Birds and vodka…

Yellow crested night heron, Tampa FL

Yellow crested night heron, Tampa FL

As I mentioned in a previous post, The Chicken Murder…, Teddy and I went on a hastily arranged trip to Tampa before he started his new job. Once again, air miles paid for the flights and I booked the hotel via Hotwire. My, ‘don’t know which hotel until you book’ worked so well in Charleston, that I thought I would try again. Wow! This one was even better. We were in the Grand Hyatt, on Old Tampa Bay, with a private beach, mangrove, nature walk with an amazing view across to the bridges. As I arrived to check in at the desk, the British receptionist asked me if I would like to upgrade to a sea view for $15 per night. That seemed like an excellent deal and we just gasped when we walked into our corner room on the 8th floor with floor to ceiling windows looking over the bay.

Grand Hyatt Tampa

Grand Hyatt Tampa

The mangroves were calling us, so as soon as we had showered off we went. Just before we reached the mangroves, an older couple from the North called us to tell us that there were FIVE nests of yellow crowned night herons in the tree above us! They noticed the cameras and thought we might be bird-watchers. It was so exciting to see a new bird (to us) and so many in a tree. They were very high up so my first shot has been cropped and not quite as sharp as I would have liked. Little did I know that when we walked back to the hotel, we would see others just chilling beside the tourists at the pool, at their own little pond. Completely fearless…
yellow crested2
After that, we went to investigate the roof-top bar and restaurant. What a treat, sipping on vodka looking at ospreys and roseate spoonbills diving for fish, with the sun beginning to set. After another two vodkas, we asked for the bill and then realized we were at the Grand Hyatt – 40 bucks for 4 drinks!!! At least the free snacks meant we ate less at the Plebeian bar downstairs… Just before bed I took this lovely shot just before sunset.
dusk birds
It was blissfully quiet in our oasis with the buildings at the other end of the peninsulaΒ in the distance. We left the curtains open all night and watched night fisherman with tiny lights.

21 thoughts on “Birds and vodka…

  1. Night herons are cool, how groovy that you saw so many. And spoonbills always look like they’re balding to me. It’s the tiny little head.

    Next time, here’s what you do: Find a liquor store and get what you need to mix your favorite cocktails in opaque sports water bottles. Take them down to the patio chairs or the beach and enjoy the sunset while you “hydrate” for a fraction of the price.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The view at the rooftop bar made the 40 bucks worth it. We did it again the following night… πŸ™‚ I normally take our own vodka to hotels, especially in rural Texas where you might be in a ‘dry’ county. I like to think that the 40 bucks was paying for the private nature reserve. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice experience and you struck lucky with the hotel – could have been some crummy downtown joint I guess. PS – good title and rivals my ‘Troglodytes, peacocks and brothels’ from 2010 πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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