This small probably female, Grey Squirrel was spotted at the golf cart parking lot in the lovely Paradise Park in The Villages, Florida on the shoreline of Paradise Lake. This squirrel is likely a younger squirrel but the Grey Squirrels here in Florida do seem to be a little smaller than those seen in other states.
The squirrel was happily standing on the low fence post just soaking up the Sun and perhaps, waiting for a visitor to toss a peanut or some cereal to it. The squirrels like the ibis here, have a knack for being champion beggars! I do not feed the wildlife but plenty of folks do. I did notice that a few minutes later, the same squirrel was munching on an acorn so all was well for it. I do enjoy seeing these cuties! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Yes, I kept a safe and appropriate distance from these birds and animals (Burros were photographed last Summer in Custer State Park, South Dakota). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Wood Stork (The Villages, FL)
Happy New Year! Wildlife watching has been a pleasure the past eight years! I am celebrating an amazing eight years of writing and sharing my photography on this blog. Thank you to my loyal and new readers. The purpose of this blog has always been to share the magnificent wildlife around us via the pictures and descriptions I give here.
I so appreciate everyone who participates via the comments section and occasionally gives me photography pointers or help identifying a particular bird. You have been with me from Crossville, TN (and Fairfield Glade) to Ocala, Florida and now to The Villages, Florida.
A happy eight years of birding and enjoying the views of nature and occasionally other kinds of animals! So again, Happy New Year and happy wildlife watching, wherever you may be! As ever, please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. These are a few of my favorite pictures over the last eight years!
Green Heron (Fairfield Glade, TN on Lake St. George)
Grizzly Bear (Yellowstone National Park)
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, FL)
Osprey (at the Dora Canal in FL)
Golden Marmot (Yellowstone National Park)
White Pelicans (Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, FL)
Canada Geese (at the little farm in Crossville, TN)
Roseate Spoonbill Birds (Sanibel Island, FL)
White-tailed Deer (at the little farm in Crossville, TN)
Juvenile Little Blue Heron
I have been to Mexico and Belize on a one week cruise last week. I only took pictures while in Belize for a single day, and enjoyed a couple hours on the Belize River while en-route to the Mayan ruins at Altun-ha. On the river we saw about 10 Little Blue Herons in different spots; a few black Howler Monkeys; several Iguanas (males are orange), two Crocodiles; a Yellow-crowned Night Heron and a few tropical song-birds.
It was really interesting to see all the exotic and familiar (Little Blue Herons) wildlife there. I hope to return to Belize some day. It is a lovely place with interesting friendly folks! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Tropical Songbird seen at Altun-ha Mayan ruins (Couch’s Kingbird?)
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Young Howler Monkeys
A Great Egret
A Red-winged Blackbird, a Common Moorhen, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, a perched Great Egret, a partially submerged Anhinga, a trio of Double-crested Cormorants, a Pied-billed Grebe; Egyptian Geese; White Ibis; and a flock of Hooded Mergansers were all spotted here in The Villages, FL, late in the afternoon on Wednesday. I also saw a most lovely Monarch Butterfly on some wild Aster flowers.
The Grey Squirrels here have become the rodent version of the ever-begging White Ibis! When we parked the golf cart at Paradise Park, I immediately had four little squirrels come begging for any kind of hand-out treat that would be given. I had to say sorry to the little cuties but someone else had already provided a few tasty peanuts. I sure wish folks would stop feeding the wildlife here! Oh well…
Such fun to get out in beautiful weather and see the birds squirrels and yes, butterflies. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
A hen Moorhen
Male Red-winged Blackbird
A pair of Sandhill Cranes
A Scenic View of “Larry the Gator’s Pond”
Egyptian Goose and White Ibis
A Monarch Butterfly on an Aster flower
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!
Grey Squirrels, Mallard Ducks, and hybrid Mallard/Florida Mottled Ducks were spotted on the little Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida on Monday night at twilight. I am including views of the lake on the Swartz Park end which is almost totally dry to the North and rapidly shrinking again to the South. By the way, that shot that looks like a huge grassy prairie, is really the dry lake bed. Yikes!
We are still in a drought situation here. I enjoy this regional park which is reserved for residents and guests here in The Villages, Florida. There is always wildlife around us here. I have a great time bird and critter-watching. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Belted Kingfisher on the Suwanee River
Double Crested Cormorants on the Suwanee River
This lovely Florida State Park has a 72 degree F fresh water spring, is on the banks of the Suwanee River, has a wonderful campground, and walking trails with a children’s playground area. I saw many deer, nine, I think. I also saw four armadillos. There were a few wading birds, and songbirds, but there were perhaps a hundred Turkey Vultures (with a few Black Vultures in the bunch).
Almost every large tree on the Suwanee River at the mouth of the Manatee Springs stream, had many vultures perched on it! It is an amazing sight to see a seventy foot tall Cypress tree festooned with buzzards (another name for vultures).
This park is not a zoo and all the animals are wild. I was surprised to see the animals so boldly walking around were people were.
I recommend visiting Manatee Springs State Park. A lovely place with a lot to see in a small park. It is about six miles from the small town of Chiefland where there are several stores and restaurants. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Probably an Eastern Phoebe
Pied-billed Grebe on the Suwanee River
Juvenile Little Blue Heron at the Manatee Spring
White-tailed Deer; Nine-banded Armadillos; a Juvenile Little Blue Heron; a Great Egret; a Double-crested Cormorant, a chatty Red-bellied Woodpecker, and an enormous migratory flock of Turkey Vultures were spotted at the lovely Manatee Springs State Park near Chiefland, Florida on November 8, 2016. Sorry to say, I did not see a single Manatee. I think it is probably too early in the season for Manatee sightings here.
This beautiful little Florida State Park is on the shoreline of the Manatee Spring and also the Suwanee River. There is a very nice campground and the park also has a canoe and Kayak rental program also with a nice launch area and small concession stand restaurant. People may swim in the 72 degree spring but there is no lifeguard service. I chose not to swim as it was too cool for that. I will conclude my series about this park on Monday with my next post. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Cypress Tree “Knees”
The Suwanee River
A Cotton-tailed bunny rabbit, a Northern Mockingbird, Mourning Doves, and a band of roving White Ibises, were all spotted in my neighborhood in the last week or two. It has been raining a lot here so I have not been out taking a lot of pictures.
Cotton-tailed Rabbits are not commonly seen here. I think there are plenty of Coyotes, Hawks, Bald Eagles, and Osprey that actively hunt the bunnies. I saw this particular rabbit in a yard of a home quite close to our local neighborhood park lake. The best time to see rabbits here is at twilight or even at dawn. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!