a walk on the beach at Fort Desoto in February. Sadly now this is more important than every, just being outside. Yesterday Brett and I went to the beach just to be outside since everything else is closed. Even the zoo is closed (although the keepers will still be there taking care of the animals). I’m working at home for the next few weeks and I’m sure the walls will start closing in. I’m going to try and walk in the neighborhood after work each night to get out. Hope everyone stays sane out there. Thanks for stopping by and let me know how you are coping.

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A walk around a lake

There were two white pelicans and one brown pelican floating in Crescent Lake near downtown St. Pete recently. The white ones were feeding close to the edge of the lake.

You can always find wood storks here.

Other usual critters include wintering ring billed ducks, lots of green herons, a cute mallard with a feather hat and plenty of turtles. One thing I’ve never seen here is alligators. I’m sure they are there under the water. I’ve only ever been early in the morning so they may be on the bank sunning themselves late in the afternoon.

This ring billed gull would have preferred a handout.

Cold and windy at Honeymoon Island

A lone ring billed gull braving the wind on the beach.

A few things on the beach including a large sea sponge in the first shot. The horseshoe crab and starfish were still alive and the tide was coming in fast so they would be gone soon.

A few people were out trying to surf but there really wasn’t any big waves. For a while I watched them sit on their boards. This guy tried once but didn’t stay up long. There just wasn’t enough wind in the gulf.

I came out to Honeymoon Island to walk on the nature trail in the woods but stopped by the beach before leaving. It was drizzling on and off so there were very few people there except for the ones bobbing up and down on their surfboards. Even on a cold windy day it was fun to be out on the beach.

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Looking for a duck.

This ring billed gull spent the morning eating tiny horseshoe crabs.

Lots of ducks but nothing new.  Ring billed and lesser scaup way out in the bay.

Teeny tiny on the ground.

I saw an eagle high up in a utility tower near my house on the way home.

I stopped by Veterans Park in Oldsmar looking for a long tailed duck. I heard he was there earlier in the week but I couldn’t find him by Saturday. That’s a rare duck here. I briefly saw one years ago near the same area but haven’t heard of one being around until early December. I’ll keep checking back this winter. It was a beautiful day to be out walking even without the duck.

My Corner of the World

The Tampa art festival

Several years ago Brett and I went to an art festival in downtown Tampa and I just recently found these old pictures. In late February it’s usually beautiful, sunny and cool.

Looking across the bay at Davis Islands.

The University of Tampa minarets in the sun.

Most people are there looking at the art and I’m running around taking pictures of the birds. Mostly gulls.

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Fort Desoto in early January

Little birds along the shore at Fort Desoto Park.

Weird sea slugs that were on the sand at low tide. The muck was full of these.

The tide would be coming in soon to wash this guy back into the water.

A very large raft of ducks far out in the water near the Sunshine Skyway bridge. I think these were mostly ring neck ducks.

Scenes from the beach.

In early January I was walking the trails and noticed an owl sitting in an old osprey nest.

Not a bad way to be stuck in traffic. On my way home I got stuck on the bridge for a few minutes while the bridge was up waiting for some tall boats to pass underneath.

SkyWatch Friday

Still looking for that great cormorant with no luck.

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A week later I was still looking for that great cormorant. Back at the boat ramp, I still only saw double crested cormorants.

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Ring billed gulls had taken over the boat ramp.

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They were all lined up.

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Not many boats going out this morning so the pelicans were snoozing on the floating docks. It was a beautiful morning but windy and cool.

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Flyby!

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Two adults and a juvenile in between.

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Little blue heron hanging around.

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Several kayakers came up to the beach next to the boat ramp and they let their dog out to stretch his legs. He looked so cute in that life vest.

I still keep an eye out for that great cormorant although I don’t think anyone has spotted him recently. It was still a perfect morning out.