Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Walk On The Beach

I went out to the beach this morning in hopes of finding seashells. For some odd reason we don't find many great shells here but I was hoping that as much as Hurricane Ike has churned up the Gulf that maybe I would get lucky. We have the world's whitest beaches and incredible emerald green water but we don't have many shells. I'm not sure why.

After Hurricane Ivan I found buckets full of shells and I thought maybe I would find more today. I parked at the foot of the bridge and then walked out to the west jetties, which is where I found all of the good shells after Ivan.

The water is still really high and rough and it's a rusty brown from all of the wave action but it was a beautiful day.

The pass is still really rough and none of the charter boats were out today.

The sea oats are in bloom and are gorgeous right now

There were a lot of these moon jellies washed up along the beach

There were hundreds and hundreds of shore birds resting on the beach. A helicopter came along and the noise caused the birds to scatter.

And of course where you have big waves, you have surfers

I was amazed to see this Loon sitting next to the jetties. It's really rare to see loons here.

As I was watching him a woman walked up to take his picture. She got too close and he tried to scramble away from her. As he was moving I could see that one of his wings was broken. Poor thing, no wonder he's here. As soon as I got home I called the local wildlife rescue people and told them about him. They told me that they'll go out and check on him and if his wing is broken they will take him back to their facility and nurse him back to health. According to the man I spoke with loons can't walk on land and it's really rare to see them sitting on the beach.

I walked a little closer to the water and there was Destin's Accidental Tourist - the flamingo!

He's very skittish and it's really hard to get close to him.

There were several people taking pictures of him and one man got a little too close so off he flew.

I have fallen head over heals in love with this bird and I feel so bad for him. I read that flamingos live in large flocks and I know he must be lonely.

While I was looking at him a man that was obviously very drunk walked up.

Him: That's a flamingo, right?
Me: Yep.
Him: He's pink, right?
Me: Yep.
Him: Flamingos don't live here do they?
Me: Nope.
Him: You see it too, right?
Me: Yep.
Him: Whew! I thought maybe I'd just had too much to drink"

He'd definitely had too much to drink but he really was seeing a pink flamingo LOL

After the flamingo flew off I noticed this heron standing on the jetty

Poor guy, he's used to being the center of attention around here and this flamingo has stolen all of his glory.

I didn't find any shells but I did get to watch the flamingo and for me, that is just too cool!
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