More tourists than birds on the beach

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Someone should tell this grackle that she’s not a shorebird.

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“Everybody run, there’s a grackle on the beach!” said no Willet ever.

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Juvenile royal tern.

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A sandwich couple flirting. She gets a fish instead of roses and chocolates.

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Prehistoric pelicans. All juveniles that were born this spring.

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Red eyed night heron.

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Woodpecker in the parking lot.

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All of the above birds were on this busy beach. I guess they tolerate the tourists. I headed out to the beach for an after work walk. So crowded even at dinnertime.

 Skywatch Friday

Shorebirds at Fort Desoto

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Dowitchers taking a nap.

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Wilson’s plover not much taller than the grass.

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The sandwich terns are back on the beach for a while.

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Juvenile sandwich tern.

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Semipalmated plover.

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Dowitcher cruising by.

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Gotta itch.

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He’s so cute!

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Laughing gull missing a foot.

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Willet trying to be cute.

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A very young black skimmer taking a nap.

Same ole thing on the beach in late August.

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On the beach in early August

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A great egret getting a fish.

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Sanderlings running around as usual.

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Willet taking off.

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There’s usually a reddish egret on the beach.

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Tiny plover showing off his crab breakfast.

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The beach was full of plovers this morning.

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A marbled godwit in the water.

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A black bellied plover.

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The oystercatcher couple was in their usual spot.

Nothing unusual at the north beach tip at Fort Desoto in early August. I had heard red knots were moving through the area but no sign of them on the morning I was there.  This was a quick visit. It was just too hot even with the sea breeze.

Mandarin Orange Monday

Shorebirds at Fort Desoto in July

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A marbled godwit trying to sleep in the middle of dowitchers.

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A lost oystercatcher. “Excuse me, can someone tell me where the restroom is?”

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A few willets mixed in.

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Giving me the eye.

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A shorebird convention.

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“Can you please keep your peeping down? Us oystercatchers are trying to sleep.”

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A young laughing gull.

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A “loud as usual” laughing gull.

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Dowitchers busy looking for breakfast.

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Taking a break from the crowd.

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I think this is a Forester’s tern in non-breeding colors. Could also be a common tern.

Shorebirds are starting to move through the area. For the past month, there’s been almost no birds at the north beach marsh at Fort Desoto. When I went in late July, the marsh area was starting to fill up with birds. Mostly dowitchers, willets and marbled godwits. It was the usual hot sunny perfect morning on the beach.

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Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention  for 

On the beach in early April.

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It’s always fun watching a skimmer taking a bath.

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Splashing around like a kid in a bathtub.

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“Clean your underarms” I told him.

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Face in the water.

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All done.

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That’s a little too close.

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Royal terns are showing up on the beach with their summer hat on. During breeding season the top of their head is all black. During winter, they have mostly white on their head with a little gray on the sides.

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Willet shaking it off.

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Marbled godwit digging for snacks.

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I think these are dunlins in non-breeding feathers.

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Oystercatcher taking a nap. It’s amazing how they can sleep on one foot. I couldn’t sleep on one foot much less standing up.

Just a few birds I found out on the beach in early April when I was waiting for the baby owl to decide whether he wanted to fly or not. I know people stand there for hours waiting for “that” shot but I have to get out and walk around.

Baby owls and a few other birds at Fort Desoto

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Fuzzy baby owl hiding in the shade.  The little ball of fuzz next to it was it’s younger sibling.

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Peaking out. The two baby owls at Fort Desoto are doing well.

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Black bellied plover posing for me.

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A willet actually sitting on the sand. You don’t see this very often.

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Getting a bite.

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These willits were busy eating.

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Another beautiful sunny cool morning in February at Fort Desoto Park. I’ve been heading to the park almost every weekend. No mosquitos and heat for now. It won’t last long. This Sunday morning in mid-February hubby came with me. We stopped by the owl’s nest for a while and then walked up to the north end of the beach. There weren’t many shorebirds out this morning. I think there were more photographers there than birds. Most had come by to see the baby owls but the lack of shorebirds was disappointing. Still, just being out on the beach on this perfect day was worth it.

Fighting willets at Fort Desoto

“Hey Wally, can I hang out here with you? This looks like a good spot.”

“No Willy, this is my spot. Not enough for both of us.”

“Come on, we can feed together. “

“No! I was here first. You have to leave.”

These two willets were fighting over something. They kept chasing each other. Most of the time when I’m on the beach I see willets feeding alone. I guess they are more solitary birds when feeding. More shots from my recent morning at Fort Desoto.

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