Little Blue Heron
I visited the very lovely Ocklockonee River State Park a few weeks ago and spent a wonderful night camping there. I was thrilled to see three White Tailed Deer, an Osprey, a Little Blue Heron, a Red-headed Woodpecker, several Boat-tailed Grackles, a pair of Mourning Doves, a couple of Brown Thrashers, and a gorgeous little White Squirrel (sorry no photo).
I took these pictures several times in the morning and it was very cloudy and misty out in my early shots that morning. I am including a couple of shots of just scenery so you can get a sense of the view at this beautiful Florida State Park. The river is a short walk from the campground area.
This state park is quite close to the St. Mark’s National Wildlife Sanctuary and is probably about twenty-five miles to the Gulf of Mexico. I enjoyed the park and would return someday for a longer stay. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
White-tailed Deer at a vernal pool
I spotted this very placid old Wood Stork standing in the parking lot at the side of Lake Miramar in The Villages, Fl on June 14, 2017.
This beautiful big wading bird is old as evidenced by the very dark horny bill and darker leathery skin on its face and neck.
I have read where some Wood Storks will fly upwards of fifty miles from their nest to obtain food. I doubt this one flew that far, but it is interesting to hear of that fact.
This Wood Stork may have been in the parking lot expecting to be treated to bread or crackers or corn as some folks still feed the ibis crowd and the ducks. I have also previously seen Wood Storks eating human-given food in this place. The bird was evidently attracted by golf carts and cars in the vicinity. I strongly do not recommend feeding exotic birds (It is against the law in many places including Florida). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Great Blue Heron
Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Sandhill Cranes, a Limpkin, a few Wood Storks, and a lot of White Ibis, and Snowy Egrets (not pictured), were all spotted here in The Villages, Florida last month, May, 2017.
We often spot the egrets herons and ibis, but the cranes, wood storks, glossy ibis, and limpkin, are only spotted during certain months of the year (Sandhill Cranes being the most easily seen of this particular group of wading birds). We also get to see Tri-colored Herons and Little Blue Herons on occasion.
These larger wading birds enjoy the many small and medium-sized lakes here in our community where the food is usually abundant. We are recovering from a recent drought so the lakes happily are refilling with recent rains.
Most of these big birds eat aquatic snails, frogs, worms, and small fish. Some of the birds such as Sandhill Cranes also eat grains and seeds. I always enjoy getting out and spotting both songbirds and these big beauties! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White Pelicans, Great Egret
Over the last couple of weeks, I have spotted Snowy Egrets at several lakes here in The Villages, Fl. The Snowy Egret is one of the smaller of the egrets, and it is the one that has yellow feet. Snowy Egrets are white in color. In breeding season this egret has spectacular long, very lush plumage in its feathers. By the way, I am beginning to see a few of the Cattle Egrets here now. The Cattle Egrets are just a wee bit larger than the Snowy Egrets. By the way, we have had a lot of rain here in my local area and our lakes are refilling (Hooray!).
These wading birds eat a variety of fish, crawfish, frogs, tender smaller turtles and larger aquatic insects, as well as near shoreline mice, lizards and smaller ducklings. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Great Egrets are seen here in The Villages, FL, all year around. The Great Egrets are the larger of the egrets. One picture here is showing the Snowy Egret next to the towering Great Egret.
The Great Egrets frequent the marshes, lakes, golf ponds, and even flowerbeds and landscaping around buildings here in The Villages, FL as well as other places in the USA.
Great Egrets enjoy eating aquatic animals such as fish, frogs, smaller turtles, some aquatic snails, baby alligators, ducklings, goslings, and shore critters such as mice, lizards and smaller snakes. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy! This is dedicated to the memory of those who died in service to the country. Happy Memorial Day to all.
This Limpkin has visited the little Lake Mira-Mar in The Villages, FL near Spanish Springs several times. I have previously photographed the big wading bird at this same location. I usually see the Limpkin at the Veteran’s Park area next to the golf cart path at the approach to the golf cart bridge. The bird is pretty secretive and is usually nocturnal so the best times to see it would be early in the morning and at dusk. I took these pictures at dinner-time last night.
Limpkins are a wading bird that love eating the aquatic Apple Snails found in the small lakes here in The Villages. There are not very many Limpkins around at all. I have only seen three (and one of my sightings may well have been this bird at a different spot). The Limpkins are marsh birds that are primarily living here in Florida in the USA.
These birds are vaguely similar in looks to juvenile White Ibis, juvenile Green Herons and Bitterns. All are about the same size and have a streaky brown coloring. The Limpkin the only bird of its family type and is not related to rails or even the cranes. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida has an amazing number of birds visiting these days. Of course with the water level so low, there has been very easy access to fish, frogs, tadpoles, turtles, aquatic insects, and aquatic plants. The supermarket for birds has been open for fine dining and the birds have been loving it. No rain other than our big storm on Saturday. That helped a tiny bit. I was glad for the moisture.
I took these pictures on Sunday early in the evening. I spotted the flock of White Pelicans, a Great Blue Heron, a pair of Egyptian Geese, a few Double Crested Cormorants, lots of Canada Geese, a flock of White Ibis, several small shorebirds, crows, and the usual Mallard and Mottled Ducks. I never know what birds will be there so it is a lot of fun to check on the visitors. I think they also somehow check on us, too! Ha!
Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!