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Two Spring Songbirds

Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

A Northern Mockingbird and a Mourning Dove were pretty much the birds I had been able to photograph in the last couple of days (I did see some Crows, too).  The weather here has been very windy and cool.  I also believe that many of the birds are nesting and possibly, molting (seasonally changing feathers).

I took these pictures yesterday in the afternoon here in our development.  The Mourning Dove was standing on a decorative landscaping rock and periodically cooing, which is why in one picture, you see the bird’s throat puffed outward.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo.  Enjoy!  Have a very happy Easter!

Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

Wordless Wednesday: Crows

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These Common Crows were photographed in the last week here at the local park and along the street where I live.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

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Pond Turtles at the Park

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Turtles are really interesting creatures.  I spotted these smaller turtles basking on the bank of the small Koi pond at our local park.  As a few people came close to the group, the turtles decided to head to the water.  This was the first time I had seen a group of turtles at this pond.

I am not sure which kind of turtle these are.  They may be Box Turtles or maybe Sliding Turtles.  I think these reptiles are doing a great job of steering clear of the family of Great Blue Herons that share this scenic horticultural park.  I took these pictures on April 10, 2014.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

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The Great Blue Herons in our nearby park have had chicks hatch!  I was really thrilled to see the little chicks raise their fuzzy heads up out of the stick nest, so I could take some pictures.  There were three chicks in one of the nests and two in the other.  Both nests are very close to the Koi fish pond and gazebo.

I have taken pictures of the adult Great Blue Herons here before and have shared the photographs on this blog.  The parent birds are likely the same herons who were chicks last year.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

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Alligators made themselves quite present in the two foot deep waters of the marsh at the Paynes Prairie State Preserve near Gainesville, Florida on Saturday, April 5, 2014.  I was there late in the afternoon when I spotted five adult and one older juvenile American Alligators.  I would not be surprised if there were many more Alligators around as I heard many bellow-like grunts from all over the acres.

This park is a very large place with most of the area I was near, swampy marshland.  It had rained several days earlier and the area looked flooded.  I think it is breeding season for the Alligators.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the thumbnail image.  Enjoy!

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Finally, A Bald Eagle!

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Bald Eagle sightings really excite me.  I suppose that this is something not too unusual for people who enjoy the out of doors and bird watching.  I have now lived here in Central Florida for a year and this weekend marks the first time I have seen a Bald Eagle here.  My husband and I went up the road to the Paynes Prairie State Preserve overlook on the state highway, near Micanopy and Gainesville, Florida (I have posted about this place several times) on Saturday, April 5, 2014.

I was busily looking at one of the six Alligators (no wading birds – gee, I wonder why???) when this Bald Eagle flew right over my head and then flew across the highway and perched up in a large electric line tower.  That eagle just sat there for about at least 20 minutes watching us and scanning the area for a tasty rodent, fish, smaller bird or other animal to make a meal out of.  The eagle was still there when we left.   Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

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This hen is a Mottled Duck and the drake is a hybrid cross between a Mallard Duck and a Mottled Duck.  The intermixing between the Mottled and Mallard Ducks is pretty commonly seen.  These are dabbling ducks.  They tip their heads down into the shallow water to find pond weeds, and grains.  These ducks also occasionally eat insects.

I photographed this same pair of ducks at both the large rainfall retention pond near the health club here, and the smaller golf course pond near one of our main streets in this development..  I scout both of these ponds on a regular basis to spot wildfowl and wading birds.  It rained a lot on Friday night and Saturday so the ponds were full.  I took these pictures on March 26, 2014, and again on March 29, 2014.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

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