This Red-bellied Woodpecker was spotted at what I like to call the “Woodpecker colony” located in a pasture near one of the entrances to this development. This is in a working cattle ranch pasture. It is a block from the rainfall retention pond where I have been seeing the ducks and egrets.
Last year I also spotted quite a few Red-headed Woodpeckers in this pasture location. While I was there taking pictures, I did hear what I think was the trill of a Red-headed Woodpecker, but that bird was likely deep in the nearby Oak forest on the ranch property (not accessible). I took these pictures of the chatty woodpecker on March 9, 2014 early in the evening. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. As ever, I hope you will enjoy the pictures!
A Mottled Duck drake and what is probably a hybrid Mottled Duck and Mallard Duck hen was visiting the large rainfall retention basin pond here near our development yesterday at twilight. This is the same shallow water, temporary pond where I had seen the Hooded Mergansers several weeks ago.
The Mottled Ducks are similar to their cousins, the Mallards. They are dabbling ducks and eat insects, small aquatic animals, and aquatic plants. The drake Mottled Duck has a yellow bill. The female Mottled Duck should also have a yellow or yellow-green bill. The likely hybrid here had a dark bill that looks quite similar to that of a Mallard hen. The Mottled Ducks mostly live in marshes here in the South, with many of these ducks living along the Gulf of Mexico. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
This pair of Downy Woodpeckers has made its home in my neighborhood recently. I spotted the pair of small woodpeckers drilling away on the trunk of a medium-sized, dead, Red Cedar tree located on the bank of the rainfall retention basin across the street from my home. The male is the one with that red spot on the crown of his head.
The two Downy Woodpeckers were likely looking for insects to eat. Sometimes the woodpeckers drill holes to store food and that is another possibility for all the pecking. Woodpeckers also peck sometimes, to communicate over a long distance. Since the female was on the same tree, the pecking was most likely food-related. I took these pictures late on a cloudy afternoon on Wed. March 4, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
These pictures were taken near my yard on Feb. 28, 2014 and March 2, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. Enjoy!
A Flock of American Robins was feeding on the ground next to the rainfall retention basin across the street from my house. One of these robins, a bright orange male, was happily bathing in the shallow water of this basin on a sunny warm afternoon on March 1, 2014 when I took these pictures.
This handsome robin was splashing away while its friends were hunting for worms in the lawns of the basin area and at a flower bed next to the basin. American Robins are to me, such cheerful and busy birds! I really enjoy seeing and hearing them. There were about ten of these cuties here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. Enjoy!
A Lesser Yellowlegs
I took these pictures in and near my neighborhood in the last several days. I have enjoyed seeing a Lesser Yellowlegs shorebird, a pair of Hooded Mergansers, NorthernMockingbirds, and a few Eastern Bluebirds. It has been cooler and rainy here in Marion County, Florida this week so opportunities for bird watching have been limited. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Hooded Merganser Ducks
A pair of Eastern Bluebirds
A Northern Mockingbird
These Great Blue Herons are likely the same ones that I have photographed before at this park near my home. Perhaps they were even the gangly juveniles in the multiple nests in the huge old Pine Tree. I took these pictures at our local park in Marion County, Florida on Monday, February 24, 2014 at about 4:45PM.
The nest is near the top of a very large Pine Tree. On Monday, I first spotted the herons standing in a large pine across the pond area from the rookery. Almost immediately, one of the pair of herons flew off across the park to a different area, and the other heron flew up to the nest in the nearby rookery tree.
Storms throughout the year took several of this tree’s large branches down with two of the nests attached. Great Blue Herons often have a duplicate nest in a different tree as a second home, so perhaps other herons are building elsewhere in or near the park. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!