Same ole birds at Fort Desoto

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Wilson’s plover

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Sanderling

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Oystercatcher couple

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Bye, bye

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Grumpy snowy egret on a pile of seaweed.

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Great egret goes cruising by.

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“Hey, bring back that crab.”

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“Things are looking up.”

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“Sushi for lunch.”

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Loggerhead shrike on a wire.

Working on my tan at Fort Desoto beach.

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Teeny tiny birds on the beach

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Look at all that jewelry the piping plover has on.

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They are so tiny.

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This one only has one anklet on. He looks sleepy. It was early in the morning.

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This one has no jewelry on.

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This one is a Wilson’s plover.

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A sanderling stretching after a morning nap.

It was a quiet morning at Fort Desoto in early September. Not much on the beach but I was excited to see several piping plovers. We don’t see them here often. They must be migrating through. It was a 4 plover morning: Wilson’s, piping, semiplamated and black bellied. Now if only I had seen a snowy. I haven’t seen one there in years.

A big gull and some beach birds

At first I thought this was a ring billed gull but they have yellow legs so I’m thinking this is a herring gull. We don’t see these often here.  This one was all alone with a bunch of laughing gulls.

He was busy preening himself.

Something caused him to scream at the laughing gulls. You can see how much bigger he is than they are.

A small spot of gulls and terns hanging out together near the fishing pier. Most were trying to nap.

I think this is a sanderling trying to nap.  They have great balance.

Sandwich tern preening.

Plover staring at me.

This juvenile royal tern is way to old to still be begging for food. Yet, he still kept chasing around the other one just like a one month old.

Quiet morning at the fishing pier at Fort Desoto.

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Beach birds before Labor Day weekend

This is either a common tern or a forster tern. I’m leaning toward common. We don’t see these very often here.

Juvenile night heron stalking the north beach marsh.

These two juvenile black skimmers were very exciting to see. We lost most of the babies back in late June due to thunderstorm Debby flooding the beaches. A handful were saved and raised at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary. They were recently released at Fort Desoto and weeks later I saw three different ones there.

Another juvenile skimmer flying around the east beach turnaround.

Snowy egret creeping around for food.

Sanderling taking a bath before sunset.

Just a few birds I found at Fort Desoto right before Labor Day weekend. I was able to leave work a little early and had a few hours to walk around before heading to east beach for the blue moon to rise. It was sunny hot late afternoon. The nice part was that there were hardly any people at the beach. I thought it would be crowded since the holiday weekend was starting but there was almost no one there.

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Shorebirds on Gandy beach

Skimmers flying by with a few royal terns mixed in.

Sanderling in breeding colors.

Short-billed dowitcher.

Very young laughing gull.

Short-billed dowitchers with a willet on left.

I think this is a female grackle. It was still wet from the rain.

Yes, it’s been shorebird season the last couple of weeks. It’s too hot to head inland so I’ve been heading to the beaches for what little sea breeze there is. I’ve been looking for black terns and finally, a handful appeared on the beach.  More on those later. Above are just a few things I found on the beach after work. It had just stopped raining when I got there. It’s better to go there when it’s rainy and cloudy, not as many people there.

On a migration note, the belted kingfishers are back in town. I was sitting at my desk typing away on my computer when I heard that distinctive chortle sound they make. I looked out my window and saw one flying across the small retention pond outside my office. Later in the week, I was walking around my neighborhood trying to get a few miles in before the rain started and one flew over my head.  He darted off down the street. I’m hoping he stops by my backyard soon for a visit.

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