Watching the board show

Kiteboarders at the Safety Harbor fishing pier in mid-April. These guys were doing the safe distance exercising thing.

Out in the bay.

I went out for a walk late one Sunday in mid-April and stopped by the fishing pier to see if there were any manatees hanging around. The fishing pier was roped off and it was going to be hard to spot them from the park. The park next to the pier was full of people although there wasn’t any big groups and everyone was spread out. The wind was gusting so there were several kiteboarders flying across the bay. It was fun to stand and watch them cruise by for a while.

SkyWatch Friday

A quiet Saturday morning.

I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier at the end of March and got lucky seeing manatees. I usually see them most of the time but occasionally they are a no show. This time there were several together close to the pier. They were rolling around as they cruised by.

A few of the birds flying by the pier and a pelican sitting in the mangroves.

This family was already starting the social distancing thing. Kayaking out to a spit.

There was hardly anyone on the pier and I sat for a while taking in the quiet staring at Tampa far off in the distance.

The yacht basin next to the pier.

SkyWatch Friday

A perfect winter morning.

Sailboats far across the bay.  The above was taken with my 300mm lens. The below was taken with my phone so you can see how far away they were.

What a perfect winter morning in early February. It was sunny and 72 degrees. I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier before heading home after my walk and the park and pier were packed with people hanging out. There was a kiteboarder skimming across the bay in front of the fishing pier and someone flying a kite next to the pier. People were out walking their dogs and kids were playing in the field along the water. Sailboats were cruising by. This was our early spring. Soon it will be too hot and no one will be here but the skeeters and the pigeons

Pigeons in the park. They don’t get a lot of respect but they are really pretty when the sun hits those iridescent feathers.

A pelican flying into the mangroves next to another one that was napping.

White pelicans flying high up over the fishing pier.

A juvenile blue heron looking for food in the muck at low tide.

SkyWatch Friday

 

Looking for manatees

When my sisters were here over Thanksgiving weekend we went out looking for manatees. The most dependable place to find them is at the Manatee Viewing Center at the Tampa electric plant on the other side of the bay. The manatees congregate here in the winter months due to the electric plant’s discharge canal where the water that cools the electric plant is sent back out into the bay warm and clean. I’ve been there before over the years when you could see hundreds of manatees near the boardwalk but this time there were none. You could see a few far out in the canal but they just looked like bumps floating in the water. We would have been crushed if we hadn’t seen the below the day before.

Another reliable place to see manatees (and much closer to my home) is the Safety Harbor fishing pier. We were out running around one afternoon and stopped by on the way home. We counted at least 6 swimming around the pier so we hung out there for a while watching them come up for air.

Linking to My Corner of the World.

Sunset at the fishing pier

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This is a pano of north Tampa Bay taken with my phone at the Safety Harbor fishing Pier.

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After an early dinner, we walked down to the fishing pier to watch the sunset.

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The sun actually sets behind the trees but it was still a beautiful night out. These were taken from the end of the fishing pier looking towards the marina.

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The sun was going down on the sailboats.

SkyWatch Friday

Under the fishing pier

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Manatee snout coming up for air.

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Stingray in the shallow water.

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I think he was eating the dead fish parts that the fishermen had thrown over the pier.

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Blowing his nose.

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Do you think he needs a kleenex?

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The water was clear enough that you could see what was floating on the bottom. I’m surprised the pelicans didn’t get this stuff when it got thrown over.

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Lots of stingrays around the pier.

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Pretty pelican floating around.

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Taken with my phone camera, this guy swam right up to the pier.

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Even more were swimming towards the pier.

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Pano taken with my phone camera. This is the view from the pier.

It was a busy morning in early December at the Safety Harbor fishing pier. Lots of people out fishing and I counted 8 manatees floating around near the pier. I think that’s a record. The water was clear, the sun was out. Perfect day for a walk.