This pair of Great Blue Herons have established a nest rookery in a large Live Oak Tree, dripping with Spanish Mosses, next to the Arnold Palmer Legends golf course on Buena Vista Blvd. in The Villages, Florida.
The big wading birds had made a couple of nests there in the tree but only one of the nests could easily be seen from the multi-modal golf-cart path. Herons like many larger birds, try to create a back-up nest in case of disaster.
Both birds flew across the golf course pond in turn and did a little hunting. I believe the pair may have eggs in this nest since I did not see any chicks. I want to wish everyone a happy Easter! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
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!
Double-crested Cormorants and a Seagull
Water birds, wading birds and turtles were all spotted at Freedom Pointe and Paradise Lakes in The Villages, Florida this past weekend. I am happy that the weather was nice enough to permit a bird watching jaunt both on Friday at dusk and on Saturday afternoon.
The Double-crested Cormorant flock will be flying North in coming days. I was surprised that this flock did not follow the White Pelicans that left for their migration on Friday morning. The Great Egret, Snowy Egret, the Cooter Turtles, Canada Goose, Great Blue Heron, and what is probably a Try-colored Heron, are all resident birds here in The Villages, Florida. These birds are mostly meat eaters while the geese love seeds and grasses. I love getting out and about at the many small ponds and lakes and preserves here! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Double-crested Cormorant in the Live Oak Tree Roost
Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorant, Cooter Turtle and a Canada Goose
Great and Snowy Egrets
These two Great Blue Herons were spotted on Saturday here in The Villages, FL at two different small ponds. The first Great Blue Heron was seen on the shoreline of a tiny almost dry pond near the Hacienda executive golf course here. There was a small thin stream of water almost like a creek flowing at the bottom of the basin. I think the heron was trying for a tasty lizard or snake or possibly a few tadpoles in a puddle. This bird was pretty close to the multi-modal golf cart path so I noticed the heron right away.
The other heron was fishing on the shore of a tiny park pond at the Silver Lake Community Center park a few blocks away from Lake Paradise. I did see the Great Blue Heron take a very short low flight to another spot where it probably felt the fish were headed. These park ponds mainly have smaller fish, frogs, and small turtles in them. I left before I was able to see the bird catch anything. Always fun to watch these Great Blue Herons! 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!
Please click on each thumbnail image of wildlife at Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida, to see the slightly larger version of the picture. I took these photos a few days ago. Enjoy!
Drake Mallard Ducks
Great Blue Heron
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
The male surprised me by doing a one hop quick dance to try to impress the female. It was marvelous to see. A few moments later, the pair strolled over to the area where there were a big number of ducks and Glossy Ibis feeding.
The birds were seen and photographed very close to Southbound Morse Blvd. near CR 466, here in The Villages, FL on Friday, March 2, 2018 at around 5:00pm. This pair of cranes enjoys the golf course grass, and proximity to a small freshwater marsh. Please click on each thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of each photo. Enjoy!
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
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!