Male Boat-tailed Grackle
Eastern Bluebirds, a Boat-tailed Grackle, a Tufted Titmouse, a lovely pair of Sandhill Cranes and a lot of White Ibis, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Anhingas were all spotted here in The Villages, FL in the last couple of days.
I took the photo of the roosting birds on Morse Blvd. just below Rio Grande, on Monday 2/19/18, at twilight. That roosting area was active for years, and then was abandoned for the last year. This marshland is once again wet, so hundreds of wading birds such as ibis, egrets, herons, and anhingas, are back every night to rest!
I took the photos of the songbirds, here in my neighborhood. The weather has been fine so the birds have been out and about much more! The photograph of the Sandhill Cranes was taken just off of Morse Blvd. along CR 466 along the multi-modal path. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.
White Ibis Heading to the Roost
Female Eastern Bluebird
Tufted titmouse on a Palm
White Pelicans at Freedom Pointe Lake
These American White Pelicans were spotted at Freedom Pointe Lake and the Torri Pines Golf Pond here in The Villages Florida a week ago. There are pelicans at several spots here this month. The White Pelicans love our warm winter weather and have come from the Mid-western U.S.A. to spend a few months each year.
Pelicans eat fish primarily but also will enjoy baby alligators, frogs, and smaller soft shell turtles. They fish by working cooperatively to encircle fish and then scoop them into their bill pouch. At times, the Double-crested Cormorants also work well with the pelicans to get their fish dinners. Most of the little lakes and ponds have plenty of food for the flocks of these big birds! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of each photo. Enjoy!
American White Pelicans at Torri Pines Golf Course Pond
American White Pelican in Flight at Freedom Pointe Lake
This Wood Stork was spotted on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 on the shore of the lovely little golf course pond at the Torri Pines golf course in The Villages, FL. I had posted this past week about several different birds spotted there during that photo-taking visits.
We have a few Wood Storks here all year around but we do see more of these big birds in the winter months. The Wood Storks are usually seen in very small groups or as singles. I think I have only seen a larger group of maybe around a dozen Wood Storks together once here. Wood Storks mostly will hunt by scooping with their large sturdy bill into the water or softer mud. They eat small aquatic animals, aquatic insects, aquatic mollusks and these birds will occasionally eat grains roots and seeds.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White Pelican with Lesser Scaup ducks
White Pelicans, Lesser Scaup ducks, Double-crested Cormorants, Seagulls, a Great Blue Heron, Great Egrets, and a lone Wood Stork were all spotted yesterday afternoon at the beautiful Torri Pines golf course pond along Buena Vista Blvd. in The Villages, FL. This spot is in a northern neighborhood here in The Villages.
The Wood Stork, the Double-crested Cormorants, Seagulls, Lesser Scaup ducks, and the White Pelicans are migratory birds from places up north and in the mid-west who have come south to enjoy our warmer weather during the harsh cold months. By the way, last evening I spotted about 200 White Pelicans at the Freedom Pointe lake (both sides). No pictures as I did not have my camera then.
I think a few of these pelicans pictured here were among those sleeping at Freedom Pointe as it was almost dark when I saw that huge flock last night. We sure enjoy seeing all of these lovely birds! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy! P.S. This pond has developed a sink hole in it today (2/15/18) and is now rapidly draining. Don’t know when the needed repairs can be made by our community’s officials. I will let you know when I hear more. Wildlifewatcher.
Great Egret with Wood Stork
Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants and Seagulls
Great Blue Heron
A pair of Sandhill Cranes was seen on the Arnold Palmer Legends golf course off of CR 466 near Morse Blvd. in The Villages, FL on Friday. These birds appear to be yearlings and maybe are a couple. The big birds are often spotted on the edges of golf courses here.
I was excited to see the cranes near the fence next to the multi-modal trail where we were driving in the golf cart. It certainly made it easy to get the snap-shots of the cranes. By the way, the grasses here in our area are going dormant due to the season and that is why many lawns are looking a lot more brown these days. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
These Great Blue Herons recently were spotted fishing at two lakes here in The Villages, FL. The big herons are tremendous at wading in shallow water to spear fish or frogs with their long sharp bills. They sometimes also dine on mice if the mouse is close to the shore, and same for small snakes and lizards.
The Great Blue Herons fly to the pond, lake, river or marsh, from their rookery in the tops of larger sturdy trees. After fishing, herons will step out of the water, make a short flight up the shoreline, land, and spread their wings in the Sunshine to dry themselves (if necessary) before returning to the hunt or to the roost. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
Yes, I kept a safe and appropriate distance from these birds and animals (Burros were photographed last Summer in Custer State Park, South Dakota). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Snowy Egrets are here in The Villages, FL, all year around. There also are a number of migratory Snowies here during the winter months. These small egrets fish in the ponds and lakes for smaller fish, frogs, baby alligators, aquatic insects and in the shoreline grasses for small lizards and snakes.
The Snowy Egrets are currently in their long plush breeding plumage. Snowy Egrets have a black bill, yellowish-green legs and bright yellow feet. They are very beautiful wading birds! I am always glad to see the Snowies but they are shy birds and pretty hard to photograph unless one is fairly far away. By the way, our cold weather (and I have a cold) has kept me at home more this past week than I had planned so these photos are those I had taken earlier in the year. I hope to get out soon and take a bunch of pictures here at our local lakes. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Wood Stork (The Villages, FL)
Happy New Year! Wildlife watching has been a pleasure the past eight years! I am celebrating an amazing eight years of writing and sharing my photography on this blog. Thank you to my loyal and new readers. The purpose of this blog has always been to share the magnificent wildlife around us via the pictures and descriptions I give here.
I so appreciate everyone who participates via the comments section and occasionally gives me photography pointers or help identifying a particular bird. You have been with me from Crossville, TN (and Fairfield Glade) to Ocala, Florida and now to The Villages, Florida.
A happy eight years of birding and enjoying the views of nature and occasionally other kinds of animals! So again, Happy New Year and happy wildlife watching, wherever you may be! As ever, please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. These are a few of my favorite pictures over the last eight years!
Green Heron (Fairfield Glade, TN on Lake St. George)
Grizzly Bear (Yellowstone National Park)
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, FL)
Osprey (at the Dora Canal in FL)
Golden Marmot (Yellowstone National Park)
White Pelicans (Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, FL)
Canada Geese (at the little farm in Crossville, TN)
Roseate Spoonbill Birds (Sanibel Island, FL)
White-tailed Deer (at the little farm in Crossville, TN)
Sandhill Cranes at a pond on Morse near Live Oak Park
Egrets, Herons, Wood Storks, Sandhill Cranes, Anhingas, Double-crested Cormorants, Seagulls, and Common Coots were all spotted here on Freedom Pointe Lake and Lake Sumter in The Villages, FL this last weekend. What a bunch of wonderful birds to observe!
This area has a lot of ponds, small lakes and medium lakes plus marsh lands so there is a great many spots to observe the wildlife. We get a lot of different species of birds here in the Winter months. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version. Enjoy!
Cormorants, Egrets and Seagulls at Freedom Pointe Lake
Wood Storks and Anhingas
Great Blue Heron at Freedom Pointe Lake
A Raft of Common Coots on Lake Sumter
A Common Coot on Lake Sumter
A Double-Crested Cormorant on Freedom Pointe Lake