Here are some photographs I took of ducks including the ever-so-cute, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (flock in flight) at Paradise Park in The Villages, Florida, on Monday evening at dusk. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Mallard and Mottled Hybrid Ducks
This Great Blue Heron was spotted earlier tonight at Paradise Park in The Villages, FL. I first saw the bird at Swartz Park near the observation deck and then saw it fly into the area near the goose and duck nesting island (which is no longer an island since the water level has lowered significantly). The heron was trying hard for an evening meal. I sometimes see herons at this neighborhood park lake. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Sholom Park in Ocala is such a very beautiful place! It is very serene. That is the purpose of this gorgeous park which is designed for strolling and reflection. It is not a sports or picnic type of place. It is open to the public and is mainly used by the folks from the adjacent On Top of The World development along with those from the Del Webb development. It is open during the day and is free of charge.
While my hubby and I were at the park on Monday, I spotted a male Northern Cardinal bird and a Red-shouldered Hawk. No sign of any owls or Great Blue Herons at all. No sign of the former Great Blue Heron rookery. I think over the past couple of years, stormy weather has taken its toll on the great trees where these wading birds and owls had previously nested. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the image. Enjoy!
I am dedicating this blog post in memory of my late friend Donna who passed away on Easter in California. She will greatly be missed.
I spotted these Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, commonly called “Whistlers” on Sunday night at twilight at Lake Mira-mar in The Villages at Spanish Springs. The charming ducks whistle instead of quacking. This whistle is pretty high-pitched and distinctive. They are aloof but generally very sweet ducks. Beautiful with bright pink bills, legs and feet. The birds get the pink bill and feet when they become adults. They eat grains, seeds, and insects. They are a welcomed duck here in our area! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
These Sandhill Cranes were spotted in The Villages, FL on April 3, 2017 and also yesterday. I saw the big birds at both the Live Oak Park area near the pond North of the park on the East side, and also at Paradise Park. Both groups of the cranes were seen in the very early evening hours.
The flock at Paradise Park was quite near Swartz Park. This lake has two smaller parks and the large Paradise Park. The lake is ringed on three sides with homes and on the other side with the big park. The birds were there in search of their evening meal and probably to engage in courtship rituals. I saw a lot of jumping and flapping of wings. I am still getting to know my new-to-me camera which has a lot of adjustments I am not yet familiar with. I apparently had mis-set my speed and so most of the pictures of the Sandhill Cranes from Paradise Park were pretty blurry. Sad but true. I like the camera which is a hand-me-down from my husband. Much lighter to carry than the big 500mm zoom and older camera. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Here are the last of the photographs I took last week at the Sharon Wiechens Nature Preserve in The Villages, FL. I saw a Great Blue Heron; the bill and neck of an Anhinga bird peeking out of the murky canal water in front of the lake; a Coot; and a male Boat-tailed Grackle. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Boat-tailed Grackle (male)
I spotted this Osprey and tracked it while it swooped and dove into Cherry Lake (Lake Sumter) in The Villages, Florida. I was at the lovely little Live Oak Park wooden observation deck over the shoreline. The bird of prey got its fish – probably a perch. This lake is a medium-sized lake and is near the Lake Sumter Landing business and entertainment area here. Some of the lake is residential, but a lot of it is wild marshland on the shore. It is much more full of water than we had seen in previous weeks, thanks to a couple of heavy recent storms. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!