Early in the morning off of Seahorse Key.
If you are a frigate bird, it's time to soar on up into the warming air.
Somewhere below, a fish has a date with your beak.
After a full day of fishing with my pal, Captain Denny Voyles, we cruised by the dock at Atsenia Otie Key to look at the birds.
Denny is not a birder, but he was pumped up about all the neat birds using the dock as a roost. So, beneath a gathering storm, we zipped over to Atsenia Otie and made a few drifts along the dock ... bird watching.
Line up of the usual suspects.
This dock was built years ago when a developer was going to carve Atsenia Otie into a "boat access only" subdivision.
Lucky for the birds, the fish, the farm raised Cedar Key clams, you, and I , ... the Nature Conservancy and the US Fish and Wildlife Service rescued the island.
It's ours now and forever.
In the meantime, the T-shaped dock has become a haven for the birds, who don't care if it is a little weather beaten and rustic.
The main reason Denny wanted to go to the bird dock was " this tiny little tern" that had shown up there lately.
He even used the word "cute" when describing it.
It terned out to be least terns that he was so excited about.
They are tiny ... and dang it, they are cute.