Sunday, May 25, 2014

Fort DeSoto - December 27, 2013

What a great time of year to visit this place for variety.  Right before I pulled into the park, I saw this pelican and horned greebe hanging out together.  Also found what I think is another spotted sandpiper in another turn out just before entering the park as well as a small flock of mergansers.

 American Kestrel
 Common Loon -
 I saw a group of these by the ranger station and then this lone one at the end of the beach.
 This is a hermit crab living in the shell of the "Florida Fighting Conch".  I learned about how these crabs move from shell to shell throughout their lives and do not make a shell of their own.  The conch is a type of water snail as is the live one below.
 "Shark Eye" is the common name or "Moon Snail".  I have never seen one of these alive before or one so large.  This one was about the size of my palm.  
 I noticed this gull was very small and cute compared to the other gulls.  It did not really look like the laughing gulls in the background of this image.  I later found out that it is a Franklin's Gull and that all the birders want to come out to see it!
 I wish I could say that these two were just friends.  In fact, the gull is trying to steal the pelican's fish.  This is a common behavior and one time I even photographed a gull sitting on a pelican's head trying to get his fish!
 The mother great horned owl is back on her nest again this year!  This was one of the main reasons I decided to come to Fort DeSoto today, and I was pleasantly surprised.  

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