This small flock of Hooded Merganser Ducks arrived at Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL, earlier last week. These are migrating ducks who are late Fall and Winter visitors to Florida. The male or drake duck is the more colorful of the pair. These ducks have a fold or hood of skin and feathers that the bird raises if alarmed or aroused. That is why the ducks are named the way they are.
Hooded Mergansers are diving ducks that eat fish, frogs, larger tadpoles, baby alligators and larger aquatic insects. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Great Egret
A Red-winged Blackbird, a Common Moorhen, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, a perched Great Egret, a partially submerged Anhinga, a trio of Double-crested Cormorants, a Pied-billed Grebe; Egyptian Geese; White Ibis; and a flock of Hooded Mergansers were all spotted here in The Villages, FL, late in the afternoon on Wednesday. I also saw a most lovely Monarch Butterfly on some wild Aster flowers.
The Grey Squirrels here have become the rodent version of the ever-begging White Ibis! When we parked the golf cart at Paradise Park, I immediately had four little squirrels come begging for any kind of hand-out treat that would be given. I had to say sorry to the little cuties but someone else had already provided a few tasty peanuts. I sure wish folks would stop feeding the wildlife here! Oh well…
Such fun to get out in beautiful weather and see the birds squirrels and yes, butterflies. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
A hen Moorhen
Male Red-winged Blackbird
A pair of Sandhill Cranes
A Scenic View of “Larry the Gator’s Pond”
Egyptian Goose and White Ibis
A Monarch Butterfly on an Aster flower
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Mottled Ducks and Mallard Ducks were all spotted at Lake Paradise near Schwartz Park and Boone Park yesterday at dusk (about 5:15pm). I am starting to see more ducks each week here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A resting Sandhill Crane
I spotted these birds last Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 at Lake Paradise, as well as on a golf course near Morse and CR 466, here in The Villages, FL. Such fun to get out and watch the various types of birds we have around now. The weather recently has been very windy rainy and cooler. Hopefully I will find time to get out and take a bunch of new photographs to share here soon. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Canada Geese on Lake Paradise
A Double Crested Cormorant on Lake Paradise at Boone Park
Likely a Red-shouldered Hawk at Lake Paradise
Whistling Ducks, and Mallard Ducks were both spotted here in The Villages, FL this past Sunday. I was happy to see the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at the marsh where I also had spotted many egrets. I also saw the Mallards there. Lake Paradise has a bunch of Mottled Ducks and Mallard Ducks right now.
Later in the Winter, there will be a lot of other breeds of migrating ducks here on our many ponds and lakes. I so enjoy watching the ducks. By the way, most of this bunch of Whistlers were juveniles with their bluish-pink bills, legs and feet! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great and Snowy Egrets and Mallard Ducks
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and several other kinds of wading birds and water birds were all spotted at a large freshwater marsh/rainfall retention area that is a nature preserve here in The Villages, FL community. This bird spot is located on Buena Vista Blvd. just South of the Lake Miona Recreation Center and the Bass Fishing Pond on that same street.
There were perhaps fifty egrets there with additional Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, White Ibis, and Mottled Ducks, Mallard Ducks and the ever popular Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (including many juvenile whistlers)! A truly nice gathering of birds to observe. I took these pictures yesterday morning from the grassy area off of the multi-modal path near a nicely placed bench. I of course used my long lens as the birds were quite a distance away. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly smaller version of the photo. Enjoy!
Egrets and Florida Mottled Ducks
Egrets in the Preserve
Great Egret and Mottle Ducks
Great Egrets with Florida Mottled Ducks, a Wood Stork, and a small Tri-colored Heron were spotted here in The Villages, FL on a couple of lakes and small ponds. We have a number of wading bird species that are all-year around resident birds here. The community has many ponds and small lakes in addition to a few fresh water marshes and preserves. There is plenty of food between the water and the many areas of landscaping along the streets and parking lots. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Egret and Wood Stork
Great Egret, Try-colored Heron and Mottled Duck