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Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

Wordless Wednesday

Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo.  Enjoy!

This Morning at Lake Paradise

A Lesser Yellowlegs with reflections on the lake

Lake Paradise is one of the little park lakes here in The Villages, Florida.  It is home to a variety of birds big and small.  The level of the lake is way down now.  We are in a drought.  This is a man-made lake and depends on rainfall for its water.

I spotted the Belted Kingfisher again.  I have photographed the bird several different times.  I also saw a pair of Canada Geese browsing up in the park near the shoreline.  There were about a hundred small shorebirds and Seagulls.  The shorebirds likely were some type of plovers and Lesser Yellowlegs.  I also saw a lone Snowy Egret and a lone Great Blue Heron.  The sad fact is that those shorebirds were wading in what should be the middle of the lake in mere inches of water.

Not many ducks at all this morning.  I took the pictures at about 8:00am.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Low water levels!

Canada Geese

Belted Kingfisher

 

 

 

Lesser Yellowlegs

Belted Kingfisher

Shorebirds (probably Plovers)

A Northern Mockingbird

I hear this Northern Mockingbird pretty often but only see the lively bird once in a while.  This time the song I heard was an imitation of the Northern Cardinal.

It makes me laugh when the Mockingbird suddenly changes its singing and out of the open beak, comes the song of a totally different species of bird.  Just like that, two or even three bird songs in a row.  Talented!

Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Have a happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Wordless Wed. – White Ibises

Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of these photos I took yesterday in my yard,  Enjoy!

 

 

Wiechens Preserve, Part 2

 

Tri-color Heron

Tri-color Heron

Tri-color Heron

Tri-color Heron

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes, Common Moorhens, and a gorgeous Little Blue Heron were spotted the other day at the scenic Sharon Wiechens Preserve in The Villages, Florida.  All were feeding as it was late in the afternoon while we visited.

This nice preserve is on the shore of a medium-sized lake and has been open about a year or so now.  I am amazed at the numbers of birds seen in a small area and all are wild!  The preserve has a concrete walkway, a two-floor wood observation tower deck and a wooden pier walkway that juts out into the lake quite a way and then returns in a half rectangle toward the shore.  Lots of opportunities to see ducks, moorhens, coots and the occasional egrets, herons, ibis, and Bald Eagle (eagle up on the far electric tower).

Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Little Blue Heron and Common Moorhen

Little Blue Heron and Common Moorhen

Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron

 

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes

Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron

Common Moorhen

Common Moorhen

 

 

A Visit to Sharon Weichens Preserve

Tri-color Heron

Tri-color Heron

Four Glossy Ibis, a Bald Eagle, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, a Great Egret, a beautiful Tribute-colored Heron,  Sherman’s Fox Squirrels, a Grey Squirrel, Common Moorhens, and a Little Blue Heron were all spotted at the wonderful Sharon Weichens Nature Preserve here in The Villages, Florida yesterday afternoon.

It had rained (thankfully) earlier in the day so the birds were out in force gobbling up many food items that had washed into the medium-sized lake at this beautiful preserve.  I do not think I have ever spotted so many different types of birds and animals while there at the preserve.  We were there at about 3:30 in the afternoon.

That Bald Eagle looks like it is starting a nest up on the high tension line tower.  I was a long way away from the eagle and was happy I had the long lens.   Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  P.S. I will post more pictures I took today in a future post.

Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron

Grey Squirrel with a nut

Grey Squirrel with a nut

Sherman's Fox Squirrel

Sherman’s Fox Squirrel

 

 

Southern Bald Eagle

Southern Bald Eagle

Great Egret

Great Egret

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

Waterfowl Wednesday: Northern Shovelers

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These Northern Shoveler Ducks were gathered together in a tight circle at a little pond near the Polo Ridge neighborhood of The Villages, Florida on Feb. 18, 2017.  The ducks were hunting for food.  They circle together ’round and ’round creating a whirlpool in the pond which traps their food and they also dip their big bills into the water to catch their food and filter it with their bill.   The Shovelers eat aquatic plants, and aquatic snails, small aquatic insects and small aquatic animals such as frogs, tadpoles and tiny fish.  Mostly they are plant eating ducks.  The Northern Shoveler is a “Dabbling duck”.

The Northern Shoveler drakes here were mostly tried-colored (blueish-black, white and rusty brown) and the hens were brown and black (the hens resemble Black Duck or Mallard hens).  The main distinctive feature about these ducks is their bill.  The Northern Shoveler’s bill is huge and flared at the tip – it does look like a shovel!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

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