14 June 2008

Today, it's just chicks, terns and LOTS of rain...

My 'turtle patrols' several days a week are my absolute favorite mornings. I love riding along the Gulf of Mexico, watching the sun lighten the day.

Pensacola Beach is kind of a hard run. Tire ruts make for a rough ride, and great hiding places for chicks.

I'm fairly certain these are the same Black Skimmers from yesterday.

The larger one tried to waddle away again. I think s/he is a little older.

As expected, their mothers and fathers flew circles to keep the big bad predator off the beach. As the chicks roam more, they protect an increasingly large area on the beach. Be aware if you're out roaming in the area -- they may aim for your head!

This was the only turtle on the beach today though. Maybe tomorrow we'll have a new nest...

At Fort Pickens, the Least Terns were out in force.

This tern was delivering a late breakfast... Yum -- dead raw fish!

This one seems a little angry at me, though there weren't any eggs or chicks around...

Or were they. They're often hiding in areas that we can't see. It makes driving the beach nerve-wracking as they can hide under or in anything!

I still didn't get pictures of the Fort. I had to quickly finish my hunt for snowy plover nests while dodging lightning bolts.

Maybe next week... This week has been so odd, with ribbons of rainbows, hail, lightning, torrential twenty minute rain storms, and turtle nests. I'll take all the rest if it means we have more turtle nests on the beach!

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International Coastal Clean-Up!

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Hello World!
Which way to the sea?