This blog is dedicated to the environmental well-being of our Florida coastal habitat.

This blog is
dedicated to the environmental well-being of coastal habitat.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Tarpon Pointe Grill & Tiki Bar

 I'm going to try this and report back:

Boating on the Braden River with Dave

Sarasota: John Sarkozy kayak events

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

52nd Annual Meeting of the American Littoral Society

52nd Annual Meeting of the American Littoral Society
Cape May, NJ
October 25-27, 2013

   Set in one of the most beautiful coastal communities on the Atlantic, we will enjoy the ocean front views from the La Mer Beachfront Inn (, and venture out into the natural areas of what has been called "one of the last best places" for bird watching, whale watching and surf fishing clinics. Cape May is internationally recognized as one of the most important migratory bird stop overs in the world, and Delaware Bay is designated a RAMSAR Wetland of International Significance, home to horseshoe crabs, sturgeon and other fascinating marine life.

Our staff naturalists will lead day field trips and night time star and owl walks, discussions and demonstrations to introduce you to the wonderful coastal life of Cape May and the Delaware Bay, and presentations on the work the American Littoral Society is doing to care for the coast here.
We will be participating in a bird banding demonstration by researchers studying migratory hawks, go looking for migrating whales traveling past Cape May on their way back to warmer waters, and have an opportunity to learn the secrets of surf casting right from the beach in front of the hotel!

   And remember - dolphins are often seen right from the rooms of the La Mer

The weekend is informal, a time to catch up with old friends and meet new ones, as you explore and learn about the coast in this special place. Don't miss out - we always discover something special! We look forward to seeing you.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chick Crossing

This sign is on the edge of a seabird nesting area on south Lido Key off Sarasota.  A single rope around the area protects nests on the ground from those who can read.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Beach Bug - not identified, yet
Some kind of beach beetle????

Friday, June 7, 2013

June/July 2013 Kayak Trips

 Call John at 941-966-7308 for info and reservations.

     1  Myakka River/Snook Haven  8:30am – 11:30am
     2  Bird Key/South Lido Park  8:30am – 11:30am
     5  Sister Key/Longboat Key  9am – noon
     8  Little Sarasota Bay/Palmer Pt Park  8:30am – 11:30am
   22  Little Sarasota Bay/Palmer Pt Park  8:30am – 11:30am
   23  Bird Key/South Lido Park  8:30am  - 11:30am
   27  Waterways of Nokomis  8:30am – 11:30am
   29  Little Manatee River State Park   9am – 1pm  $30 mem - $35 non-mem
     4    Little Sarasota Bay/Palmer Pt Park  8:30am – 11:30am
     6    Little Sarasota Bay/Palmer Pt Park  8:30am – 11:30am
     7   Bird Key/South Lido Park  8:30am – 11:30am
   10  Stump Pass St Pk  8:30am – 11:30am   $25 mem - $30 non-mem
  *17  Sunset/Moonlight Paddle  7pm – 9:30pm
  *18  Sunset/Moonlight Paddle  7pm – 9:30pm
   20  Shell Key Preserve/Pinellas Co  9am -1pm  $30 mem - $35 non-mem
   21  Bird Key/South Lido Park  8:30am – 11:30am
   24  Little Sarasota Bay/Palmer Pt Pk  8:30am – 11:30am
   31  Casperson Beach/Lemon Bay  8:30am – 11:30am

Mote's Oceans Day in Sarasota
- Herald Tribune online

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cortez fishing village guide

Hurricane info from LOU NEWMAN (

Tropical Storm Andrea is knocking the heck out of our nesting shorebirds.  As an example of the damage:  I went out to the beach to a colony of nesting shorebirds I have been watching and photographing for the last few weeks.  The high tide, large waves, surf, 45 mph winds and heavy rain had taken a heavy toll.  The Snowy Plover scrape (these birds scrape out a depression in the sand, call it a “nest” and lay their eggs in it) which was due to hatch any day, had been washed over and was gone. 

The Black Skimmers have been courting and “nesting” for a couple of weeks, so most of them had eggs in their scrapes, but would not have started hatching for another two weeks.  There were about 100 scrapes; today after high tide I could count only 30 skimmers that were high enough on the beach to still be on scrapes and there were eggs all over the place in the wrack line on the beach.  Those 30 skimmers were really hunkered down in their scrapes, but they looked pretty miserable.  Many of the rest of the birds were hunkered down up in the dunes away from the surf and somewhat protected from the wind, blowing sand and rain by the dunes and vegetation.

There were about 25 Least Terns on scrapes, several with chicks (varying in age from 1 day to 3 weeks).  Last count was 14 chicks.  Today there were no scrapes left and I could find only 8 chicks.  Six of the chicks were older chicks and seemed likely to make it; there was one mid-size chick and one very young/small chick that I watched make its way up from the wrack line to a waiting parent that tucked him under her wing.  They gradually made their way to the protection of the dunes and vegetation growing in/on the dunes.

Even though I had on boots and rain gear, I was soaked to the skin when I got home.  Needless to say, I did not attempt to take my camera onto the beach.  A significant portion of a second colony of Black Skimmers that numbered over 300 birds and had perhaps 80 to 100 birds on scrapes was washed over by tide and surf.  I counted about 40 skimmers that were high enough on the beach that they were still on scrapes.  It is going to be interesting to see if these colonies survive and note whether the birds that lost their scrapes/eggs will renest and lay more eggs (and whether we get any more tropical storms/hurricanes before they can fledge their chicks).  All of the scrapes and eggs in a second colony of Least Terns were completely wiped out by tide and surf; however, the roughly nine chicks in this colony had been predated earlier in the week so there were no chick casualties or survivors.  The likely culprits include house cats let loose at night, feral cats, raccoons, crows, gulls, yellow-crowned night herons and ghost crabs.  People and dogs that get too close cause the birds to fly which leaves the unprotected eggs and chicks vulnerable to these predators.

Saturday, June 1, 2013