Late day walk at Fort Desoto

I’m still going through my pictures from Fort Desoto in late October. So many shorebirds there at that time. Tons of gulls, terns and skimmers. The 2nd shot is of red knots, feeding before their trip south for the winter.

Many of the birds were taking baths before it got dark.

An uncommon herring gull.

Not sure what kind of snack this laughing gull has.

Some of the smaller shorebirds. Yellowlegs, dowitcher, a black bellied plover and a tiny snowy plover that was smaller than this pile of sand.

It’s weird to see turkey vultures on the beach. They were really in the muck at low tide. The one on the right had a small piece of fish under his foot that he was eating.

Great egret flyby.

This kid was throwing his frisbee into the birds. Why is it so fun to watch the birds flush? Someone walked over to him and asked him to stop and explained that the birds needed their rest before they migrate for the winter. He really just didn’t know. He stopped and went back to his family.

Heading home back into Tampa right before dark, I saw the moon coming up and had to stop and take a picture.

Alligator Alley trail is back open.

Birds up high.

A few down low.

Wild hogs hiding in the bushes. Not sure where the term “pigtails” comes from?

One of the main trails, Alligator Alley, was finally back open after closing in September of 2017. When Hurricane Irma came through, the trail was washed out and a lot of damage was done to that part of the park. The raised trail across the marsh was finally rebuilt and it was great to walk down it again in late January.

Out on the dock you could see the bald cypress trees going bald for the winter.

SkyWatch Friday

It’s a bird, it’s a plane. No, it’s a bird. – Skywatch Friday

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Juvenile bald eagle soaring overhead.

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“Look up. There’s a white pelican flying by.”

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“Here comes a few more white pelicans.”

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“Now it’s a party.” Too bad they didn’t land where we could see them.

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The black vulture has an all black face.

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Turkey vultures have a pink face. The one in the front looks like a juvenile. His face will turn darker pink like the one in the back and his feathers will get darker on his next molt.

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A lone pelican swimming in the lake.

At first all I saw was the one white pelican swimming by far out in the lake. Later down the trail, hundreds of them flew overhead. They may have been heading to the other side of the lake but we couldn’t see them from anywhere on the trail. It was a beautiful sunny morning in late November at Circle B Bar Reserve.

Little to big

DSC_9152The tiniest bird I saw that day. A blue-gray gnatcatcher looking up.

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Not too much bigger is the eastern phoebe. You can usually find them hanging out at the intersection of Marsh Rabbit Run and Heron Hideout.

DSC_9137A little bit bigger, there’s been a kingfisher hanging out in the same corner as the phoebe.

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This early fall, there’s been a purple gallinule family hanging out in the same corner as well.

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Getting bigger, I found these juvenile limpkins hiding in the marsh. They still have some baby fuzz on them.

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A parent was close by watching me.

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The American bitterns are back. This one was hiding in the marsh on Wading Bird Way. Another photog with a keen eye found him.

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Taken right into the sun, the anhinga was flipping his fish.

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“I’m the biggest one here.” says the turkey vulture showing off.

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“Bye, bye” says the ducks as they take off after an eagle flew over them.

Lots of the same ole thing at Circle B Bar Reserve in mid-November.

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