February 18, 2014

Another Day at the Beach

As luck would have it, good friends of ours, R and L, have purchased a monster RV and are taking delight in "camping" at a beach-front park in our area. They live near Orlando, and like many Floridians, lease their house out to snow birds…so they've been taking 4-7 day trips to escape the hustle and bustle of a more urban life. And we've been visiting them during their stays…the weather was nasty (but hey, no snow!) during their 3rd and 2nd-to-last visits, but it was just warm enough weather a week ago, during their most recent visit, when we met them on the beach….I didn't go far at all to take some photos of the shore birds at hand...

A large, mixed cluster of sea birds were just chillin' less than 50 yards from where we planted ourselves, including these two royal terns and their hilarious 'dos…they never cease to amuse me…once summer plumage takes over the 'do will be a solid black cap up to the bill...

This little Forster's tern will also have a solid black cap come summer, but they only winter along the Florida coastlines...

The black skimmers were still in presence, in a larger number than my previous visit...

…Again, a lone willet among the larger gulls and terns…the willets seem to be tireless feeders at the ocean's edge, and this was the first time I saw one head up onto the sand, and seem to think to itself "Hmm, this looks like a good spot…"

…And then proceed to settle in for a good rest.

There were also the usual small number of ruddy turnstones (and sanderlings) skittering about, and the one brave rogue who came close to see if a snack would be tossed its way…this shot was taken from my beach chair...

And so was this shot, I admit…out of nowhere this brown pelican flapped down to the sand, stood in one spot checking things out…and then took off…you never now what will come along at a Florida beach…we saw Northern gannets diving into the ocean, too far out for photos…and the token osprey made its appearance, also not quite close enough…

Just another day at the beach!

Back at our humble cottage, today...

I believe this is an Eastern phoebe! A lifer! It visited the back yard briefly…no seeds for this one tho. The yellow-rumped warblers, however, are flocking all over the place and even visiting our feeders these days.

 I also discovered that the Carolina wrens aren't as scarce as I thought…they're just busy nibbling insects on the north side of the house.


  1. Great shots! Nothing compares to a little beach birding and photography, with such great lighting and accommodating birds.

    Super stuff!

    1. Thank you Laurence! You're so right, I love birding at the beach!

  2. That is a brilliant set of shots, I can't choose one because they are all so good. I'm amazed at the wrens in your yard.
    All thr best, Gordon.

  3. Thank you Laurence and Gordon! It's coming on spring now, so hopefully I'll get out and about to some decent birding spots besides the beach. :)

  4. Hi Jann, It's good to see you are so much enjoying your wildlife observation. Your "Common Tern" is actually a Forster's Tern. The Common Tern is unfortunately very uncommon in our area. You have learned the lesson well of getting low to the ground which adds greater interest to your photography.


    1. Thank you Bob! I'll make the corrections…have looked again at Stoke's description of both terns…I see the common one is down by 75%, how awful!

  5. Beautiful pictures. I love the terns when they return to Idaho after the ice leaves the area lakes. The snow geese just arrived and a few other spring birds have showed up. Hopefully you and the birds have survived the winter and spring is here.

    1. Happy to see you Bill! Spring is definitely here in central Florida. I love seeing the terns, too, and the laughing gulls, which are now getting their solid black heads. I hope spring is coming soon for you there in Idaho!