Like a Local: Stop by The Donut Experiment, a create your own donut shop. Step 1: choose your donut cake. Step 2: submerge cake in icing. Step 3: sprinkle desired toppings. Step 4: repeat.
Contributor: Josefa Abdelnour
Dates of Travel: July 2017
Accommodations: Tortuga Beach Resort
Journal Entry: I was expecting to fall in love with the picture perfect, white sand beaches of Anna Maria Island (which, of course, I did). I was not expecting to also fall in love with the wide array of sea birds and their active shore life. I was reclining on a chaise lounge completely absorbed in my summer beach novel, when out of the corner of my eye, a black and white bird with an orange beak swooped down to fly parallel to the water’s edge, skimming the shallow water for fish using its bottom beak. It flew the entire length of the beach occasionally rising back up into the air when beach goers interrupted its fishing. I learned later this was a Black Skimmer.
I was most entertained by the Willet scurrying along the shallow water’s edge, using its long pointy beak to eat tiny sea creatures in the sand. It uses its beak like a Sandpiper though the beak of the Willet is much longer.
The Snow Egret did not like it when I got too close. And I wanted nothing to do with its sharp, pointy beak so I backed off.
I enjoyed watching the Brown Pelican dive over and over again, kamikaze style into the water hunting for fish.