A very hot morning at North Shore Park in downtown St. Petersburg. The beach was busy with volleyball players. On a Saturday morning you can find a lot of joggers and dog walkers on the sidewalk but not many people in the water. Since this is the bay, the water here is not nice but you can usually get a breeze.
Across the bay, you can just make out the energy plant with steam coming out.
After walking around at North Shore Park, I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier before heading home. They have a new boardwalk that goes along the mangroves next to the pier. This small area is a little piece of Florida that hasn’t changed much over the years (with the exception of that big condo building going up next to the old Safety Harbor Hotel in that first shot).
I stopped by the park not to far from my house on the way home from Chesnut Park. I hadn’t been in a while but was wondering if the owls were nesting again this year. It was too early for babies but I did see an adult sleeping in the tree. This was a good sign.
I would nest here too if I was a bird. The old trees are beautiful.
Nearby in the utility tower are the brown boobies. It’s always been rare to see them here but in the last year, a handful of them have been living in the area. Most days they can be seen on the tower. These were taken with my 300mm lens and extender and I cropped these up so they are pretty far out. You can tell the boobies by the white stomachs vs. the many cormorants or anhingas on the tower.
The lake at Kapok Park are full of turtles. People feed them and they come close to the boardwalk. Look at those fingernails!
A cute grebe shying away.
The red-winged blackbirds come close the boardwalk as well. Both a male and a female were posing for me.
Moorhens were taking a bath.
A rare sighting at this park. I found a lone purple gallinule under the boardwalk. I have never seen one here or even heard of one near the area.
Great blue heron flyby.
The big old trees at the park. It looks like one got blown over during a big storm. It looks like such a big strong tree. It’s hard to believe wind would knock that over.
On the way home I stopped by downtown Safety Harbor and could just barely make out a juvenile eagle on the cell tower.
Another tower close by had two babies (you can see only one in the picture). One of the parents was feeding them and the other parent was on a utility tower across the street. I’ve been keeping an eye on these nests for a while, swinging by there on the way home from work. It’s great to see these eagles raising families in this busy neighborhood.
I stopped by Kapok Park on the way home from work recently and did a quick walk around the park. I was hoping to see signs of the great horned owls but they either didn’t nest there this year or already nested and left.
I went to Chesnut Park early Saturday morning. It was very quiet and very few animals were around. I walked the entire park in less than 2 hours so I decided to stop by Safety Harbor fishing pier on the way home. I got stopped by the 4th of July parade coming through. I caught the tail end of it before walking over to the pier to look for manatees. Safety Harbor isn’t a small town out in the boonies. It’s really just a small neighborhood wedged in between Tampa and Clearwater. It sits on the water in upper Tampa bay and has a few shops and restaurants. At first I wasn’t going to stop and head home but instead I parked blocks away and I was glad I did. It was a fun way to start the 4th of July while Brett was at the gym.
So far it’s been a mild winter here. I think I’ve worn a coat to work only once. Some days it’s sunny and 60 degrees like it was on this day in early February. It was windy though. I stopped by the fishing pier in Safety Harbor to see what was flying around. Not much flying but I noticed the flowers around the picnic area were still blooming. I guess that’s why I’m still sneezing in the winter here. Things are still blooming.
After leaving the Safety Harbor fishing pier, I headed over to Philippe Park to see what was swimming around the inlet there. First thing I noticed was the red breasted merganser. This is the first one I’ve seen this winter.
She was alone but there were a few horned grebes a little farther out.
The red-eyed devils had arrived for the winter. They were my first horned grebe sighting this season. They were swimming far out in the water.
Last winter they hung around the fishing pier but this winter they seem to be farther north.
From the park, I could see a lone eagle sitting far out in the middle of the bay on top of a utility tower.
Is that a burp? Yawn? Was it calling for its mate?
Later I saw the above fly over the trees away from me. I hope it’s the same eagle as the one on the tower and the mate is off sitting on eggs.