Fort de Soto’s North Beach is magical in the springtime. The beach has re-shaped significantly over the past few years, and there are some wonderful tide pools that attract hungry birds, like the Black Skimmers I wrote about in my last post. I spent a very happy half hour sitting on the edge of the wading pools watching birds find their breakfasts.
This Marbled Godwit was in beautiful soft light on that gorgeous cool morning. I didn’t even see the tiny fish he was pulling from the wading pool until I got home and looked at my pictures.
This little Least Sandpiper took a break from feeding to take a bath. He seemed to really enjoy throwing water droplets everywhere!
Big Red was active that morning. This is one of the dark-morph Reddish Egrets that hangs out at Fort De Soto. He dances like a drunken sailor when he’s hunting for food.
This Ruddy Turnstone is getting close to full breeding colors. He paused at the edge of the wading pool to look at the camera, then he resumed his search for breakfast.
This Dunlin will soon have a striking black chest. He was a little embarrassed to be caught mid-molt. He asked me to come back in a few weeks and see how pretty he’ll be then!
This Common Merganser was very busy with her breakfast. I never quite identified what it was, but it was big and white and apparently very hard to grasp in her beak.
Later I saw a Laughing Gull eating something similar. He seemed very proud of himself.
This Semi-Palmated Plover was in full breeding plumage. Turns out this was another Five-Plover morning, but I didn’t know it yet!
This last image is a Black-bellied Plover who made me laugh. He grabbed his breakfast and started to fly off, but he was startled and dropped it! I caught the sequence and edited it together to show the sequence.
You know it’s going to be a good morning when these images are on your card in the first half hour! I headed out to Outback Key to see what I could find…more on that 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!