While in St Petersburg, we stayed at a KOA park. Some of the sites were a bit tight, but we did really well.
Some of the time we had no neighbor on our door side, so we had extra room!
The KOA is situated right next to a very nice, long walking/running/biking trail which we enjoyed. In addition to watching lots of birds, I also noted a nice car in an open garage near the entrance of the KOA. We drove by it many times, and I incorrectly identified it as a Bentley. One day on my run, I decided to look a bit closer… the emblem on the trunk was wrong. Turns out it is a Rolls-Royce, specifically a Wraith model. (And I at first thought it was a RR Dawn. TWO mis-identifications! And I admitted it! Confession is good for the soul!) A very elegant car! Notice the rear-hinged doors, and like all Rolls, the logo on the wheels always stays right side up, and the “Spirit of Ecstasy” hood ornament retracts into the body when the car is locked. I thought you’d enjoy something besides birds on these blogs…
A long pier extends from St Pete beach, with an angular eye-catching building at its terminus. A restaurant on the upper levels boasts a beautiful view.
We spotted a couple of Manatees as we walked the pier. Looked like a mom taking her child for a little exercise.
We had a great dinner with Glenn and Janet on the St Pete beachfront. He is a great dentist, and was a mentor of mine at the Dawson Academy, and I feel privileged to call them friends!
Our last day in St Pete… what should we do? Oh, more birding! Largo is just a short drive up from our campsite, and has a very nice nature preserve.
It was pretty obvious that the birds were accustomed to people: they seemed right at home with us there. I guess they really were at home…
A Great Blue Heron and an Ibis posed for us.
The walkway circled a little lake, and from across the lake we could hear this very noisy Limpkin. He also didn’t fly even when we were just a few feet from him. Speaking of feet, check out his!
Here is a turtle checking me out.
An Anhinga let us get pretty close too!
A leatherback turtle wasn’t so trusting… he slid into the water before we got at all close.
A high point of that day was spotting an Eastern Screech-Owl. He was very quiet and still, and from a distance just looked like a bump on a log!
A little farther down on the same dead tree we watched two hungry Northern Flickers getting fed.
Our last kayak trip led us through more Mangrove tunnels, and let us see more birds. A surprise was a Double-Crested Cormorant who dived into the water just a few feet from our kayak. We couldn’t tell where he was, and then he popped up about a foot from my elbow on the other side of the boat. Off he flew, only to repeat the exact same maneuver 8 times! We were talking to a stand-up paddle boarder, who said that happened to her so often she looked it up: Cormorants like to fish in the shadow of quiet boats because they can see the fish better there! And I had thought he just liked us.
Osprey are always majestic.
Back at our home site, we heard many noisy Mockingbirds.
A last look at the water across from our site.
Ok, so this is the last look…
Ok, one more last look! Goodbye to St Pete!