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Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, or “Whistlers” are such cuties I just had to share a few snapshots I took at a little parkland pond here in The Villages, FL, last Saturday afternoon.  The pond is the same one that I spotted the Florida Mottled Duck ducklings at.

Whistlers, as you may imagine, do not quack but do whistle.  They have a pretty pink bill with the same shade of pink on their legs and feet.  Both genders pretty much look the same.  These ducks are a bit like the Mallards in that they eat aquatic plants, insects, tiny fish, tiny frogs, and grains.  This bunch is likely local and not migratory ducks here.  It is always fun to see the Whistling Ducks!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!

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Ducklings!

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Florida Mottled Ducklings have been spotted here in The Villages, Florida at a small parkland pond on Morse Ave. near Live Oaks Park (on the golf cart path side).  By the way, I saw an amazing number of different types of water birds such as a Great Blue Heron, a white phase Little Blue Heron, a small flock of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, a pair of Sandhill Cranes and a Glossy Ibis in addition to the mama Florida Mottled Duck and her youngsters at this pond!

My husband and I spent a really fabulous few moments at the pond taking pictures and then we were on our way home (did not want to disturb the birds who were feeding).  I so enjoy bird watching here in my community!  I took these pictures on Saturday, April 30, 2016 late in the afternoon.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

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Some of the other water birds I saw at the pond!

Some of the other water birds I saw at the pond!

 

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A Great Blue Heron, a few Double Crested Cormorants, a s-l-o-w (is there any other kind?) turtle, a pair of Mallard Ducks, and a male Boat-tailed Grackle were all spotted at what I refer to as “The Walmart Pond”, at Buffalo Ridge near the Villages, Florida on CR 466, last night at about five thirty.  I go to the pond every week or so to check out the wildlife.  My husband and I happened to be in that area last night around dinnertime and decided to visit the pond for a few minutes.

By the way, I did not see any ‘gators!  The Alligators may well be gone but possibly they were just submerged and out of sight.  I enjoy going to this pond to see what wildlife is there.  I am usually rewarded by a sighting of large birds!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture.  Enjoy!

A Freshwater Turtle Slowly on the Move

A Freshwater Turtle Slowly on the Move

Double Crested Cormorants & a Great Blue Heron

Double Crested Cormorants & a Great Blue Heron, and another small freshwater Turtle

A Male Boattail Grackle

A Male Boattail Grackle

Juvenile White Ibises

Juvenile White Ibises

Juvenile White Ibis

Juvenile White Ibis

White Ibis

White Ibis

 

White Ibises, Mallard Ducks, Pekin Ducks, Muscovy Ducks,  and a very hot Great Blue Heron were all trying to cool off yesterday afternoon here in The Villages, FL.  It was about 88 degrees F. (and very humid) when I was visiting the lovely Veteran’s Park and little Mira-Mar Lake.

The brown and white-colored White Ibises are juveniles.  The Ibises rushed up when our golf cart arrived, hoping against hope that we would be bringing treats.  That is why I got the close-ups.  No, no treats from me.  It is against the law and bad for the exotic birds as well, to feed the Ibises, Cranes, Herons, Egrets and other larger wild birds.  By the way, I also saw a male Northern Cardinal beating the heat by flitting about the bushes trying hunt in the shade.

Ibises and Mallard Ducks

Ibises and Mallard Ducks

White Ibises

White Ibises

Juvenile White Ibis

Juvenile White Ibis

 

A Great Blue Heron Cooling Off

A Great Blue Heron Cooling Off

Sitting Ducks!

Sitting Ducks!

A Male Northern Cardinal

A Male Northern Cardinal

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This gorgeous Snowy Egret was spotted at what I refer to as “The Walmart Pond”, a small pond on the side of the Buffalo Ridge Walmart parking lot off of CR 466 near The Villages, FL.  I have often gone to this particular pond to watch the egrets, herons, gators and other wildlife there.  I took these pictures back on April 9, 2016.  It is one of my favorite hot-spots for spotting wading birds.

The Snowy Egret is in its breeding plumage.  The Snowy Egret has a black bill, blackish green legs and mustard-yellow feet.  It is a smaller egret but is slightly larger than the Cattle Egret.  The Snowy Egret eats fish, frogs, tadpoles, aquatic snails, larger aquatic and near shoreline insects and worms.  I am usually rewarded by seeing at least a few water birds, ducks, or the big waders.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

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A Great Blue Heron

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This gorgeous Great Blue Heron was one of hundreds of water birds and waders that I spotted at a small pond in The Villages, Florida on April 9, 2016.  This pond was in the Evans Prairie area.  The Great Blue Heron was pausing during its hunt for a fine dinner of fish, frogs, small turtles, or other small aquatic animals in the pond.

This Great Blue Heron was following a huge flock of White Pelicans as well as many Great Egrets and a Little Blue Heron or two.  Lots of birds in a small body of water makes for interesting bird watching, doesn’t it?  I think so.  I am always glad to see “Old Hank’s” cousins.  I do miss Hank Heron, from my days a few years ago, in TN at the little farm.   Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

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Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

A Pied-billed Grebe and several Common Moorhens were spotted a few days ago at the lovely Sharon Weichens Preserve in The Villages on Lake Deaton.  The Pied-billed Grebe is a small duck-like water bird that dives for fish, frogs, tadpoles, small turtles and larger aquatic insects.  The little grebe is shy and pretty wary of people, preferring to dive in the middle of freshwater bodies of water such as ponds and lakes.  This grebe has a tan-colored medium-sized bill that has a black wavy stripe along the middle of it.

I enjoy seeing the Common Moorhens here in The Villages.  They are similar to Common Coots but instead of having a white fleshy area over their bill, they have a bright red area.  The hens are a grayish-brown and the drakes are charcoal grey to black sometimes with a slight purple hue.  They are quite similar to Purple Gallinules which are their cousins.  These birds eat aquatic plants, and grasses.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!

The Pied-billed Grebe

The Pied-billed Grebe

An Observation Deck at the Preserve

An Observation Deck at the Preserve

Male Common Moorhen

Male Common Moorhen

 

Hen Common Moorhen

Hen Common Moorhen

Common Moorhen in Flight

Common Moorhen in Flight

Lake Deaton Scenery Viewed from the Preserve

Lake Deaton Scenery Viewed from the Preserve

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