Belted Kingfishers are not frequently seen around my neighborhood lake. I was thrilled to see one visit on three recent days but only was able to get pictures from a long distance on the evening of Sept. 21, 2016, at dusk. Belted Kingfishers are wary of people, and this individual is no exception. I was very glad to have my long zoom lens!
The Belted Kingfisher, is a bird that is most often around water and eats fish, frogs, tender turtles, and larger aquatic insects. The Belted Kingfisher spears its prey with its sharp long bill. I have occasionally seen Belted Kingfishers around Salt and Fresh Water marshes, ponds, rivers, and lakes here in the Southeastern USA.
This particular kind of Kingfisher has a navy blue-colored body with a white collar. The Belted Kingfisher is about the same size as a Mourning Dove. It is very attractive with its top-knot of head feathers. I was quite excited to have seen this camera-shy visitor! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Blue Heron
A Great Blue Heron was spotted along with a lovely Tri-colored Heron, at the tiny neighborhood Swartz Park on Lake Paradise, in The Villages, Florida, on Tuesday evening (9/20/16) at about 5:30PM.
The Great Blue Heron was perched on the top of a neighboring residential fishing dock gazebo. The Tri-colored Heron was out successfully fishing for its dinner. The Great Blue Heron never moved in the five minutes I spent birding at that location.
The Tri-colored Heron was always in motion – stalking in the shallow water; perching on the top of a cypress; or flying between lake shore areas. Both of these herons fish for their meals of fish, frogs, tadpoles, small tender turtles, and snails by stabbing with their sharp sword-like bills. Occasionally, these wading birds will also eat smaller shoreline animals or large insects.
I always have a lot of fun bird watching in this neighborhood lake. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Reflection of the Great Blue Heron on the lake
Great Blue Heron
Tri-colored Heron with Fish
Adult Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
These Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were photographed early last night at almost dusk, on Lake Paradise at Swartz Park and also at Boone Park, here in The Villages, Florida.
The ducklings were all in a line behind Mom and Dad. Those babies are adorable with their dark blue-grey bills and feet. Mom and Dad have the distinctive coral orange-pink bills and feet. This family is among a small flock on the lake.
I think perhaps a resident offers duck chow but I do not know that for a fact. I believe this flock was also here last year. The “Whistlers” come and go from around The Villages, FL. These ducks love eating aquatic insects, tiny fish, aquatic vegetation, tadpoles, worms, and of course, grain. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Adult Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Juvenile and Adult Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
The Whistler Family
Likely a hybrid Florida Mottled and Mallard Duck
These ducks are Florida Mottled Ducks and hybrid Mallard/Fl Mottled Ducks. I took these pictures on Sept. 7, 2016 at a small private park lake, Lake Paradise, located in The Villages, FL. I took these pictures at Swartz Park and also at Paradise Park. Many times in the late afternoon or early evening, I see ducks at the tiny Swartz Park, on the gazebo/parking lot side. By the way, there sometimes are Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (Whistlers) at that location.
Florida Mottled Ducks and Mallards both are dabbing ducks. They tip their heads down into the water while they search the shallows of lakes, streams, and ponds for various types of aquatic insects and small aquatic animals. These ducks also enjoy eating grain.
The male or drake Mottled Duck has a bright yellow bill. Both genders of the Florida Mottled Duck resemble a hen Black Duck or a hen Mallard a bit. The Florida Mottled Ducks and Mallard Ducks often will interbreed so one can see a hybrid which resembles the Mallard, but is not quite fully Mallard in looks. I always enjoy watching ducks. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version. Enjoy!
Tri-colored Herons were spotted on September 8, 2016 in The Villages, FL. I was out and about and spotted the beautiful steel-blue-grey with cream and highlights of maroon red-colored wading birds at the beautiful little Lake Mira-mar, near the Spanish Springs Square.
The Tri-color Herons are medium-sized wading birds that fish by spearing their prey which is usually fish or frogs, with their sharp bill. The Tri-color Herons wade in shallow waters of lakes, marshes, ponds, and rivers. These herons roost (rest and sleep) and nest in the branches of trees, with Cypress often being a chosen tree species here in Florida.
I really enjoy birding in The Villages. So much to see, as far as wildlife and nature, within the development! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
I saw these Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at Lake Mira Mar in The Villages, FL, on Sept. 7, 2016 and also at Paradise Lake in The Villages on the same day. I enjoy spotting these pretty rust, black, white and pink ducks! They whistle when communicating in similar ways other ducks quack. We are fortunate to have several small flocks of whistlers here at the moment! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of the picture. By the way, my computer has been repaired and I am back to my regular schedule of posts.
I will be taking a break from posting due to technical repairs. My computer is in the shop. I am posting today using my iPad mini, which makes it hard to craft my regular type of post. I will hope to be back next week. Thanks for your understanding. Wildlifewatcher