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!
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!
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
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!
A Great Egret Cools Off
The Snowy Egret
I spotted this Great Egret at Schwartz Park at Paradise Lake in The Villages, Florida back in mid-June 2017. The Great Egret immediately took off from the shoreline and flew across the lovely lake to the opposite shoreline.
These are such graceful big birds. I think it is a joy to see them in flight! By the way, we have had some significant amounts of rain which is refilling our local lakes and ponds. The lakes here are pretty full now! It is nice to finally see water under docks.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Little Blue Heron at Ochlockonee River State Park, Florida
I spotted these Little Blue Herons at the little lake behind Freedom Pointe in The Villages, FL at a vernal pool in the campground at the Ochlockonee River State Park near St. Mark’s National Wildlife Sanctuary in North-Central Florida, and also at both Schwartz and Boone Parks in The Villages at Lake Paradise (which is now refilling with water). I saw these beautiful big wading birds within the last month (Schwartz and Boone herons possibly with Snowy Egrets or juvenile herons, on Wednesday).
The Little Blue Herons start as white juveniles and as they age, they turn a beautiful purple blue with olive-green legs and feet. They are much more of a blue hue than the similar-looking Reddish Egret.
The Little Blue Herons eat frogs, fish, crawfish, small turtles, baby alligators, ducklings, and occasionally aquatic snails, worms, and larger aquatic insects. They generally spear their prey with their sharp long bill and then gulp the food down. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Little Blue Heron at Boone Park in The Villages, FL
Little Blue Heron at Schwartz Park in The Villages, FL
Little Blue Heron at Ochlockonee River State Park in Florida
Snowy Egret with Little Blue Heron at Freedom Pointe in The Villages, FL
Little Blue Heron at Freedom Pointe in The Villages, FL
This group of Sandhill Cranes was spotted a few weeks ago, on the Arnold Palmer Legends golf course in The Villages, FL. All in all, I spotted eleven Sandhill Cranes that day in four different places. Most of these eleven cranes were browsing for food in the grassy areas on the apron of a golf course near a paved golf cart (multi-modal) path. The smaller of the cranes by the way, is a juvenile, called a “Colt”.
Sandhill Cranes mostly eat larger insects, snails, worms, grains and seeds, small frogs, small fish and they will also nibble on grasses and certain plants.
We seem to have a stable group of native Sandhill Cranes here in The Villages area. I really enjoy seeing these large rather majestic birds. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!