At the end of October, before the time changed, I could get out for a quick walk after work before dark. I headed over Safety Harbor hoping to get some lightning shots. I could see the storms south of the causeway but they were heading towards Tampa.
Since it was low tide, there were a few birds walking around in the muck right off the fishing pier, probably eating crabs.
The mangrove crabs are very skittish but I manage to catch a few of them scurrying away.
The big beautiful oak tree in front of the library. There’s usually a lot of people in the tiny park here but I think the threat of storms kept everyone at home.
Walking around by the yacht basin, I saw an eagle sitting on one of the poles. I was able to snap the above before he took off. I know they nest near Philippe Park north of here but this is the first time I’ve ever seen one in the fishing pier area.
Even though lights were showing the way to the boardwalk, it was starting to drizzle so I headed home.
Lots of weird things on the beach at low tide at Fort Desoto. The first three look like brains to me but they call it sea pork. Maybe some time of coral. The bottom one is a moon jellyfish. There’s been some articles in the news about how the beaches in the area are full of them. Thinking one of the last big storms blew them close to the area.
It was very quiet in late September. Hardly anyone on the beach. I walked out to the end of Outback Key and had the place all to myself.
This guy was feeding in a recent rain puddle near the parking lot. I can’t ever pass up taking shots of a spoonbill.
Black bellied whistling ducks hanging low in the grass, trying to avoid the haws and eagles flying overhead.
A blue headed vireo being cute.
An osprey was sitting on a branch that crossed over the trail. I was trying to make sure he didn’t poop on me while I was trying to take his picture. I’m not sure what type of fish that was but it had a red tint to it.
A cooper’s hawk hiding in the bushes across the canal.
Recently I was talking a walk around my neighborhood late one afternoon and saw the above spoonbill in my neighborhood pond. I think this is the first time I’ve seen one here. I snapped the above with my phone.
The next day I threw my camera in the car and sure enough, he was still there so I stopped and took a few more pictures. These were taken with my 300mm lens. He stayed for about a week before leaving for good.
The usual ducks were there. My favorite mallard couple.
In late December there was a spotted sandpiper on my neighbor’s seawall. He spent the afternoon picking bugs out of the grass.
I wonder if this is the same cardinal that I also see looking at himself in the mirrors or windows of cars when I have visited before.
I can’t stop taking pictures of the wild nanday parakeets.
Laughing gulls fighting over a dead bait fish.
A snowy egret having a bad hair day.
This was the first time I had seen a spoonbill at the fishing pier. He was hanging out on the light post. He had a snowy egret join him for a few minutes. Funny how they put up those steel fringe things to keep the birds of the posts but the birds don’t mind them at all.
Why do the cardinals sit right in front of you and pose while all of the other little birds drive you crazy by not sitting still for a second?
This yellow throated warbler drove me crazy. Would not sit still at all.
The spoonbills were moving slow this morning. So were the ring neck ducks that were hanging out with the spoonies.
The alligators and turtles were lumps on a log, sleeping soundly,
Tree swallows are another bird that never sits still. These guys zoom back and forth non-stop all morning. Right before I was leaving I saw some of them land on dead branch across the marsh. It was the first time I had ever seen them rest.
Another trip to Circle B Bar Reserve in mid March.
It’s not often you can get this close to a roseate spoonbill. These were taken at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa recently. These spoonbills are residents at the aquarium and live in a big aviary that you walk through. They are acclimated to people coming through and watching them live their lives. Feeding, fighting and napping all day long. It’s like the spoonbill version of “The Truman Show” movie. Most of these spoonbills have some type of injury. It was fun to watch people see them for the first time and gasp at how pretty they are.