Sunday, December 23, 2012

12/23 Siesta Key Beach near Sarasota

After doing the last of my Christmas shopping in Sarasota, I decided to head west and try to find a beach.  I knew there had to be one, just not where. 

What I found is Siesta Key Beach, along the Gulf, just west of Sarasota.  I was even able to park in the nearby public parking lot.  The beach is very soft white sand that reminds me a lot of the sand at White Sands, New Mexico, although they are entirely different.  White Sands is pure gypsum, like the wallboard in most houses.  This beach is supposed to be 99% quartz.  It is very similar to the sand at Mykka, so I wonder if they are related.  Need to do some more research.

In any case, this is a very wide beach with sand hard-packed enough that you could ride a bike on much of it when the tide is out, as it was this day.  The water is crystal clear and there was a lot of very shallow area for wading. 

I found a small flock of mixed birds that were trying to rest on the sand in spite of being harrassed occasionally.  I took photos and then went back home and identified them, as followed:

This one is a black skimmer:

And this is an Elegant Tern.  This is the same bird in both photos: just fluffed up in the second.

And here is one I can't identify.  Any suggestions? It has a black beak and black feet.  Might be a common tern. 

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