Sunday, September 11, 2011

East beach turnaround at Fort Desoto

I think this was a short billed dowitcher. He was digging pretty deep.

I think this is a first winter common tern. He seemed to be the lone common on the beach.

Tricolored heron darting for food.

Crabs heading down to the water.

Fiddler crabs on the beach.

I got to the east beach turnaround at Fort Desoto pretty early in the morning. Only a few fishermen were there. The tide was really low so I walked along the mangroves pretty far past the normal part of the beach. I didn't see the crabs as I walked along the mangroves. When I was walking back to my car I saw this movement in the sand. At first I thought it was a lot of leaves that had blown onto the beach. As I got closer, I realized it was crabs coming from the mangroves. I took some pictures from pretty far away thinking they would scurry back to the mangroves as I got closer to them but they didn't leave. They let me get pretty close. This was the closest I have gotten to these little fiddler crabs. One thing I didn't notice at first is that some of the crabs have the pincher on the left side and some on the right side. So, I looked it up.  Only male crabs have the enlarged claw. It can be on either side. Females have two small claws. But, males can lose their enlarged claw for a while when they molt and regrow another one. So just by looking at one with no large claw it could be either a male or female. Unless, you look real close and see the two small claws on the female. Good luck getting that close.


  1. Nice heron and interesting info on the crabs!

  2. Great birds and the fiddler crabs photos are cool. Have a wonderful Sunday.

  3. The digging dowitcher reminds me of a phone call I got shortly after we adopted our rescue dog. It was my husband, calling from his cell phone, to say Lindy had her head 'way down in a gopher hole and he was afraid she couldn't breathe, so he needed me to come help him get her out.
    Love your photos, Dina, and I had known about the one large claw before, but not that it could be lost during a molt. Regrown like antlers. Very interesting! Super shots of them.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  4. Nice photos, and the depth of field.

    Those crawling crabs look so cute!