The usual shore birds were at the fishing pier in early April. There was a large variety of them hanging out together including those large ring billed gulls in the middle. They make the other birds seem so small.
There were a lot of royal terns on the beach. The two above with the orange beaks looked like they were flirting. They were standing at attention among the sandwich terns, common terns and willets.
They were definitely flirting. Walking back and forth together, almost like slow dancing. Their little black toupees were standing up.
Then we knew for sure they were flirting. The poor couple didn’t have any privacy although the willets weren’t really paying attention. It looked more like a game of leap frog than actual mating though.
They danced around again for a while as that kittiwake was keeping an eye on us.
They tried again but I don’t think she was really in the mood.
As I was leaving I noticed the crowd had thinned out. Everyone was here to see the kittiwake but there was so much more going on.
I think I found some spring migrating birds. But only two. A red eyed vireo and a rose breasted grosbeak were the only birds in late April at Fort Desoto Park.
After walking the trails, I headed to the beach. The royal tern was doing a big stretch.
I caught these two willets fighting over the best spot.
Other usual birds on the beach include a ruddy turnstone and a piping plover.
I could see two big osprey babies on the nesting platform in the parking lot. The babies have white spots on their brown feathers when they are young.
A few of the boats from the fishing pier.
The royal terns were having a feeding frenzy at Fort Desoto in early August. The parents were busy trying to keep the juvenile ones fed.
I found another Harry the hybrid (great blue heron and great egret) at the north beach lagoon. I had heard there were two hybrids at the park but I had only seen one at the fishing pier. This one has more beige and grey than the one at the pier which is more white.
Birds cruising by at the north spit. You can see the boats far off at the tip of the spit already anchoring to party for the day.
Flowers near the parking lot.
Lots of activity going on around the park. It was going to be a busy afternoon.
A common loon swimming under the bridge. Loons are usually only here in the winter so this guy is either really early or really lost.
The usual pelicans hanging around the bridge.
Royal terns were also there.
Far off in the distance we could see dolphins. It looked like they were playing but I think they were herding the fish close to the causeway to feed off of them.
On the other side of the bridge, you could see planes taking off from the Tampa airport.
The sun was going down on my Sunday night walk over the Courtney Campbell Causeway pedestrian bridge.
I always love watching skimmers take a bath.
The royal terns are pretty funny as well.
I think this is a young herring gull.
Another ruddy turnstone missing most of his toes.
They were all busy preening early in the morning.
Shorebirds I found hanging around the beach near the fishing pier at Fort Desoto.