I spent a magical morning at Fort De Soto in mid-April. It’s not every day that you can see five kinds of plovers at my favorite beach!
It’s been a few years since I’ve seen a Piping Plover. These cute little birds winter along the coast of Florida. It’s easiest to find them in early spring during migration, before they head up to New England to nest. A few years ago, on our trip to Maine, Rich and I got to see them on their breeding grounds.
Snowy Plovers used to be hard to find at Fort De Soto, but this year there are several breeding pairs there. The new sandbar habitat is perfect for these little white wanderers.
You can find Semi-palmated Plovers at Fort De Soto during the winter months. They leave for a few months in summer to breed in the northern Arctic, and it always surprises me how quickly they return. This one is in full breeding colors, looking very snazzy with his orange beak and black stripes.
The Wilson’s Plover lives in Florida year-round. If you hang around their beach habitats often enough during the summer months, you’ll find these guys chasing cute little fuzzball babies around the beach. It’s amazing how fast they can move.
My last plover of the morning was the bigger Black-bellied Plover. These birds winter in Florida, and we see them molt into their breeding plumage just before they migrate to the Arctic for the summer.
So began my morning at Fort De Soto. You can read more about it in my next post!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Fort De Soto?
Check out my Fort De Soto page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!