Late afternoon at the fishing pier.

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A snowy egret flyby.

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Osprey on the light post.

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Cormorant on the light post.

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A great blue heron on the light post.

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I saw two birds that were hooked on fishing lines.  Both were pulled up and released. The top one was a cormorant with line wrapped around his foot. The 2nd was a snowy egret that got a hook caught in his feathers.  Everyone helped out and both had the lines taken off and released. The birds were very calm while the people were taking the lines off.

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View from the beach.

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The sun was going down on the dolphins and birds.

A beautiful sunset walk at Fort Desoto.

SkyWatch Friday

Flying pelicans before sunset.

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After our big Christmas lunch and watching a movie on the couch, we decided to go to Fort Desoto for a Christmas sunset. The fishing pier was packed with people fishing and the dog beach was packed with doggies. It was a beautiful late afternoon and everyone was out. There weren’t a lot of birds around but the pelicans were actively diving for fish so I started practicing my pelican fly-bys. The sun was in the right spot and the pelicans were cruising near the pier. I took a ton of pictures trying to get the pelicans right as they dove into the water for fish. More on those later.

SkyWatch Friday

Babies are getting big

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Another trip to Fort Desoto to see how big the baby owls had gotten.

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They were getting big. The sun wasn’t in my favor this morning. The owls were facing the other way.

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They were awake but didn’t move too much. They were facing in the direction of Mom, who was in a tree across the trail.

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They were half sleeping and would look around every once in while. There’s a lot of bird traffic going on since the nest is between two osprey nest. Seagulls and pelicans were cruising by overhead.

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Mom napping in a tree right on the trail.

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“What’s all that clicking down there?”

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Skywatch Friday

A beautiful view from the nest.

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Napping on the nest.

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The great horned owl mom and baby were not very active the morning I stopped by. There’s a younger baby behind the mom but I only saw a tiny bit of fuzz pop up.

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The osprey in the area didn’t have eggs yet.

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Yellow bellied sapsucker has stopped for a rest during spring migration.

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He was trying to nap on the tree.

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Pelicans diving for fish out in the bay.

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This is the view from the owl’s nest. It would be pretty amazing to wake up to this every morning, even on a cloudy day.

Perfect morning at Fort Desoto in early April.

Skywatch Friday

Looking for a bird at Fort DeSoto – Skywatch Friday

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Not the bird I was looking for. This osprey right next to the boat ramp did not want me to steal his fish.

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This could have been the bird I was looking for but as he got closer I realized it wasn’t a great cormorant but just an ordinary double crested cormorant. This one flew over my head and was full of fishing wire.

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Downtown St. Petersburg from the boat ramp.

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Still not the bird I was looking for, this spotted sandpiper was trying to hide in the weeds that had floated up on the beach.

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No great cormorant on this side of the park. Only shorebirds and gulls.

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Maybe he hitched a ride on one of these boats.

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Back in mid-December I had heard there was a rare great cormorant hanging around the boat ramp at Fort Desoto. This would have been a first for me so I finally made it down to the park after work on the night before Thanksgiving. It had been raining for days and it was nice to see blue skies again. This was my first of 3 trips looking for this silly bird with no luck. Hopefully he will show up when I least expect it.

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Sunshine Skyway bridge – Skywatch Friday

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Wood stork hanging out in the water.

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He gave me a glance and then went back to checking out the water for food.

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Terns and a gull knee-deep in the water.

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Taking a bath.

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Taken with my wide-angle lens. The birds were lined up on the beach in front of the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

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Farther back, the bridge off in the distance.

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Taken from in the water, the sky looks bluer here than the picture above.

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This was a panorama taken with my phone. You can just barely see the bridge in the distance. This is the view from the East Beach turnaround.

I headed out to Fort Desoto in late September. It was a beautiful morning. Luckily I had my wide-angle lens in the car because there wasn’t a lot of birds around. The clouds were beautiful against the blue sky and the rain held out until much later in the afternoon. By then I was napping on the couch.

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