I photographed these two Wood Storks in The Villages, Florida, this last Sunday. One of the two storks was walking off toward a small pond at a country club just off Buena Vista Blvd. near El Camino, while the other was spotted about a mile away on the shoreline of the El Santiago golf course pond on Enrique Drive.
Wood Storks have been around this community in recent weeks. I think we do see them quite a bit in July, and also in the Spring months here.
The big white and black birds often fly many miles from their nest rookeries to find food. They prefer small fish, crayfish, snails, aquatic worms, smaller turtles, and baby alligators.
I have found the demeanor of Wood Storks to be quite placid and easy-going but it is likely they are just resting a bit when I happen by. I always give the birds quite a lot of space so as to not stress them while I observe or photograph them.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
At El Santiago Golf Course Pond, The Villages, FL
At Mallory Hill Golf Course Pond, The Villages, FL
Great Blue Herons, that is! Ha! I have spotted a few Great Blue Herons around the community’s ponds in the last few days and have enjoyed photographing these rather majestic wading birds.
The Great Blue Herons eat fish, frogs, turtles, baby alligators, snails, worms, mice, small snakes, lizards, and larger insects. We have had a lot of rain this past week, so the hunting for worms in lawns around the lakes and ponds is particularly easy for the wading birds at the moment. By the way, it is pretty unusual to see a Great Blue Heron on a lawn other than immediately at water’s edge. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Near Lake Sumter Landing, The Villages, FL
At Schwartz Park on Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL
A trio of Florida Mottled Ducks, a Wood Stork with a Great Egret, and a hunting Snowy Egret were all spotted at the lovely Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida. I spotted these at Boone Park and at Schwartz Park, which is right around the corner basically, from Boone Park. Both small pocket parks have a nice viewing area and the water at Boone has filled in nicely after the drought.
This is a neighborhood residential lake with three parks on it. The larger park of the trio is Paradise Park. I often go to this lake to watch for larger birds. I also occasionally spot Sandhill Cranes such as the trio I photographed in flight above the adjacent neighborhood. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Wood Stork and Great Egret
Florida Mottled Ducks
Juvenile White Ibis
I saw this small flock of White Ibises at the lovely little Lake Mira-mar near the Spanish Springs Square in The Villages, Florida a few nights ago at dusk. Note the juvenile is the one with the brown and white feathers.
This beautiful Snowy Egret was seen at Boone Park on Lake Paradise, and the Wood Stork also on Lake Paradise seen in the distance, from the Schwartz Park shoreline. I also have been spotting a couple of Wood Storks off and on at Boone Park across the road into the far reaches of the lake.
I just love getting out and about and seeing all these big birds! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
This Little Blue Heron was spotted here in The Villages, Florida at the Santiago golf course pond on Enrique Drive on Saturday evening at about 5:00pm. I was driving around that area trying to look for the Bald Eagles I sometimes spot there, and came upon the heron while it was fishing for its dinner.
This large pond is right up against the street so when the big wading birds or the ducks are present, it is easy to see them. This golf course is closed and under maintenance now so the birds are more at ease being there. The Santiago golf course pond is in a residential area and at the recreation center with parking there for cars and carts.
The Little Blue Herons are around the community but not at every lake or pond. I would say, I see a Little Blue Heron about every few weeks. The White Ibis or Great Blue Herons are much more commonly seen here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
These lovely and friendly wild (sort of, anyway) burros or donkeys and the tiny Prairie Dogs were spotted last month at the beautiful Custer State Park in South Dakota near Mount Rushmore. These are the last of my series of photographs from my visit to the park this Summer.
I spotted the animals along the side of the road and in a great big pasture on the Wildlife Loop road. The burro’s come to the roadway to beg (successfully) for carrots or apples from the park’s visitors. They seem very tame but one must remember they are still wild animals! So neat to also see many Prairie Dogs chirping their warning when we walked a short way into the fields. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of each picture. Enjoy!
Osprey on Enrique Dr. near Golf Course
I took all of these pictures here in The Villages, FL during the past two weeks. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. By the way, the lakes here in The Villages are now full or nearly so! Hooray! Enjoy!
Sandhill Crane on CR 466 near Morse Blvd.
Anhinga at Freedom Pointe Lake
Black Bellied Whistling Ducks at Schwartz Park on Lake Paradise
White Ibis at Lake Mira-mar
Wood Stork at Lake Mira-mar