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Water Birds and Waterfowl in Flight

A Double-crested Cormorant

White Ibis, Mallard Duck, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, a Double Crested Cormorant, A Snowy Egret, Sandhill Cranes, and a Little Blue Heron were all photographed while in flight.  All were moving from place to place here in Central Florida in The Villages and in the Ocala area.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

A Hen Mallard Duck

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

White Ibis

 

Sandhill Cranes

A Snowy Egret

A Little Blue Heron

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Wordless Wednesday: Great and Snowy Egrets

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

Egyptian Geese

This pair of Egyptian Geese was spotted up on the shoreline of the Freedom Pointe Lake in The Villages near the parking lot area beside the assisted living housing complex building.

The Egyptian Geese are native to Africa and were brought here to the USA to be golf course pets in some spots (they migrated here to the Villages from elsewhere).  These geese are part shell-duck and part goose.  They are attractive birds.

Egyptian Geese now are resident waterfowl here in The Villages but are not in big numbers here.  They eat grasses grains and seeds and behave in a similar manner to the Canada Geese. These geese are rust colored with cream and black and are between a duck and a goose in size.  The Egyptian Geese seem quite shy.   Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!  P.S.  I have not seen that Roseate Spoonbill here since my Sunday morning sighting.

Resting Wood Storks (and a Great Egret)

Wood Storks have been here in The Villages, FL, for about a month in larger numbers.  A few days ago, I spotted seven of the large white and black birds at Lake Paradise.  The big birds mostly are seen standing still or in flight.  This is the second instance where I have seen Wood Storks laying on the ground resting.  I noted that this behavior is similar to that seen in the White Ibis.  I found it interesting.

The Wood Storks mostly fish by putting their large hard scoop-like bill into the mud and sucking in snails, larger insects, worms, tadpoles, frogs and small fish.  I have read that some Wood Storks travel miles and miles from their tree roost to search for food.  Amazing!  I really enjoy seeing these birds!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo.  Enjoy!

Migrating Hooded Merganser Ducks

This small flock of Hooded Merganser Ducks arrived at Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL, earlier last week.  These are migrating ducks who are late Fall and Winter visitors to Florida.  The male or drake duck is the more colorful of the pair.  These ducks have a fold or hood of skin and feathers that the bird raises if alarmed or aroused.  That is why the ducks are named the way they are.

Hooded Mergansers are diving ducks that eat fish, frogs, larger tadpoles, baby alligators and larger aquatic insects.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

A Visit to Sunnyhill Restoration Area

View of the some of the fields near the parking area and educational building

Sunnyhill Farm Restoration Area near Weirsdale, FL, (19411 SE Hwy 42), is a spot I occasionally visit to just take in the beautiful river-side prairie swampland scenery.  This former working, now park,  is huge at over 2,000 acres!  Nearly all of the park is kept wild and is inhabited by river animals, prairie swamp animals and a variety of wading birds, ducks, and songbirds.

While we were there, we saw a pair of Sandhill Cranes along the road but there was not a good spot to stop to take the picture of them so we just went along our way (of course when we left the park, the cranes were long gone from the entrance road-way area).  My hubby and I spent about an hour walking along river and canal trails and enjoyed ourselves quite a lot yesterday afternoon.  The overcast and windy weather was not conducive for bird watching but we managed to spot a few different birds.  We saw a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks, a Great Blue Heron, a lone Eastern Bluebird and an Eastern Pewee bird.   We hope to go back again soon!  It is a lovely spot!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

A Red-shouldered Hawk

A Great Blue Heron

An Eastern Pewee Bird

 

 

The Ocklawaha River

A Red-shouldered Hawk

A male Eastern Bluebird

Waterfowl, Cranes, Birds, Squirrels, a Butterfly and Scenery!

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

 

 

Grey Squirrel

Grey Squirrel

Anhinga

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