Monday, February 2, 2009

Florida Sun, Sand and Seagulls

Last Februrary I was in Florida. It was a last minute trip and only for the weekend, but a year later I can easily imagine the warm sun on my skin and the sand between my toes. There is something very special about being with the ocean. Sitting on the beach, feeling the breeze, watching the birds and breathing in the sea air - heaven on earth.

My Florida mission was to fit in as many experiences in to my few precious days as possible. The adventure started before sunrise. I headed for Honeymoon Island State Park and Caladasi Island State Park. I read that Caladasi Island was rated the number 1 beach in America by Dr. Beach and that both beaches were top notch places to look for seashells. I was looking for treasures and I wanted to get there just after daybreak!

While driving to Honeymoon Beach I saw this bird sitting by it's huge nest. I took the photo from my rental car. Can you id this bird? I'm sure it is a common shore bird, but I don't know what it is. If you know, I will appreciate hearing from you.

Also, let me know if I made any mistakes in bird identification anywhere. I might know most of my backyard friends, but shore birds are new to me. Also new was my camera. This was my first outing with my new camera and I had not yet started to blog. If I had known about blogging, I would have known to take a lot of photos - of everything!

I hope you enjoy the photos and a visit to the beach this week!

It makes sense that the first birds I saw as I walked toward the beach were seagulls. This Ringbill reminds me of myself, testing the water one toe at a time! I'm pretty sure this is a young bird living his first winter at the beach.

Okay gull gurus, help me solve this puzzle. Is this a Franklin's Gull or a Laughing Gull, or some other gull, and how the heck can you tell? There is a bit of a red tip on the bill, but don't the bills of both the Franklin and Laughing turn redish-orange?

That's enough for today! It is too stressful trying to figure out who is who and which gull laughs and which one does not! Good night, gulls!


Ruth said...

I don't know Florida's birds and definitely wouldn't guess at gull IDs. I would guess that the bird by the big nest is an Osprey.

Annette said...

Sigh. Wish I was there.

Margaret Cloud said...

I could look at birds, beaches and water forever, we live right by Lake Michigan, I enjoy in the good weather going to see and feed the seagulls. We throw bread up in the air and the gulls catch it in mid air, this is beautiful, you can see the blue sky above and their white wings make an amazing picture. Thank you for coming by.

Mary said...

Kathleen, I'm inland and not up on shorebirds and gulls. I would need to get my field guides out and look up ID on nearly all of them.

I've been dreaming of the beach lately, too!

Sheri said...

Beautiful photos as usual! I love the ocean, also. It is so serene and calming to me. Wish I was there now.