Male Pine Warbler
Pine Warblers, Palm Warblers, Carolina Chickadees, Carolina Wrens, Yellow-throated Vireos, and Yellow-rumped Warblers have recently arrived in the area! Here are some photographs I took of the small cuties in the past several weeks. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Sand Hill Cranes
Wood Storks, Sand Hill Cranes, a Great Egret, Hooded Mergansers, a Pied-billed Grebe, a Little Blue Heron, and a small flock of Florida Mottled Ducks all were spotted at the ranch pond where I have been occasionally sighting wildlife. This pond is located in a very rural area in Northwest Marion County, Florida. I have to take the photographs from the roadway, over the ranch’s boundary fence. Good thing I have that long lens!
I am thrilled to have seen the pair of Wood Storks, as they are not often spotted in this area. The Wood Storks are beautiful and odd-looking all at the same time. I took these pictures on December 16, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Mottled Ducks/Hybrid Mottled Duck
Great Egret, Wood Storks, Hooded Mergansers
Little Blue Heron
Here are a female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, a female Downy Woodpecker, and the boisterous Red-bellied Woodpecker. All were spotted in my yard or in a almost dead pine tree across the street. I really am thrilled to be once again seeing songbirds here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
A flock of Hooded Mergansers was among several other pond-dwelling birds when I was taking these pictures on December 12, 2014 near Ocala, FL. I have taken many pictures around this ranch pond in the past and think it is a very nice spot for wildlife watching. This pond is near where I have seen Mottled Ducks and a Wild Turkey in the last couple of months.
These Hooded Mergansers are migratory Winter visitors here in Marion County, Florida. They are diving ducks and mostly eat fish, turtles, frogs, and larger insects. The drakes have the white and black hood and the hens are a pretty cinnamon brown in color. Both genders raise this hood when alert or when signaling danger to each other. I really enjoy spotting Hooded Mergansers! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
A pair of Sand Hill Cranes was happily spotted near the front entrance to the Sunny Hill Restoration Area along the shoreline of the Oklawaha River in Weirsdale, FL. The area is a large tract of conservation land and is home to many birds and mammals.
The Sand Hill Cranes were feeding on the lush lawn in front of a small single story departmental office building. These cranes were almost right up next to the highway and also were very close to the driveway entrance into the park. In spite of being close to homes and an office, these are not park pets, but are wild birds.
I think the Sand Hill Cranes enjoy being around water and fresh green grass. They eat grasses and grains mostly. I took these pictures on Monday, December 9, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
This very small flock of Common Crows was at the rainfall retention basin across the street from my home when there was still about a foot of water in the basin. This rainfall retention basin goes from wet to dry rather quickly, so there was about six of the birds that took advantage of all that water, and bathed. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
This Tri-color Heron was fishing in the shallow marsh at the Lower Suwanee National Wildlife Refuge near Cedar Key, Florida while I visited that park a few weeks ago. I had a great time watching the big wading bird fish, even from a long distance. These birds are really neat to see!
These herons dine on fish, frogs, turtles, shrimp, some shellfish, small young birds, eggs and larger insects. The Lower Suwannee Wildlife Refuge is chock-full of wading birds and a number of birds of prey. It was quite an interesting quick afternoon visit and I am hoping to return. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!