This is something you don’t see everyday in mid-March. That water was a little chilly, even with a short wetsuit. I was out for a short walk on the Oldsmar pier and saw this guy. It looked like fun but you really need some heavy upper body strength to hold that big sail up. Once he got up he went flying by and across the bay.
It was a quiet morning with only a few willets flying around so I headed over to the Dunedin marina.
These grackles were happily singing the morning away.
The usual beautiful scene from the marina.
The only birds I saw were willets and starlings on the little grassy area.
Also, house sparrows. They were busy taking dirt baths.
I was heading down to St. Pete and stopped by Crescent Lake Park to see if there were any white pelicans still hanging around. They usually spend a few weeks here in the winter but it’s hit or miss whether they are here or floating in the nearby bay. When I first got out of the car I noticed a few scattered around the lake.
Then I noticed more hanging out in the shade under the big banyan tree. They were all busy preening so they must have just finished a morning swim.
I heard something over my head and looked up and saw this starling sitting in a hole. He might have been checking out the hole for future nesting spots.
This ring billed gull was swimming in the shade near the white pelicans. His red accents really popped in the shade.
After snapping the white pelicans I headed down toward North Shore Park and saw this big tree blooming so I had to pull over and take a shot. This was in mid-February and I had missed it’s full peak but it was still pretty.
All was quiet on the little beach on the bay.
One more stop just south of the St. Pete pier before heading to my chiropractor who’s office is nearby. It was a beautiful cool morning out and was worth leaving an hour early.
I caught this squirrel sitting on a small palm tree outside our window. He had his cheeks full of fuzz from the tree and I was able to snap the top shot. When he took his paws and folded the fuzz up I was happy to get more shots. He was so cute. He jumped from the palm tree over to the oak tree and took off up the tree. I can see a half built nest up there but it’s really not nesting season since it’s getting colder (I know they nest all year round here in central Florida but it’s rare to see them starting a family in early November.)
In early October I caught one of my neighborhood eagles eating something on top of the light pole. I’ve been seeing the couple often cruising around the neighborhood but I haven’t seen them hanging on the nest that they used last year yet.
Birds near the eagles nest include several loggerhead shrikes and some young starlings.
Looking out the window during Hurrincane Nicole, I could see a lot of ibis feeding in the newly formed pond.
Some of the regulars (wood stork and spoonbill) that hang out in the ditch along the golf course.
Shots from my backyard on different nights in the last few months. The pink and purple ones are from the same night (and I did not change those colors). It was from right before the storm came in and then you can see the rain moving down the channel. Even though we can see all of the neighbor’s yards, we have a great view of the sunset.
We had a male house finche at our feeder for several days in April. This was the first time in years that I had seen one here.
Starlings have been nesting in our neighbor’s boat lift. I think this is a young one. They usually hit the grass when the babies are first flying and pick out all of the bugs but lately we’ve been getting a lot at the feeder.
I realized why there wasn’t any little birds around the firebushes early one Saturday morning at Crescent Lake park. A hawk was keeping watch.
You can usually see monk parakeets hanging around the ball park there.
No birds but plenty of moths.
This dog looked bored when I was taking his picture. He was standing guard while his human was fishing.
Starlings are everywhere.
I got all the way across the lake from my car and it started raining. Luckily I had thrown my tiny umbrella in my backpack so I stood under a tree for a few minutes hoping it stop quickly. It was raining on one side of the park and the sun was on the other side. After 15 minutes I just walked back to my car and was soaked from the waist down.Typical Florida weather. By the time I got to my car the rain had stopped so I decided to head over to the North Shore beach park in nearby downtown St. Pete before heading home.
When I got out of the the car there were a few parakeets eating on the ground in front of me. They were chomping on the ground covering.
Meanwhile, this squirrel had found a piece of pizza in the garbage can, probably left over from last night’s picnic. He seemed pleased with himself.
There were still storms out in the bay so I headed home for lunch.
Some of the sightings in our backyard this past spring. A crow gathering nesting material. The last time I saw our neighborhood kingfisher before he headed back north was in early April, Hooded mergansers were a common sight but they leave in early spring as well. A starling looking for bugs.
One morning as I was leaving for work I saw these robins in my neighbor’s driveway. Luckily I had my camera with the long lens in my car and snapped these out of the car window before leaving.
A creepy caterpiller on my car in the garage. I think this is a Sycamore Tussock moth. While it’s doesn’t sting, the fur could cause hives. I’ve read it’s best not to touch prickly caterpillers.
Things in the sky including this fireball that appeared when the sun started peaking out of the clouds after a storm right before sunset in the backyard.
A starling peeking out of what was probably a former woodpecker nest.
Thanks to Ken at Rosyfinch Ramblings for the ID on the above Orange crowned warbler. A first for me.
Little birds at Hammock Park.
A small wood stork party at Possum Branch Preserve.
Typical great egret shot but I noticed after I cropped it up that he’s missing part of his upper beak.
I started out at Hammock Park, a small park in Dunedin that I had not been before. After walking around for an hour and seeing very little, I left there and stopped at Possum Branch Preserve for a walk before heading home.
High up – loggerhead shrike, kestrel and a starling.
Great blue heron posing on a light post.
One I helped save and one I couldn’t. The first one was walking around on the pier. I had a bait fish in my hand and he walked right up to me. He was all tangled up in fishing line with a hook on his wing. I was able to borrow clippers and a nice man was able to grab him as I was giving him the bait fish. While he held the pelican I clipped off all of the wire and the hook. He seemed okay so we let him go. He gave me one last look and took of into the sunset. The other pelican was sitting on the ferry boat. His feet were tangled up in fishing wire but he was able to fly and took off.
I was able to head down to Fort Desoto for a quick walk before sundown in late October before the time changed. Now it’s dark after work. Can’t wait till April.