Shorebirds at the beach

These birds are not social distancing even outside. There were so many crammed into this tiny spit at low tide. Mostly terns and gulls in the front but all of the brown in the far back were red knots.

There were lots of different shorebirds early in November at Fort Desoto. Several times something spooked them and most of them took off.

I turned around and saw these marbled godwits fighting.

Willets and dowitchers on the shoreline on Outback Key.

A great egret came in for a landing right in front of me.

One of my favorite spots at the north beach.

A storm was moving in so it was time to go home.

My Corner of the World

Little birds on the beach

The skimmers lined up along the shoreline at Fort Desoto.

Out on Outback Key spit, I could see tons of shorebirds from the beach.

So many shorebirds, so little time. The spit was full of different shorebirds but nothing new on this trip. The tide was high in mid-October early in the morning so I was wading knee deep to get out to the area where the shorebirds were. It was a slow walk just making sure I didn’t sink and go under. Everything was packed in my backpack but you just never know.

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Lots of little birdies on the beach

There were a few marbled godwits at Fort Desoto Park.

Least terns

I think this is a juvenile sandpiper.

Lots of plovers running around including the Wilson’s plover in the first picture and piping plovers with orange legs.

Sleeping sanderlings

Soon the skimmers will be gone. They are rare to see in the winter at the park.

The beach has reopened.

On the trail at Fort Desoto. A butterfly and some kind of fruit that I have never noticed before. The red really stuck out in all of the green right on the trail.

A snowy egret trying to steal a snack from a fisherman.

Some of the birds near the fountain includes a loggerhead shrike, a female summer tanager and an ibis.

Dolphins were swimming around the pier.

Looking across the lagoon, lots of different shorebirds. The  middle shot has black skimmers in the front and the bottom picture shows red knots.

It was the first week in May and the park had just recently opened. I got there early and was leaving before 10am and shot this from the pier. The beach was filling up fast. Time for me to head home.

SkyWatch Friday

Birds on the beach during red tide

There were few birds out on the beach at Fort Desoto when I visited during the peak of the red tide algae bloom. The few there were busy eating breakfast. Some were eating the dead sea life that had washed up on shore. I didn’t see any birds acting sick during this trip. Volunteers were out on the beach every day looking for sick birds that could be affected by eating too much of the dead fish. I kept yelling “Don’t eat that.” but they weren’t listening.

A cormorant and osprey were fighting over a lamp-post on the pier.

Even the crows were eating the dead fish. The park rangers kept raking up the shoreline but the dead fish kept washing up on shore.

Royal terns in the air.

The sandbar spit across the channel was full of birds.

Still a beautiful day out at Fort Desoto.

Visiting my favorite pier groupies.

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.

SkyWatch Friday

A beach in downtown St. Pete?

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A few monk parakeets were flying around the parking lot.

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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.

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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.

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All grown up

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The baby skimmers are all grown up. I stopped by the beach where the skimmers nest in late July and these babies were all grown up. A few were already flying around. Not to far but they were moving pretty good. A few of them walked down to the water and it looked like they were trying to imitate their parents. It’s always fun to watch these birds grow up.

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I caught a few adults skimming by. Now that they are empty nesters, they’ll be heading out to their winter homes.