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.
The sandwich terns are flirting.
And taking baths.
A young ring billed gull is hanging out in the water.
A juvenile herring gull is eating a scary looking fish.
It’s been summer here for a while. The shorebirds are on the beaches (but so are the tourists). When is winter again?
A week later I was still looking for that great cormorant. Back at the boat ramp, I still only saw double crested cormorants.
Ring billed gulls had taken over the boat ramp.
They were all lined up.
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.
Two adults and a juvenile in between.
Little blue heron hanging around.
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.
The ring billed gulls are back for the winter.
I caught them napping on a recent trip to Fort Desoto.
I think that’s a plover sleeping in front of the gulls. He looks so tiny compared to the bigger gulls.
Tern taking a bath.
Drying off. This is either a common tern or a Forester’s tern.
A nice late afternoon on the beach.
“Don’t bother me. I’m eating breakfast.”
“Maybe it needs ketchup.”
“Or maybe I should just leave and not eat it.” said the Great Black Backed Gull.
The above ring billed gull always seems big until I see it next to the great black back gull.
My 2nd Great black backed gull sighting and I just stumbled upon him. He didn’t even notice me. He was busy picking at a fish. He’s the largest gull in the world and fairly rare in central Florida. There’s been one hanging out on a beach not to far away and last spring I made the trip there to find him. It was a foggy morning on the beach in early March. Before stopping to check on the baby owls, I had stopped by the beach to see if anything was there. This was a weird foggy morning. You could barely see when I first got there. When I got to the owl’s nest the fog was starting to lift and the sun was peeking out. Right before lunch, this creepy thick sea fog rolled in and it felt like I was in a shower. It hung around for a while and then cleared up after lunch. You just never know around here.
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Male ring neck duck floating by. Most of them stay pretty far out in the middle of the lake but this one came pretty close to the grass.
Male ruddy duck. I don’t see these very often here.
Ring billed gulls floating in the sky. Actually, there was a family feeding them so they were hovering over. I’ve said it before “It’s all fun and games until someone gets pooped on.”
Against the blue sky.
Everyone came for a handout including the great blue heron.
The silver swan is a juvenile black swan. This one must have been born late last summer.
My trips to Lake Morton in Lakeland should be fairly often now. I’m keeping an eye out for babies; geese, swans and ducks. Two weekends ago there were several geese sitting on eggs. It was a beautiful day so after walking around Circle B Bar Reserve for over 3 hours I had to make a lap around Lake Morton. I was there around lunchtime so the sun was harsh and most of the animals were sleeping except the ones being fed. I’m also on a mission to see the eagle hanging around there that I keep hearing about. Still haven’t seen him yet but I know I need to get there much earlier in the morning. Check out the eagle picture my flickr contact, OopsJohn, took there
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