Thursday, June 24, 2010

Turtle Walk Thursday

Today we were out on the beach before sunrise. It was our 8th turtle walk of the season.

As soon as we walked out onto the beach, I could feel a strong breeze. I was thankful for that, as it kept the noseeums away and made our walk a very pleasant one.

First thing I noticed was the Snowy Plover nesting areas were enclosed and ribboned off again. I guess it's time for more nests. There were so many little Plovers running around today, the last group of hatchlings must still be here too. They kept me entertained through at least a 1/2 mile of the walk.

One little Plover standing guard, over the nesting area.

Holes, holes and more holes! This one was about 18" deep.

Every week, we have this kind of turtle activity. :)

The pastel sky, just before sunrise was very pretty today.

I know you can see the log of driftwood. Do you see the other log, the one I had to pick up?

I have a few pics for your cyber shelling pleasure, but it wasn't great this morning.

Two ladies were busy tromping through the dunes, looking for shells. I guess they haven't read beach rules. We aren't supposed to walk in the dune area. I hope there aren't any tiny plover eggs anywhere, that hadn't been found and marked, or they'll be smashed for sure. :(

If you see any special shells in these pictures, please don't tell me, because when I'm walking the the end of our zone, I don't look. Walking the return mile, I look.

If you enlarge the picture, you may spot the little baby plover that saw us coming and hid in a little cupped out place in the sand. It's parents were running all around trying to get our attention to keep us from seeing it too. It stayed right in that spot, with it's head down until we passed. At first I thought it was a dead one, because we were so close and it didn't move. But when Mommy came over it jumped up an ran off with her. I bet he was in trouble!

We weren't this close; just did a close up shot. All of it's feathers aren't even grown yet.

This was a cute mermaid when we passed, but on the way back, she didn't look so good. Someone had stomped in her face. :(

These two White Ibis, seemed to be acting a little strange. They were walking around in the sand, not appearing to be hunting for food, and not going by the water. Their appearance was also different because they both looked kind of dirty. No, it didn't look like oil on their feathers. But, I had to wonder if they could have had a little oil on their feathers, cleaned up and released. Maybe they just got dirty hanging out in a marsh. I thought they were just juvenille ones at first because their feathers are a little different color, but that wasn't it. Just another mystery. Oooh, did you know or care, that the American White Ibis was chosen as the mascot of The University of Miami because of its legendary bravery during hurricanes? :)

This lady was sitting cross legged in the sand, as I passed on my first mile. She was still in the same spot, when I passed on the way back. I think she was breathing in and out with the waves rise and fall, preparing to meditate. Or, could she be a bird whisperer?

I think this is a Grass cerith.

This is turtle #2 today.

A Drill.

There were a few chunks of Sea Pork on the beach this morning. I've been told that Sea Pork can be found in a lot of different colors. It's the first time I've seen it in a bright yellow color.

A little Scallop and a tiny Juvenille Horse Conch.

An Orange Scallop? :)

Another piece of Sea Pork. There was also a black one, which has been confused for globs of oil recently. We were told that it's easy to tell the difference. The black Sea Pork is smooth, firm and flexible like rubber. If you look closely, you can see the individual organisms make up this one piece, they're really interesting. The tar balls, that have been seen in the spill area, were black, very dense in weight, and felt sticky. So the moral to the story; if you see a black blob on the beach, don't get all excited. Look it over carefully and if you really have reason for concern, report it to local officials so they can check it out.

Can you spot the little Plover that thinks he's hiding right next to me. I walked on past and it continued on it's merry way.

We had two bags full of trash, but still no sea turtle, nesting activity in our zone. The beach and water is still clean and clear and I hope it stays that way.

This evening we were at Pointe Santo on West Gulf Drive, so I took the opportunity to take a few pictures on the beach. I know there are some Pointe Santo lovers who frequent the blog, so yes, these are meant to make you wish you were here. :)

The fella having such a great time riding his bike on the beach, evidently doesn't know that it isn't allowed on the island.

Somebody is going to have a lot of toys to pick up. :) That bright colored float looked like loads of fun!

I noticed a change. There are a lot of lounge chairs, now available to move around where you want them. Major improvement, in my opinion. :)


Gayle said...

The lounge chairs are a great idea. Maybe if people know the are there and don't bring their own they won't drop all their bottles and toys and shoes and etc. that you always have to pick up. Sounds like you had a wonderful day at the beach. Awesome!

Don said...

I wish I were there to take pictures of the Plovers. I got some good shots in May, but always looking for a better photo.

Your closeup looked like the feathers weren't even dry yet.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Beautiful pictures! So glad to see your beach isn't full of oil. Love all the beach art.

The Florida Blogger said...

Another reason why I loathe tourists, assuming those goobers walking the dunes were tourists. They come down here complain about Florida and damage REAL Florida. Doh!

Sanibelshell said...

Tootie, Thanks to you I will be very carful on the island and am so much more aware of the wildlife that is there. My flight leaves for Sanibel in a few hours! You and the Tink have kept me inspired to return to my dream. Sanibel Island Bound! (sanibelshell)Left Tink an e.mail.

ღ Alice ღ ™ said...

Awww, the Snowy Plover looks so cute, the sea pork not so much. Our little ones found one a while back on Sanibel and we had no clue what it was, they always learn something new every visit to Sanibel. The mini's are cute too. I never knew you can't ride on the beach, guess my Momma was right, you learn something new everyday.

Kim Frydrych said...

Hi Tootie, Thank You for the Pointe Santo Pictures! Always makes me smile. We celebrated our 2nd Wedding Anniversary yesterday. Not everyone is as blessed as we were to have such a special Wedding on the beach. My husband promises me we will return next may, at that time I would love to do a turtle walk with you! You always have such beautiful pictures Thank You for sharing with us up North until we retire(30 years) we can only visit =(