Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Skim This Post

Bear and I went out to Cedar Key on Monday.

Ever try and get a sharp bird photograph while attached to about a hundred pounds of quivering Labrador puppy?


I didn't think so.

We were looking for seabirds and had essentially struck out until we hit the "beach" near the Cedar Key boatramp.

We found skimmers.

Lots of skimmers.

They were hunkered down against a chilly wind that blew away the warmth of a brilliant, blue winter day.

We kept our distance, not wanting to cause these skimmers to waste precious fish fed energy, but every so often they would wheel up into the sky and then pour back on to the land. It was tremendous.
Especially tremendous if you are a fan of these terns on steroids like I am. There were just so darn many of these souped up sea swallows. The pictures above are dramatically cropped. Just multiply those birds by 5 or 6 times.
I have some shaky video that can wait ... Bear gets blamed for that too ... the shaky part not the wait part. There were other birds out there too, but they can be another post.
If this publishes on Tuesday as is my plan, then I am in St. Augustine as you read this. Just a day trip to help out Mom and Dad and run a few errands for them.
Later in the day, I'll head back home to PFHQ.

I may go home via the beach again though ... wouldn't you?


Miz S said...

Love that shadow picture of you and Bear.

Have fun on your travels today. And I hope we get a good report on your dad.

threecollie said...

Breathtaking photos. I wish we could see one tenth that many birds on Saturday when we do the Christmas bird count. Take care...you and all your family...

Dani said...

I love Skimmers. We were lucky enough to have quite a few babies hatch out at Sand Key a few years ago. They were such cute little babies! Hope you have a good day. Good wishes to the parents.

Deb said...

Amazing photos. Say hi to the beach for me, and best wishes to your parents.

Sharon said...

I absolutely would!! :) Great shots!

robin andrea said...

Yes, definitely to the beach again, after the good caring for Dad and Mom. That's a balanced day.

SophieMae said...

Aaaahhhh, my favourite beachy sighting! I'm always stoked to spot a skimmer swarm sitting on the sandy shore. And oystercatchers! I always miss those guys when they move on.

Dawg, one gets behind so quickly in cyberland. So... sending your (and yours's) way... congratulations, felicitations, commiserations, back-pats, and every other -ation I missed over the past few days. 8-}

Anonymous said...

Skimmers are so cool. Love that picture of all of them from the back.

Sandcastle Momma said...

Great photos! Those skimmers are really cool to watch.

I hope you and the rest of the FC clan have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday!

bev said...

Wow, wonderful photos. Hpe all went well in St. Augustine, and that you had time to stop off at the beach on your way home.

Floridacracker said...

General update: Dad was fine. He almost has week one of recouperation done.

Miz S,
Me too ... love that Bear profile.

Good luck with that bird count. Should be easy to count if they are all frozen stiff.

I love to watch that solitary skimmer feeding at sunset. That's the picture I want.

Did that. Beach wants to know where ya been?

Left too late unfortunately! Thanks!

I just dallied too long and the winter sun dropped too fast.

We do miss you when you are absent! Thanks for all that.
I'm an oystercatcher fan too.

me too ... like an MC Escher print.

Thanks! Hope yours is wonderful too.

Missed the beach this time, but back in a day or so!

bluebird of paradise said...

Merry Christmas from our beaches in Newfoundland!~

Dave Coulter said...

Great shots....have a great holiday!

Floridacracker said...

Thanks Bluebird! Same to ya!

Thanks! Merry Christmas to you!

Dan said...

Just a note to thank you for all the time you invested in the blog this year. You've given me many hours of pleasure, and encouraged me to think that enough remains of the Florida I remember to warrant moving back there. Best wishes for the holiday and the coming new year.

Kimberlee said...

Great, great photos! I could just imagine that flying up and settling back on the beach you mentioned...almost like a school of fish the way they anticipate and respond to the movements of one another. Love that shadow of you and Bear as well. You've got such a great eye! Merry Christmas!

kathy a. said...

merry christmas, FC, to you and all your family!

Dani said...

Merry Christmas FC and family! Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Doug Taron said...

As always, a great set of photos. I hope that you and your family are having a wonderful Christmas.

Floridacracker said...