This pair of Great Blue Herons have established a nest rookery in a large Live Oak Tree, dripping with Spanish Mosses, next to the Arnold Palmer Legends golf course on Buena Vista Blvd. in The Villages, Florida.
The big wading birds had made a couple of nests there in the tree but only one of the nests could easily be seen from the multi-modal golf-cart path. Herons like many larger birds, try to create a back-up nest in case of disaster.
Both birds flew across the golf course pond in turn and did a little hunting. I believe the pair may have eggs in this nest since I did not see any chicks. I want to wish everyone a happy Easter! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Loggerhead Shrike, Northern Cardinal and a Northern Mockingbird were all spotted on Sunday, March 25, 2018 in The Villages, FL. I saw the male Northern Cardinal at Live Oak Park, the Loggerhead Shrike was seen on the multimodal trail on Morse Blvd. near Mallory Hill Golf Course, and the Northern Mockingbird was seen at the entrance to the Sharon Rose Wiechens Preserve.
I rarely see the Loggerhead Shrikes here so it was great to again spot one. The cardinals are around my neighborhood as are the mockingbirds. The shrikes are great hunters and love insects and very small rodents, lizards and baby birds. The mockingbirds also eat insects while the cardinals mostly eat seeds fruits and berries. By the way, I saw a lot of birds during my excursion from the Northern part of The Villages down South to the Wiechens nature preserve. I will be including some of those in my next several posts here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Male Northern Cardinal
Female Northern Mockingbird
The Sharon Rose Wiechens Nature Preserve here in The Villages, FL, is a treasure! I love visiting this lake-front preserve where water birds, wading birds, songbirds, and occasionally a Sherman’s Fox Squirrel or two can be found. There are gorgeous old Live Oak Trees, and beautiful aquatic flowering plants to see plus the area has a concrete walk and a board walk to help visitors see the preserve safely for themselves and the animals. I was there on Sunday, March 25, 2018.
I spotted a Red-shouldered Hawk; several Common Moorhens and Coots; a Great Egret; a Sandhill Crane; and Anhinga; several Boat-tailed Grackles and a lovely Northern Mockingbird on this particular visit. I generally do see a few birds when I go. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Double-crested Cormorants and a Seagull
Water birds, wading birds and turtles were all spotted at Freedom Pointe and Paradise Lakes in The Villages, Florida this past weekend. I am happy that the weather was nice enough to permit a bird watching jaunt both on Friday at dusk and on Saturday afternoon.
The Double-crested Cormorant flock will be flying North in coming days. I was surprised that this flock did not follow the White Pelicans that left for their migration on Friday morning. The Great Egret, Snowy Egret, the Cooter Turtles, Canada Goose, Great Blue Heron, and what is probably a Try-colored Heron, are all resident birds here in The Villages, Florida. These birds are mostly meat eaters while the geese love seeds and grasses. I love getting out and about at the many small ponds and lakes and preserves here! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Double-crested Cormorant in the Live Oak Tree Roost
Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorant, Cooter Turtle and a Canada Goose
Great and Snowy Egrets
A flock of White Pelicans was spotted tonight at sunset at Freedom Pointe Lake in The Villages, Florida. This group of birds is about half of the number seen in this area a few weeks ago. Many of these migratory birds have already left for the Spring and Summer.
This spot on the lake is the favorite place for the White Pelicans and their friends, the Double-crested Cormorants to spend the evening to sleep (the cormorants head to the nearby Oak Trees to roost). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
These two Great Blue Herons were spotted on Saturday here in The Villages, FL at two different small ponds. The first Great Blue Heron was seen on the shoreline of a tiny almost dry pond near the Hacienda executive golf course here. There was a small thin stream of water almost like a creek flowing at the bottom of the basin. I think the heron was trying for a tasty lizard or snake or possibly a few tadpoles in a puddle. This bird was pretty close to the multi-modal golf cart path so I noticed the heron right away.
The other heron was fishing on the shore of a tiny park pond at the Silver Lake Community Center park a few blocks away from Lake Paradise. I did see the Great Blue Heron take a very short low flight to another spot where it probably felt the fish were headed. These park ponds mainly have smaller fish, frogs, and small turtles in them. I left before I was able to see the bird catch anything. Always fun to watch these Great Blue Herons! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A flock of White Pelicans
Northern Mockingbirds, Cedar Waxwings, and a fly-by of a flock of American White Pelicans were all spotted early this evening (March 16, 2018) here on my street in The Villages, FL.
The Northern Mockingbirds are residents of the neighborhood, while the Cedar Waxwings and White Pelicans are Winter visitors. The pelicans were headed North in a definite flock pattern. The Cedar Waxwings likely are on the way North but have stopped here to feed on berries. Many of the Holly Bushes and small Holly Trees are full of berries and there are also a lot of other small fruits in season here such as Loquats.
The Waxwings love various kinds of berries and sometimes get tipsy on fermented fruits and berries. I love the Winter visit here by the beautiful waxwings. The former Juniper across the street that was a favorite place to perch for the waxwings got cut down a few months ago so the birds are in a few trees here including the big Live Oak in my backyard. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Please click on each thumbnail image of wildlife at Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida, to see the slightly larger version of the picture. I took these photos a few days ago. Enjoy!
Drake Mallard Ducks
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
A couple of days ago at dusk, I went to the Sharon Rose Wiechens Nature Preserve here in The Villages, Florida. It was the first time I have been to the preserve since Hurricane Irma. Not much has changed except for one large tree being cut down.
While at the preserve I spotted Common Coots, a few Common Moorhens, a few Boat-tailed Grackles, a few Red-winged Blackbirds, and toward the end of our visit, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, a Great Blue Heron , and a flock of ducks that suddenly appeared way up in the sky flying Northward. The preserve is a lovely spot and I am glad to have been there again. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Common Coot
Male Red-winged Blackbird
A male Common Moorhen
A Flock of Ducks
The male surprised me by doing a one hop quick dance to try to impress the female. It was marvelous to see. A few moments later, the pair strolled over to the area where there were a big number of ducks and Glossy Ibis feeding.
The birds were seen and photographed very close to Southbound Morse Blvd. near CR 466, here in The Villages, FL on Friday, March 2, 2018 at around 5:00pm. This pair of cranes enjoys the golf course grass, and proximity to a small freshwater marsh. Please click on each thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of each photo. Enjoy!