Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stump Pass Beach's Bluster of Black Skimmers

A sandbar, or shoal, is essentially a sand dune that is partially or completely submerged under water. Because of the current of the water, sediment, sand and soil builds up into the mounds that form sandbars.  They are a wonderful place to land a kayak & go exploring.

A few years back a friend offered to lend me her kayak that she was unable to use.  It was just sitting in her yard gathering moss & being covered by pine needles.  Of course I had seen many people kayaking on the bay as I drove out to the beach.  It looked easy enough & the gear required was minimal (& all included with the loan) I watched a few YouTube videos on paddling techniques & what to do if I flip upside down.  The kayak is a sit-on-top so the flipping wasn't going to be an issue.  I would be ejected into the deep dark ocean before I was trapped underneath.  I skipped the video tutorials on dealing with sharks.  I didn't need those images bouncing around in my head. 

 I now have lots of paddling experience under my belt.  I've seen a few sharks and also dolphins playing, manatees eating sea grass, squillions of fish schooling beneath the mangrove roots, Ospreys nesting, & huge fighting conchs & lightning whelks making their way through the grassy bottoms. Paddling for distance is not my thing.  I am a drifter.  Staying close to the mangroves on the bay I meander over this way, then drift back over that way taking in the sights and sounds of bay full of life. 

The snow birds are here - the feathered kind.  The bird hotel on Stump Pass is a busy place this Florida winter. Click on the picture to make it full size.

Looking to the south across the sand bar is Knight's Island.  

Mangroves not only help prevent beach erosion, they provide a safe place for fish hatchlings to grow up and be big fish.

The Osprey's start nesting in January in SWFL.

Black Skimmers are the penguin of the shore bird family.  They look like they have little tux's on.

If you haven't had your fill of birds & the beach - head over to my shell sistah Pam @ iLove Shelling for her post today Sanibel's Blizzard of Birds.


  1. Love your photos. I am so jealous of the beautiful shells you have in your area! Have a great day.

  2. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your excursion, it was wonderful!

    On our way over to Caladesi last weekend, we saw all 3 kinds of mangroves. The red, white, and could actually see the difference in them with them being so close to each other. It was really cool!

    I'm really getting into the far away excluded spots, and just may have to take up kayaking! of course, maybe a 2 man so hubby can do most of the work! lol

  3. Have kayak, wish I had warm water to drift in! :)

  4. Such marvellous scenery. You've shared beautiful captures with us today. I'd love to be up close and personal with the sea life you describe though the sharks would probably scare me too much :-)

  5. I love this post - what an awesome day you've had. Thank you for sharing it. The pictures are great Those shells are beautiful and the skimmers made me smile. I thought for a sec they were penguins :)

  6. It's like the birds are meeting to see if anybody knows where the good shelling is. "Hey, Fred, did you see any pen shells further south yet?"

  7. Bird blizzards...yes, I'ved seen them!! Loved the idea of the bird hotel :)

  8. I just love your and Pam's posts! So wish that I could spend a week hanging out with you on your beaches...



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