A day just shy of magical!

Every day we spend at the beach is good, but some are more special than others.

Yesterday, Maggie and I had a day just shy of magical, that began with a sighting of royal terns, her favorite shorebird.  Although common here year round, their numbers are greatly increased during December and January as breeding colonies migrate southward:

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Royal terns are rarely seen alone! Even newly hatched young ones band together in juvenile flocks. Luckily, mother birds recognize their offsprings’ individual “call” at feeding time. 🙂

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Taking a cue from the terns, we decided to stroll the beach.  It wasn’t long before we ran across this warning:

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We obeyed……but tiptoed in for a closer look!

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Eventually, we caught up to the terns who were practicing aerial dives. With bills pointing downward, they plunged into the surf and emerged with very surprised fish!

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One of my fave beach pursuits is conch shell hunting…I almost never find any, but on near magical days they appear….like magic! 🙂

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We both gasped at this perfect tiger-striped milk conch (strombos costatas)!! It’s illegal to remove shells containing gastropods, but this one was empty! Mine!!  Happy with our find, we continued toward the pier:

Seaquay Condo Pier, 1/3/13

This 355′ structure was built in 2008 behind the Seaquay Condo, and is the only true oceanfront pier in Vero Beach.   (The original pier was destroyed by hurricanes in 2004.)

Seaquay Condo Pier, Vero Beach, 1/3/13

I loved the light as we passed underneath….photo op!

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We’d already walked a mile (and felt a bit sunburnt) so decided to head back.  Thirty minutes later, I took the last picture of the day: should you ever need to find us, this is our typical spot! 🙂

Jaycee Beach, 1/3/13 Vero Beach

Until next time…….

🙂 🙂

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36 thoughts on “A day just shy of magical!

  1. your photos came out SO good! Especially the conch and the pier ones! A magical day indeed.

  2. These photos remind me of another lifetime; I grew up on the south east FL coast. I am so surprised you found the conch. When I was growing up it was impossible to find large shells on the beach, especially conch.

  3. Sigh. Love the beach. You are a lucky lady! You took some amazing photos, and I bet all of it was ten times better in person. ; ) That pier shot is money.

  4. That pier shot could win some contests! I love watching all the birds on the beaches, although I get a bit nervous when they fly overhead. You never know when they might “let loose” with something! 😉

    • haha! oh I DO know about birds dropping off presents enroute to the party! 🙂
      Happened to me twice, but wierdly, NOT at a beach…once as I got out of my car under a tree….and another time on the ferry from Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard (well I guess that was “loosely” a beach event! 😉 )

  5. A wonderful day with the flocks of fishing terns and the empty tiger striped conch but I’m afraid they’ve been photographically outdone by the shot under the pier! A photo op indeed – a memorable shot, it’s simply terrific. 🙂

  6. Beautiful photos! I love how the terns lined up as if they were posing for you. The ocean is such a magical place and I agree with the “don’t mess it up” sign! 🙂

    • Those birds were quite amazing!
      Maggie had just come back from a few days in the Everglades where a boat tour operator explained quite a bit about Royal Terns. When they stand, they always face directly into the wind–so in some respects they WERE posing!

  7. Love the sign written on sand! Glad you had a good time. I’ve been wanting to go to the beach for months now!

  8. That is a magical day. The beach with its clear blue waters, the playful royal terns, the milk conch, everything is beautiful. A dream day for me. You are blessed to be close to the waters. It’s like 365days of vacation. I’d been convincing my wife to relocate one day to either Florida or Hawaii or anywhere with a beach. Still crossing my finger. Happy New year.

    • I’m not joking when I say this: if you DO end up in FL I really hope you’ll get in touch!
      I think you’d like it here for many of the reasons my daughter and I do, the biggest being the VERY reasonable cost of living. Coupled with the ability to “play outside” year round makes it an extremely pleasant place to be!

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  12. What a truly magical day! I’d comment on which image I liked the best, but it seemed that every one I scrolled by was even better compared to the last … and then I scrolled to the top again and that one seemed better still. I’m caught in a loop, which is perfectly ok! 🙂 (But the light under the pier, and the terns in flight and standing together on the beach, are certainly a highlight.)

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