The electric company

IMG_4538 DSC_8711 DSC_8719 DSC_8734

Why would anyone go hang out next to a power plant? Because they use the water in the bay to cool the towers.  The warm water comes out in the channel and keeps the manatees warm during the winter. Hundreds of manatees spend their winters in this channel.  The power plant built a dock for people to stand on and watch the manatees come up for air.

DSC_8709

One of the manatees near the dock.

DSC_8725

DSC_8727

For extra enjoyment, they hire sharks to jump out of the water and entertain us. (Just kidding, this was the first time we had seen this here before).

DSC_8742

DSC_8743

Little fiddler crabs and willets hang out on the shoreline under the dock.

DSC_8745

Overhead, an osprey was gathering sticks for a nest.

DSC_8740

Little fishies.

We made our annual winter trip to the Tampa Electric Plant to see the manatees in late February. Even thought it’s been a warm winter, the water in the bay has been cold enough for the manatees to congregate in the warmer waters next to the plant. There were tons of manatees in the water but I think this time there were more people than manatees.

SkyWatch Friday

More tourists than birds on the beach

DSC_0223

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

DSC_0226

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

DSC_0269

Juvenile royal tern.

DSC_0246

DSC_0253

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

DSC_0280

DSC_0281

DSC_0284

Prehistoric pelicans. All juveniles that were born this spring.

DSC_0285

Red eyed night heron.

DSC_0288

Woodpecker in the parking lot.

DSC_0231

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

DSC_4503

Dowitchers taking a nap.

DSC_4505

Wilson’s plover not much taller than the grass.

DSC_4510

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

DSC_4511

Juvenile sandwich tern.

DSC_4526

Semipalmated plover.

DSC_4528

Dowitcher cruising by.

DSC_4539

Gotta itch.

DSC_4540

He’s so cute!

DSC_4588

Laughing gull missing a foot.

DSC_4591

Willet trying to be cute.

DSC_4598

A very young black skimmer taking a nap.

Same ole thing on the beach in late August.

Check out more pictures at Our World Tuesday Our World Tuesday Graphic

Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention for 

On the beach in early August

DSC_4034

A great egret getting a fish.

DSC_4035

Sanderlings running around as usual.

DSC_4047

Willet taking off.

DSC_4040

There’s usually a reddish egret on the beach.

DSC_4049

Tiny plover showing off his crab breakfast.

DSC_4056

The beach was full of plovers this morning.

DSC_4062

A marbled godwit in the water.

DSC_4069

A black bellied plover.

DSC_4085

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

DSC_3688

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

DSC_3689

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

DSC_3697

A few willets mixed in.

DSC_3699
Giving me the eye.

DSC_3714
A shorebird convention.

DSC_3716

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

DSC_3740

A young laughing gull.

DSC_3741

A “loud as usual” laughing gull.

DSC_3766

Dowitchers busy looking for breakfast.

DSC_3764

Taking a break from the crowd.

DSC_3761

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.

Check out more pictures at Our World Tuesday Our World Tuesday Graphic

Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention  for 

On the beach in early April.

DSC_6678

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

DSC_6680

Splashing around like a kid in a bathtub.

DSC_6682

“Clean your underarms” I told him.

DSC_6685

Face in the water.

DSC_6688

All done.

DSC_6689

That’s a little too close.

DSC_6695

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.

DSC_6717

Willet shaking it off.

DSC_6721

Marbled godwit digging for snacks.

DSC_6725

I think these are dunlins in non-breeding feathers.

DSC_6733

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.