Saturday, 12 March 2011

Sarasota Bay

In November 2006, five months after I'd moved to Sarasota, I took a "commercial" cruise on Sarasota Bay.  It was all very fine, but my sense of the geography of the Bay and of its Islands was limited.

So when the BEST group at my Church  (St. Boniface on Siesta Key, Sarasota) announced a Bay cruise for today I signed up.

"BEST" is an acronym for "Boniface Eco-Stewardship Team".

The "cruise" was out of our local Mote Marine Laboratory ( see http://www.mote.org/ ), so the trip had to do with the ecology of the bay.  The "tour guide" on the boat ( an engined Catamaran) was a young marine biologist named Noah.  (We were glad that he was Noah and not Jonah!).

We  were able to enjoy a brief nature walk on a small uninhabited island (Big Edwards Island);

we caught a glimpse of a Dolphin as she/he briefly surfaced (too fast for a photo');

we saw an Osprey nest (built only three weeks ago) -  "Mum" never left the nest so we guessed that she was incubating some eggs -  and we saw "Dad" returning to the next with a fish in his claws;

we enjoyed a slow ride around two other small islands which are "rookeries" (in American English a rookery is a breeding and nesting place for all and sundry birds).  The rookeries we saw are homes for at least 800 breeding pairs of various species, -i.e. 1,600 birds, plus eggs and chicks. There we caught sight of a gorgeous Roseate Spoonbill.  It flitted in and out of the mangroves so I could not get a picture;

we also saw some White Pelicans.  They are unusual in this neck of the woods where brown pelicans prevail.

And we also saw some of the fancy-dancy homes of the rich and famous which adorn the Bay and its islands.

Here are some photo's

North Drawbridge Up






Fancy House
South Lido Beach Nature Trail



Snowy Egret nesting (left of picture)
Cormorants

Fishing on a sandbar
From Edwards Island


Osprey Nest )1)
Osprey Nest 2
Under the Ringling Bridge

North Siesta Key Drawbridge







Sarasota from the Bay



White Pelicans (1)
White Pelicans (2)



From Edwards Island


Rookery with Great Blue Herons
General view of Rookery

1 comment:

  1. Mr Povey,
    I happened across your blog tonight, just by accident - and clicked through since I saw the reference to Sarasota. Your words and pictures bring back happy memories of visiting Sarasota and Mote Marine and all that beautiful water with my dad - who passed away down there a couple of years back. (He attended Rev. Ev's St Margaret of Scotland down your way- and I also attend a church called St Boniface where I live, near Albany NY). Thanks for sharing your pictures. :)
    Best wishes and thanks again,
    Christina Coughlin

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