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May 19th, 2008

More skimmers

Today was our last day on the Gulf Coast, and despite the rainy start we ended up on yet more barrier islands. This time we drove over the Sunshine Skyway bridge to near St Petersburg. It's a spectacular drive, all causeways and low bridges until you climb up over the main span of the bridge.

I wasn't expecting to see more skimmers, but a beach near an old fort turned out to be one of their daytime resting places, and I was able to get quite close (with a nice long lens). On the ground they look like Spike Milligan's Milliganimal birds, all legs akimbo and looking rather unbalanced - quite the contrast to the grace of their flight.

Flocking Skimmers

Someone disturbed them, and the whole flock floated into the air for a moment, before descending to form in ranks, all facing out to sea.

Flocking Skimmers

Beautiful birds. I'm glad I've seen them.