Sunday, August 24, 2008

Late Afternoon Walk On The Beach

Late this evening, around 5:00 we did a beach walk to check for shells. We keep thinking that anytime there will be some good things coming in again. We heard that there were shell piles around the Tarpon Bay Beach Access area. So, we decided to go check that out.

We went onto the beach by way of the access at the end of Tarpon Bay Rd, on West Gulf Drive. As I walked up to the boardwalk and saw this sign, I thought, how could people not see that? I guess it's just another one of those things that make you go, "HMMM", and shake your head when you see litter on the beach.

The first thing I saw was the reddish brown water that surely must be because of all the rain. I also noticed some shark bait in the water. I say that because everything you read about avoiding problems with sharks, says not to go into the water late in the evening or around where people are fishing. Very near them was a man out a little further, fishing with a bait bucket hanging in the water beside him. And we wonder why people have a scare now and then. Just another one of those things that make you go, "HMMM".

As we started walking east, there were only a few ark shells scattered around. The waves had made a small ledge in the sand.

(Click on the pictures to enlarge for your cyber shelling pleasure.)

All the way past Pointe Santo, it was the same.

The shells I saw were small and mostly broken ones. But, you can judge for yourself, as I took pictures at a distance and then a close up of a section of shells.

I also threw in a little sand art. :-)

A little further on, there were small, common shells scattered on the beach by the waves. Maybe that's seed for tomorrow. :-)

I got a little excited when I saw a small angel wing, but it had broken places out of it. In the area between Pointe Santo and Island Beach Club, I have found a lot of nice angel wings over the years.

This is the beach in front of the Sanibel Cottages. As you can see by looking further up on the beach. The tide over the last few days has been pretty high, but it doesn't look like any shells were left behind. There was a couple ledges of sand that had a few odd shells scattered around.

Between Sanibel Cottages and Island Beach Club, this is what we saw.

Just before getting to Island Beach Club there was a strip where sand had been washed up from the tide and some shells had washed over that and were caught on the back side of it. There were enough shells there to dig though, which had been done. The shells were probably 4 to 5" deep in places. When you reached IBC that strip ended and was again like what we had seen. That is where we turned to start walking back.

On the way back I saw this bird. I don't think I have seen one of these before, at least not that I noticed. So, we had to look that up. We are pretty sure we found the right bird, and it is called a Black Skimmer and this one looks like the picture of a juvenile one. Black skimmers spend winter along the southeast coast, South Carolina to Florida. (So does that mean it's almost winter?) Skimmers fly low over the water, skimming the surface with their lower bill to catch their food. They are active during the day, but do a lot of their feeding at night. Even though they have webbed feet, it is unusual for them to be seen on the water swimming. They're either in the air or on the ground. So, I learned something new today.

I had no shells in my pocket, but it was a beautiful evening walk.


Tink *~*~* said...

Alas! No shells! :-(

Well, I should be grateful, I guess, for the beautiful set of paper figgies I found yesterday. Fay was certainly no Alberto!

Tink *~*~*

Snowbird said...

Fay was no Wilma either, Tink. I can't believe that there weren't more shells after this storm.

About the bird, all I have seen are adult Skimmers and can't see the bill well, but I'm assuming it is a Black Skimmer. They are really an interesting bird. We had one at CROW last winter.