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Whistlers by the Dozens!

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The Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were still paddling, strolling, and flying around at Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, Florida, when I took these pictures on March 20, 2015.  I love these cuties!

“Whistlers”  have such personality, just standing around, they are adorable!  These ducks like their name implies, have a call that is a whistling sound – similar to the Wood Ducks.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

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This Belted Kingfisher was spotted sitting on the top of a water pump house beside a small farm pond where several geese and cormorants also were resting on a float and on the shoreline.  This little pond is in the backyard of a home on a few acres, and is located in the heart of horse farm country in Northwestern Marion County, Florida.

I took these pictures on March 14, 2015, from the side of the road.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

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The flock of White Pelicans (and most of the other large birds) at Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, FL, has thinned out considerably.  There were only about fifteen of the big white and black birds there on March 20, 2015.  I believe this is due to there being a lot less fish, turtles, frogs and other aquatic prey in the ponds.  There have been many competing birds there this season.

The Pelicans are really awesome birds!  They watch for the Common Cormorants and follow the cormorants hunting and try to steal the fish away from the snake-necked competitor.  Here are some photographs of the flock.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

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A Pair of Cardinals

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A duo of Northern Cardinals were flitting around between trees and a decorative iron fence at our local park last week.  I so enjoy hearing their singing and seeing these beauties!  The hen is the rusty-brown bird and the male is that brilliant red colored bird.

These two likely are a mated pair as both were together a lot.  It is now nesting season so the pair likely are now busily building their nest.  I am really glad to live close to a beautiful park with lovely songbirds, owls, and herons (koi too!).  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

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Owlets at the Park

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Two Great Horned Owlets were spotted yesterday afternoon at a fabulous park that is close to the housing development where I live in Marion County, Florida.  These were the first baby owls I have seen in the wild.  The two babies were up in a stick nest high in a Pine Tree next to the little ornamental Koi Pond.

I also noted a hungry Common Cormorant and several basking small turtles.  I did not see any Great Blue Herons and I am thinking that these owls are in an abandoned heron nest (I recall seeing herons in that same tree last Spring).  I took these pictures on March 19, 2015 late on an overcast afternoon.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo.  Enjoy!

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Ranch Pond Ducks

Florida Mottled Ducks

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Blue Winged Teal Ducks, Florida Mottled Ducks, and the other resident critters (Great Egret and turtles) were spotted at the Northwest Marion County horse farm pond where I often go to observe the wildlife.  This ranch pond is right down the street from where I took the pictures of that wonderful family of Sandhill Cranes, and also spotted Wild Turkeys on recent days.

I am glad I was able to see the ducks as this pond may have fewer ducks and other visitors in coming days due to major equestrian events which are happening on this very beautiful horse farm.  I took these pictures on March 16, 2015.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo.  Enjoy!

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Florida Mottled Ducks

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Blue  Winged Teal Ducks

DSC_1947 - Version 2 The Sand Hill Crane duo that I have photographed several times in the past at a rather swampy small pond in Northwestern Marion County, Florida have become parents!  I am thrilled!  I often look for these cranes when I am up on this road looking for wildlife (ducks, egrets, turtles, turkeys and the cranes).

In recent weeks, I had missing seeing one of these large beauties and now I know why – she was nesting!  I took these pictures yesterday (March 16, 2015) from the roadside using my long lens.  These birds were in a pasture on one of the major horse farms in our area.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy and have a very happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I will be back to my regular posting schedule tomorrow. DSC_1941DSC_1955 - Version 2DSC_1951 - Version 2

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