A beach in downtown St. Pete?

DSC_5398

A few monk parakeets were flying around the parking lot.

DSC_5453

DSC_5447

DSC_5445

DSC_5458

It was low tide on the beach and very few people were there so the shorebirds were napping.  Although, something kept spooking them and they would all take off flying in a circle and then come land in the same spot.

DSC_5430

DSC_5462

DSC_5467

There were two white pelicans floating around in the area around the beach. They were hanging out with a bunch of cormorants. They stayed pretty far out in the water so these were all extremely cropped.

I rarely go the tiny beach next to downtown St. Pete. It’s usually pretty busy and there’s a big public swimming pool in the parking lot.  I was in the area so I stopped and talk a quick walk in the sand.  It was fairly early in the morning so there wasn’t anyone on the beach. The paved trail along the side of it was packed with people walking, jogging, biking and walking their dogs. It was a normal weekend rush hour traffic on the trails.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

On the beach in early August

DSC_4034

A great egret getting a fish.

DSC_4035

Sanderlings running around as usual.

DSC_4047

Willet taking off.

DSC_4040

There’s usually a reddish egret on the beach.

DSC_4049

Tiny plover showing off his crab breakfast.

DSC_4056

The beach was full of plovers this morning.

DSC_4062

A marbled godwit in the water.

DSC_4069

A black bellied plover.

DSC_4085

The oystercatcher couple was in their usual spot.

Nothing unusual at the north beach tip at Fort Desoto in early August. I had heard red knots were moving through the area but no sign of them on the morning I was there.  This was a quick visit. It was just too hot even with the sea breeze.

Mandarin Orange Monday

Beach birds in August.

DSC_5398

Sanderlings running around.

DSC_5440

Royal tern up close.

DSC_5442

This one has a squid.

DSC_5447

He landed right in front of me with his squid. He walked up to me as if he wanted me to take his picture. Then the other birds realized he had food and started chasing him.

DSC_5446

Off he went with his mouth full.

DSC_5435

A common sight on the beaches in the summer. Juvenile sandwich turn begging for food. It’s a shame they don’t keep that pretty yellow beak. The parent looks thrilled.

Another hot walk on the beach in August.

Shorebirds on a yucky morning

DSC_7701

The light birds are sanderlings. I think the darker birds are dunlins. They were all sleeping on the sand.

DSC_7705

The little beach was full of shorebirds sleeping.

DSC_7775

A car drove up and spooked them.

DSC_7731

Marbled godwits trying to sleep. The one in front is yawning.

DSC_7757

For the most part, these birds were not moving. They were taking advantage of the dark cloudy morning to sleep in.

DSC_7737

A handful of skimmers came by looking for a spot to land.

DSC_7784

Ring-billed gull towering over a few common terns.

DSC_7790

Black bellied plovers watching me.

This tiny little beach at the end of the causeway on the Clearwater side of the bay is a catch 22. If it’s sunny and warm outside then the beach is full of people and the shorebirds are pretty scarce. They go further down the water in front of the water treatment plant. If it’s a cloudy day, then not many people are on the beach and the shorebirds take it over. But the light is bad so it’s harder to get decent pictures. You can drive on this little beach so people like to launch their wave runners here. The early morning I stopped, there were only two other cars around so the beach was full of shorebirds sleeping. Tons of ruddy turnstones, semipalmated plovers, sanderlings and dunlins covered the beach. There were a few ring-billed gulls, godwits and dowitcherss mixed in as well. I didn’t see anything really rare there. I was hoping to find a few horned grebes which hung out there last winter but it’s still early.

Fort Desoto birds and a manatee nose

Sanderlings running around. Soon they’ll be almost all white once they lose those breeding feathers.

Waiting to grab some bait fish.

This gull grabbed a fish off of a fishing line. The guy who owned the line was not happy. It was too big for the gull to carry.

Another gull goes for it but couldn’t fly off with it. Finally, an osprey flew down and grabbed it so fast I didn’t even get a shot of it.

The same guy cut up a squid into three pieces to use for bait. He left it on the post and  turned his back for a few minutes and three gulls took off with it. I caught the last gull grabbing the last piece. I wanted to ask him if it was his first time on a fishing pier. He sure acted like it. You don’t leave bait uncovered around here.

Juvenile laughing gull still begging for food. I would think at this stage he should be getting his own fish.

I briefly saw a manatee swimming away from the pier. There’s been a lot of manatees hanging around the gulf fishing pier at Fort Desoto this summer.

Just a few shots from a hot walk on the fishing pier.

Camera Critters