The beach in Venice

We started the afternoon with 2 scoops at Ciao Gelato, and then headed for the beach in Venice, FLORIDA.  Ah, we have been to the Lido beach in Venice, ITALY, and it was delightful.  Maybe it was just the day we were visiting each, but the pleasant beach in Venice, Florida certainly had the most cooperative birds and a larger quantity of seashells.

It was low tide, the best time to search for shells.

The royal terns seemed to be oblivious to people walking by.

This gull stood out on the beach with so many smaller birds nearby.  We weren’t sure what gull species it was, but did know from its appearance that it was a juvenile.

When we got home we compared the photo we took to images in our guidebook of juvenile gulls found in Florida.   It most closely matched a 3rdyear herring gull except for the eye color (our bird had a dark eye and a mature herring gull’s eyes are yellow).  Also, there is a black tip at end of the herring gull’s beak but the other color is yellow, and ours was pink.  It took a bit of reading to find that the coloration in our photo is typical if the juvenile is a herring gull.  So many gull identifications are challenging!

Distinguishing between a snowy egret and juvenile little blue heron can be a tricky as well.  We realized we were trying to tell the difference totally by their appearance, but we learned that behavior is a better way to identify them.  Juvenile little blue herons will be in shallow, grassy water and the head and beak will often be pointed down, waiting and watching for its prey.

The purposeful striding in the open ocean water with head erect is snowy egret behavior.

We never seem to be able to identify the semipalmated sandpiper without help.  It just looks too much like a number of other birds.

We also saw the semipalmated plover on the Venice, Florida beach.  So we started to wonder – just what does the word “semipalmated” mean? The definition says “having the toes joined only part way down with a web”

Finally, and with great relief, we saw a bird we knew: the willet, a water bird found in the Americas.  There is a slight difference in a willet’s coloration in different parts of the US — on the West Coast it’s lighter versus a darker color on the East Coast.

We didn’t leave the beach till our bag was almost full of shells, and we’d photographed almost all the bird species who came close by.

We made sure to capture a photo of the wildflower that graced the dunes near the parking lot. By that time we were too tired to identify it.

In our estimation, you can’t go wrong with a visit to either beach in Venice — Florida (US) or the Lido (Italy). Both beaches are well worth a visit.

 

February 2019

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in US - Florida and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The beach in Venice

  1. Lovely pics and I loved learning some of the tricks you use when identifying certain bird species as it can seem so confusing. Days at the beach are like little mini vacations. Looks like you’ll have a few souvenirs to remember your perfect day! Anita

  2. plaidcamper says:

    Wonderful photographs, particularly the purposeful snowy egret! Good effort on trying to identify the gulls and other shorebirds – I find it difficult to be certain most times!

  3. I’d be happy to visit either or both of the beaches you mention. 🙂

  4. So, are you collecting seashells for display in your new home? Collecting things isn’t the usual behavior for people on-the-road 😉 I see a new lifestyle emerging – have fun with it!

    • Susan, you are so smart! Yes, we’re heading for a cottage in PA. More details on that later but the Florida shells will definitely be on display along with the ones we collected in New Zealand and Zanzibar.

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