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Wildlife at Paradise Lake in The Villages, FL

Snowy Egret

A trio of Florida Mottled Ducks, a Wood Stork with a Great Egret, and a hunting Snowy Egret were all spotted at the lovely Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida.  I spotted these at Boone Park and at Schwartz Park, which is right around the corner basically, from Boone Park.  Both small pocket parks have a nice viewing area and the water at Boone has filled in nicely after the drought.

This is a neighborhood residential lake with three parks on it.  The larger park of the trio is Paradise Park.  I often go to this lake to watch for larger birds.  I also occasionally spot Sandhill Cranes such as the trio I photographed in flight above the adjacent neighborhood.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Sandhill Cranes

Wood Stork and Great Egret

Florida Mottled Ducks

 

White Ibises and Snowy Egret

Juvenile White Ibis

I saw this small flock of White Ibises at the lovely little Lake Mira-mar near the Spanish Springs Square in The Villages, Florida a few nights ago at dusk.  Note the juvenile is the one with the brown and white feathers.

This beautiful Snowy Egret was seen at Boone Park on Lake Paradise, and the Wood Stork also on Lake Paradise seen in the distance, from the Schwartz Park shoreline.  I also have been spotting a couple of Wood Storks off and on at Boone Park across the road into the far reaches of the lake.

I just love getting out and about and seeing all these big birds!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

White Ibis

Wood Stork

Snowy Egret

A Little Blue Heron Fishes For Dinner

This Little Blue Heron was spotted here in The Villages, Florida at the Santiago golf course pond on Enrique Drive on Saturday evening at about 5:00pm.  I was driving around that area trying to look for the Bald Eagles I sometimes spot there, and came upon the heron while it was fishing for its dinner.

This large pond is right up against the street so when the big wading birds or the ducks are present, it is easy to see them.  This golf course is closed and under maintenance now so the birds are more at ease being there.  The Santiago golf course pond is in a residential area and at the recreation center with parking there for cars and carts.

The Little Blue Herons are around the community but not at every lake or pond.  I would say, I see a Little Blue Heron about every few weeks.  The White Ibis or Great Blue Herons are much more commonly seen here.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Wild Burros (Donkeys) and Prairie Dogs

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!

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Water Birds

Osprey on Enrique Dr. near Golf Course

I took all of these pictures here in The Villages, FL during the past two weeks. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  By the way, the lakes here in The Villages are now full or nearly so!  Hooray!  Enjoy!

Sandhill Crane on CR 466 near Morse Blvd.

 

Anhinga at Freedom Pointe Lake

 

 

 

 

 

Black Bellied Whistling Ducks at Schwartz Park on Lake Paradise

White Ibis at Lake Mira-mar

Wood Stork at Lake Mira-mar

Three Kinds of Egrets in The Villages, FL This Past Week

A Cattle Egret

Cattle Egrets, Snowy Egrets and the Great Egrets have been here in The Villages, Florida this past week at several park lakes.  I spotted the Cattle  and Snowy Egrets at the Freedom Pointe lakes, and the Great Egret at the gazebo at Boone Park on Paradise Lake.

The Cattle Egrets have only recently arrived here.  They usually are found in cattle and horse pastures attending those animals.  The Great Egret is large and has the long yellow bill.  The Snowy Egret is the small one with the yellow feet and black bill.  The Cattle Egrets are also small but have a few small rust-colored patches of feathers on the head and chest and sides in the breeding season.

All of these egrets enjoy insects with the Snowy and Great Egret mostly liking aquatic animals, insects and the occasional small mouse, lizard or snake.  I have never yet seen a Reddish Egret here in The Villages, but you never know.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Cattle Egret

A Great Egret Cools Off

The Snowy Egret

Pronghorn (Also called Antelope)

I saw Pronghorn at the lovely Custer State Park near Mount Rushmore in South Dakota in late June, 2017.  The big deer-like animals are sometimes referred to as American Antelope or Antelope.

This herd of Pronghorn freely roam the huge pasture-lands of this state park but are mostly away from the bison.  They sometimes run near fences which is shown on one of these photographs.  The big grasslands are fenced because the bison are occasionally kept in that area in rotation.

Pronghorn eat grasses.  There are plenty of grasses for them now.  These are grazing animals.  In my experience, the Pronghorn are pretty wary of people and are most often away from roads.  I was glad to have my zoom lens!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photograph.  Enjoy!

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