Someone had staked out their spot on the spit island just off the north tip of the beach. By early November, the red tide algae bloom was mostly gone from the beach but there were still some spots that smelled of dead fish. The water looked clear but the bloom came back later for a short time after a big storm. The morning I was there was clear.
The birds on the trails were scarce with the exception of a few common ones including a northern parula and many of the state bird, the mockingbird.
The usual waterbirds were also around.
Frigatebirds were flying high overhead.
On my way out of the park I saw a bald eagle sitting on a utility tower. All of the eagles are back for the winter.
A rare yellow billed cuckoo high up in the tree.
Either a female or immature prairie warbler.
Hiding in hole. I was wondering if they nest in this hole.
Some of the shorebirds close to the trail, a ruddy turnstone and a black bellied plover.
I stopped by the fishing pier before heading home.
Far across the bay near Egmont Key.
Sailing past the pier, this old sailboat reminded me of my dad. He would have loved that boat. I turned it into a black and white photo so it would have looked like something he would have taken many years ago.
An early summer walk at Fort Desoto.
A few of the regulars at the pier; the famous great blue heron/great egret hybrid, a ruddy turnstone, a reddish egret, lots of snowy egrets always looking for a handout and great blue heron and reddish egret fighting over space on the railing.
Skimmers were skimming the bait fish.
This reddish egret was bored with me.
Shots of a beautiful morning at the pier. These were taken in early September, before Irma.
The black bellied plovers are really pretty in the summer.
And so are the ruddy turnstones.
The sanderlings are also sporting their summer colors.
Grumpy snowy egret.
At the fishing pier at Fort Desoto.
Yes, I cut off his wings. Who cares anyway, the sandwich tern has a fish.
The hybrid great egret/great blue heron has been hanging around the pier for a while now.
This guy was scurrying across the pier with his stolen bait fish. It wasn’t until I got home and cropped this up that I realized he has string wrapped around his leg.
This guy is just too pretty to be a laughing gull.
Fish under the pier.
The one that got away! The fisherman was bummed.
A sanderling in the sea grass at low tide.
Black bellied plovers at different stages of molting. The one in the top picture has more black feathers and is still in his summer colors. The bottom one has lost most of his black feathers. He’ll be mostly white through the winter. The middle one was chewing on something yummy.
The ruddy turnstone also had something yummy to eat. The ruddy in the bottom picture still has his summer feathers.
It was strange seeing the osprey in the water with the laughing gulls. I caught him as he was finishing taking a bath. After a few minutes he took off.
A dowitcher walking the shore line.
Birds on the beach and fishing pier at Fort Desoto in late September.