Florida Weekend Day 2 (January 30, 2011)

On Sunday in St. Pete, Anne and I went over to Fort De Soto, named for Hernando aka Ol’ Hern. Hernando De Soto was famous for being the first European to cross over the Mississippi River (and then die immediately after from “tropical fever”). He was also infamous for inflaming relations between Indians and Europeans, and he was known for being an all around jerk.

Fort De Soto is really cool though, and Anne and I have spent many days there (and brought many guests there) over the years.

Since I had so many photos from Sunday, and since the sunset was absolutely spectacular, I’ve split the day into two parts.

On Tierra Verde, pronounced "Tara Verdy" by locals, these two Bald Eagles (BAEA) made a nest just off the main drag! They were feeding at least two chicks who were still at puff-ball stage of development.
BAEA looking at the growing crowd of onlookers
BAEA
Snowy Egret (SNEG) hunting around the shore for lunch - I photographed this guy for quite a while and he cooperated rather well...
SNEG again. There are several types of herons and egrets in Florida, and all of them have white morphs and can appear very similar in color. One tell-tale sign that proves that this is a SNEG and not something else are the black legs and yellow feet. In addition to that, if you were there, you would be able to see that this bird is much smaller than the other common white egret: the Great Egret.
SNEG
SNEG
SNEG
SNEG
SNEG
SNEG
SNEG
SNEG
SNEG
A congregation of Wood Storks (WOST) neath the palm trees. WOST are endangered in the United States and were once nearly wiped out completely from plume hunting. WOST probe shallow waters with their bills and snap shut on prey that they bump into - they have some of the fastest relexes of any vertebrates on Earth.
WOST
WOST
Some sort of sea star
Birds on the sandbar
Mounds of mud on the flat - I believe these are made from some sort of worm... gotta brush up on my marine bio!
Brown Pelican (BRPE) flying over the bays
Anne wading across the shallows
BRPE taking off
BRPE
BRPE soaring overhead
Laughing Gull (LAGU)
Ring-billed Gull (RBGU) - a familiar sight!
BRPE
RBGU
SNEG
BRPE
Anne wading back across to the mainland
Anne looking sour in the parking lot
WOST
Ruddy Turnstone (RUTU) on the pier
Royal Tern (ROTE) on the pier
ROTE
BRPE
Eastern Phoebe (EAPH)
Ospreys in the nest

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