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Hen Hooded Merganser

Female Hooded Merganser

A few days ago we went to see what was happening at the two small ponds near the Walmart on  Highway 466 in The Villages, FL area.  Happily, there were several egrets, alligators, herons, coots, ducks, turtles and cormorants there!  It was several minutes of happy bird watching and photography.

It is not uncommon in Central Florida to see a lot of exotic birds and reptiles near civilization.  It is something we Floridians are used to.  At times, one may see a Great Egret hunting in the landscaped front area near a parking lot at a business, or even in the shrubbery at a roadway median!  I was pleased to see all of this action mere minutes from my home.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Hooded Mergansers

Hooded Mergansers

Great Egret

Great Egret

Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron


Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Double Crested Cormorant

Double Crested Cormorant

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

Comments on: "Back to the Shopping Center Ponds" (9)

  1. You sure have a wonderful variety of big birds there!

    • Hi Montucky, Thanks! I think it is great to go only a few miles from the house and see a number of ponds and small lakes chock-full of wildlife. I also do on occasion see a few songbirds in my own back and front yard trees. Have a great weekend! Have a nice Super Bowl Sunday.

  2. You are lucky, I would love to have all these birds in my neighborhood. The Hooded Mergansers are beautiful..and the Little Blue is a favorite. Great shots. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

    • Hi Eileen, One of the nice things for me is to return to a particular pond and see the same animal(s). Fun to note their growth or change or lack there-of. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the Super Bowl if you watch.

  3. i just love that there is so much wildlife right there!

    • Hi Tex, Yes, I went by the pond this afternoon and saw the gators, a Great Blue Heron, three turtles, two Double Crested Cormorants, one Anhinga, and a couple of coots. That was just in a minute stop and drive past in the parking lot. So much in many ponds here. Lots of ponds for rainfall retention, golf, and nature preserves plus park lakes and there also is a state park lake within 5 miles. Additionally, I live about 5 miles from the Sunnyhill Farm Preservation park. So, yes, lots and lots of wildlife. I did not even count the sea life along both coasts. Have a great weekend! Enjoy football if you watch (there also is the Kitten Bowl and Puppy Bowl on TV instead if you like those).

  4. Wonderful shots and your post identified my mystery bird!

    For the last few days I’ve been trying to get a decent shot of a new (to me at least) bird who’s been haunting my favorite birding spot. I finally got a decent shot for my life list but couldn’t add it because of on prevailing question. What the heck was it?

    Low and behold there it was, right at the top of your post. A female hooded merganser! Thanks to you another notch on my list. Now to get a decent shot of the male 🙂

    • Hi Celebrate Silence, Glad for you! Happy to have spotted it. There are three or four Hooded Mergansers in the group of three little ponds in that vicinity (across the road from The Villages Charter School and next to the Walmart and NYPD Pizza restaurant). Have a great weekend and welcome to the blog!

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