Sunday, May 22, 2016

Boca Birding

Learning of a shore bird nesting colony on Gasparilla Island State Park's middle beach....and wanting to try out Liv's new Nikon Coolpix P900....we headed to the beach.  Above is the view looking north.....not too crowded today!

Lots of barrier islands on the Gulf of Mexico....Gasparilla is a favorite.

And here is the view looking south!

Protecting shore bird nesting sites is important.  Birds can easily be disturbed.  This one was taped off and well marked.  There are still natural predators....raccoons, gulls, iguanas.  But keeping people and especially loose dogs away really helps.

Not many birds today....what looked like Skimmers were actually attract the birds to a safe colony.

Great idea...hope it works!

We did see a few Least Terns (Sternulla antillarum).

And some more birds...

 Black-bellied Plovers (Pluvialis squatarola).   I think this is  a pair....but we are right between seasons, so it may just be breeding and nonbreeding plumage!  Below pic is from Sibley's.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea Herodias).  Commonly seen in SW Florida, but always appreciated.

Snowy Egret (Egretta thula).  Back from the brink of extinction, after being hunted for it's plumage!

Magnificent Frigatebirds (Fregeta magnificens).

Snowy Plover (Charadrius rivosus).  Looks like an adult in breeding plumage.

Osprey (Pandion halieatus).  Best fisherman ever!

Laughing Gulls (Leucophaeus atricilla).  Non-breeding and breeding plumage....L to R.

Black Iguana (Ctenosaura similis).  No...not a bird, but an invasive reptile.  Very much a predator of nesting bird colonies.  Much effort has been expended to remove them from the island....but they remain.  STOP THE EXOTIC PET TRADE!

We weren't the only photogs out and about.  Here is local pro, Dave Eppley, shooting the Tarpon Tournament.  Link below to see some of Dave's incredible images.

Dave Eppley on 500px

Bobbing around the pass in a big group doesn't seem like much fun or much sport to me.  How about some fly casting from a flats boat!

Can not resist another shot of the Boca Grande Lighthouse.

Great Southern White butterflies (Ascia monuste) are supposed to predict early summer weather and good tarpon fishing.  Check out this article in Waterline favorite!
Now for some photos around town.  We took a walk....somewhere between exercise and photo stroll and this is what we saw....

Sea Oats 

A flock of Ibis groundskeepers on the Gasparilla Inn Golf Course.

No that's not Maui....

Banyan St.

Lots in bloom around town....let's see what the P900 does with these colors!


Ginger blossoms!

Back to the beach....getting crowded...

What a nice day...birding, picnic, stroll...and some beach time!

The armamentarium....P900, S6300, D3300....see if you can guess which one shot which photo!

Always time to relax at Boca Grande!  See you again next time.

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