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Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category

Pelicans and Cormorants at Rest and Roost

Double-crested Cormorants roosting in the Live Oak Tree

American White Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants were spotted at dusk at the lovely Freedom Pointe Lake and parking lot of the assisted living complex in The Villages, Florida on Friday, March 2, 2018.  The gigantic old Live Oaks around the lake-front parking lot have been the roosting place for the migratory Double-crested Cormorants each Winter.  The asphalt of the parking lot under the trees also tells the tale that yes, many birds have roosted there for months now!  This spot is an annual location for the cormorants.  By the way, due to the increasingly darker skies, I have lightened up the photographs so you can more easily see the cormorants in the trees.

An Eastern point of the shoreline of the lake is where most of the flock of White Pelicans also congregate to spend the evening resting on the ground.  Sometimes though, the flock chooses the opposite point of the shore.  Both are favorite spots to see these pelicans in the late afternoon or early evening during the Winter months.  I sure enjoy bird watching at this lake!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of each picture.  Enjoy!

American White Pelicans

Pelicans

Cormorants

A Flock of Glossy Ibis With Whistlers

This flock of Glossy Ibis were hanging out on the side of a freshwater marsh and golf course area here in The Villages, FL early this evening at about 5:00pm.  This is the first time I have ever seen these two types of birds together.  I also have never seen so many Glossy Ibis in one spot.  These birds are a dark mahogany brown with blue-green accents and are oh-so-pretty!  The Glossy Ibis’ feathers really shine in a metallic way when in breeding plumage (now).

The ducks are nearly the same color as the ibis.  I also saw a scant few Mallards and some crows there too.  A beautiful pair of Sandhill Cranes (photographs will be posted here in coming days) joined in the feeding frenzy.  There must have been some really tasty stuff there – perhaps duck chow grain from a neighbor?  Who can say.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Double-Crested Cormorants

Double Crested Cormorants are frequently here on our ponds and lakes in the winter months here in The Villages, Florida.  These birds enjoy the warm weather quite a lot and around ponds, lakes, rivers, and both fresh and salt water marsh-lands.  Some of these cormorants are natives here but many are migrants from places north of us.  I also have spotted Double-Crested Cormorants at marina docks on the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico at Cedar Key here in Florida.

These water birds dive for fish, frogs, baby alligators, tender soft-shelled turtles and larger aquatic insects and aquatic mollusks.  At times, Double-crested Cormorants are mixed in near the White Pelicans here.  The Double-Crested Cormorants are similar in looks to the slightly smaller Anhinga birds.  The Anhingas have a straight bill while there is a downward hook to the tip of the bill on the Double-Crested Cormorants.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Diving for a bit of food

Songbirds and Wading Birds

Male Boat-tailed Grackle

Eastern Bluebirds, a Boat-tailed Grackle, a Tufted Titmouse, a lovely pair of Sandhill Cranes and a lot of White Ibis, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Anhingas were all spotted here in The Villages, FL in the last couple of days.

I took the photo of the roosting birds on Morse Blvd. just below Rio Grande, on Monday 2/19/18,  at twilight.  That roosting area was active for years, and then was abandoned for the last year.  This marshland is once again wet, so hundreds of wading birds such as ibis, egrets, herons, and anhingas, are back every night to rest!

I took the photos of the songbirds, here in my neighborhood.  The weather has been fine so the birds have been out and about much more!  The photograph of the Sandhill Cranes was taken just off of Morse Blvd. along CR 466 along the multi-modal path.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.

White Ibis Heading to the Roost

Female Eastern Bluebird

Sandhill Cranes

 

 

 

 

 

Tufted titmouse on a Palm

White Ibis

The Roost

Migratory American White Pelicans

White Pelicans at Freedom Pointe Lake

These American White Pelicans were spotted at Freedom Pointe Lake and the Torri Pines Golf Pond here in The Villages Florida a week ago.  There are pelicans at several spots here this month.  The White Pelicans love our warm winter weather and have come from the Mid-western U.S.A. to spend a few months each year.

Pelicans eat fish primarily but also will enjoy baby alligators, frogs, and smaller soft shell turtles.  They fish by working cooperatively to encircle fish and then scoop them into their bill pouch.  At times, the Double-crested Cormorants also work well with the pelicans to get their fish dinners.  Most of the little lakes and ponds have plenty of food for the flocks of these big birds!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of each photo.   Enjoy!

American White Pelicans at Torri Pines Golf Course Pond

American White Pelican in Flight at Freedom Pointe Lake

Wordless Wednesday: Osprey

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

Big Birds at the Golf Pond

White Pelican with Lesser Scaup ducks

White Pelicans, Lesser Scaup ducks, Double-crested Cormorants, Seagulls, a Great Blue Heron, Great Egrets, and a lone Wood Stork were all spotted yesterday afternoon at the beautiful Torri Pines golf course pond along Buena Vista Blvd. in The Villages, FL.  This spot is in a northern neighborhood here in The Villages.

The Wood Stork, the Double-crested Cormorants, Seagulls, Lesser Scaup ducks, and the White Pelicans are migratory birds from places up north and in the mid-west who have come south to enjoy our warmer weather during the harsh cold months.  By the way, last evening I spotted about 200 White Pelicans at the Freedom Pointe lake (both sides).  No pictures as I did not have my camera then.

I think a few of these pelicans pictured here were among those sleeping at Freedom Pointe as it was almost dark when I saw that huge flock last night.  We sure enjoy seeing all of these lovely birds!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!  P.S.  This pond has developed a sink hole in it today (2/15/18) and is now rapidly draining.  Don’t know when the needed repairs can be made by our community’s officials.  I will let you know when I hear more.  Wildlifewatcher.

Great Egret with Wood Stork

Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants and Seagulls

Great Blue Heron

Sandhill Cranes on the Golf Course

A pair of Sandhill Cranes was seen on the Arnold Palmer Legends golf course off of CR 466 near Morse Blvd. in The Villages, FL on Friday.  These birds appear to be yearlings and maybe are a couple.  The big birds are often spotted on the edges of golf courses here.

I was excited to see the cranes near the fence next to the multi-modal trail where we were driving in the golf cart.  It certainly made it easy to get the snap-shots of the cranes.  By the way, the grasses here in our area are going dormant due to the season and that is why many lawns are looking a lot more brown these days.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

 

 

White Pelicans

White Pelicans were seen on Freedom Pointe lake, which is the size of a very large pond, this afternoon.  It looks as though a lot of molting is going on, doesn’t it?  Those are white feathers all over the ground.  There is usually a big gathering every winter of these younger White Pelicans at this particular lake.

The pelicans had a few Double-crested Cormorants, some Seagulls, a few White Ibis, and a lone Snowy Egret along with them today.  I also noticed a pair of Egyptian Geese on the very far shore (not photographed).  This spot is usually a good place to view the pelicans in Jan. and Feb.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Wordless Wednesday: Boat-tailed Grackles

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

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