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.

Donna from Tulsa - Come on down!

Congratulations to Donna of Tulsa!
Winner of the Shellabration 2012
 t-shirt.  Woo Hoo!!

Thank you kindly to all the nice people who left comments. 

 Donna, Email me  ~ and we'll firm up the particulars.