August 03, 2016

February in August . . .

. . . Another glorious sunrise over the Atlantic, in Feb., the coldest month of the year here in NE Florida. And I do mean cold . . . during one beach visit, my feet were so painfully numb I had to cut the time there short. But the sunrises are worth it!

I continued to find interesting calico scallops in Feb. Above, this scallop has acorn barnacles attached. The gray and yellow one below, was an especially unique find . . .

I found my second common nutmeg shell! Don't let the photo fool you, they only reach a max of 1.7" (4.5 cm)

I thought this was a "turkey wing" ark, but it's a red-brown ark. I only have one turkey wing, from the Gulf Coast. I have about 3 of these red-browns, compared to zillions of the incongruous arks. There are actually 10 types of arks found in Florida.

This royal starfish was growing an arm back . . .

I know it's sad to see a dead sea creature, but I was also fascinated to see a puffer fish on the beach. This is a Spiny Box Puffer, or Striped Burrfish.

I found a mostly buried sand dollar . . . and was surprised that it was a whole one!

Ring-billed gulls were hanging out one morning . . .

As were these herring gulls . . . (note pale pink legs) . . . only seen in winter here.

Royal terns are seen year-round, but it's more fun to see their 'do in winter. The "Florida's Living Beaches" ID book actually notes that "Royal terns shun 'the comb-over' " !

The Forster's terns were chillin' too . . . note the black mottled crown above the eye patch ~ in late winter, their heads darken from masks to caps.

This ruddy turnstone's plumage is transitioning from breeding to winter colors. Ruddies winter along most of Florida's coastlines, but they live year-round along the panhandle coast.