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!
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!
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
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
Tufted titmouse on a Palm
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that 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)
A feisty Eastern Blue Jay, A Palm Warbler, an Eastern Bluebird, and a House Sparrow were all spotted here in my neighborhood and community last week. I took these pictures early in the morning when it is probably the best time to see many birds out feeding.
There was a large flock of the warblers mixed-in with the sparrows visiting my street. Both types of birds eat on the ground browsing for seeds in the lawns. The Blue Jay was spotted at the Freedom Pointe lakeshore parking lot up in a big Live Oak. The bluebird is seen from time to time on a neighbors roof. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Eastern Blue Jay
This Red-bellied Woodpecker was quite noisily chatty when flying between a Washington Palm and a bountiful acorn-filled Live Oak at the shoreline of the pretty Freedom Pointe Lake here in The Villages, Florida on Sunday morning, Dec. 17, 2017. I just love these boisterous birds! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
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