This Green Heron was spotted on Sunday afternoon in the flooded marshland off of FL 441 at the overlook at Paynes Prairie State Park. We have had a lot of rain in the last week and it also rained earlier on Sunday. I do not recall ever seeing the marshland looking like a lake before! I also spotted a Great Egret and a male Red-winged Blackbird during our very brief visit to the overlook area. I don’t know the name of the aquatic flower I photographed but it sure was a beautiful blossom! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Male Red-winged Blackbird
Temporary Lake on the Prairie
This charming Wood Stork was hanging out with the Canada Geese and Egyptian Geese on the shoreline of Lake Paradise in The Villages a few days ago in the early evening. I have been occasionally seeing Wood Storks here recently but they are not common in the area.
The Wood Storks reportedly will fly up to 80 miles from their roosting nests to find food. These birds nest in tall trees over shallow water in marshes and swamps. The water under the nests prevents raccoons from eating the chicks or eggs when nests are occupied with young birds. I have not seen any Wood Stork nests here in our area. These birds have recently been on the endangered species lists so they are protected by law.
Wood Storks scoop up small fish, frogs, baby turtles, aquatic snails and some vegetation and seeds with their sturdy big bills. They do best on natural food and should not be fed by visitors to the park lakes. Wood Storks are pleasant quiet and in my opinion, charming, wild exotic birds. They are a real treasure! Please see the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Drake (male) Egyptian Goose in breeding plumage
Egyptian Geese were spotted at Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL on Tuesday evening at dusk. Until recently, I had not seen both genders together. There are not a lot of Egyptian Geese here so it was not readily apparent what both genders looked like in breeding plumage. I spotted two drakes and a single hen among lot of Canada Geese and a lone Wood Stork there at the lake.
All of the geese and the stork, were browsing on the grassy shoreline next to the golf cart multi-modal path (and meandering on that very path!). Note that in breeding colors, the males have the strong black barring and are a lot brighter in color than the females. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Pair of Egyptian Geese with a Canada Goose
These Canada Geese and goslings were photographed this past weekend at Paradise Lake in The Villages, FL. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
This Cotton-tail Rabbit was happily munching on tender grass in a front lawn along my street a couple of days ago late in the afternoon. It is a rare sight!
There are rabbits here but we seldom are aware of their presence and there are few of them. I think it is a good thing as many would be unhappy to have their garden eaten by a bunch of bunnies! The possibility of rabbits visiting my yard is a reason why I have yet to plant any vegetables (along with marauding Grey Squirrels). Oh well, they all are cute! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
This lovely Great Blue Heron was perched on the water-level gauge on the far arm at Boone Park, of the little Lake Paradise here in The Villages, FL. I took the pictures on Wednesday evening at around 6:30pm on a soggy night. I took the picture from our golf cart as it was lightly raining at the time. I think these big birds are often not too disturbed by people as the lake is a residential and recreational one. There are a lot of small homes and three parks on its shoreline. By the way, this morning is a bright Sunny one so our rain is diminishing!
This bird was out with a single duck, and Anhinga, and a wonderful Wood Stork. I think these birds were probably trying to get their evening meal in all the rain. It is fun to see the Great Blue Herons here as those big wading birds have a lot of personality. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
I just took this photo of the Wood Stork about a half-hour ago at dusk on a very wet evening. We have had a lot of rain and the lake is full. The lake is being lowered to accommodate the extra rain we have been having. I took the pictures at Lake Paradise in The Villages. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!