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
A flock of White Pelicans was spotted tonight at sunset at Freedom Pointe Lake in The Villages, Florida. This group of birds is about half of the number seen in this area a few weeks ago. Many of these migratory birds have already left for the Spring and Summer.
This spot on the lake is the favorite place for the White Pelicans and their friends, the Double-crested Cormorants to spend the evening to sleep (the cormorants head to the nearby Oak Trees to roost). 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
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!
Please click on the thumbnail version of each photograph of the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks to see the slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
Double Crested Cormorants are frequently here on our ponds and lakes in the winter months here in The Villages, Florida. These birds enjoy the warm weather quite a lot and around ponds, lakes, rivers, and both fresh and salt water marsh-lands. Some of these cormorants are natives here but many are migrants from places north of us. I also have spotted Double-Crested Cormorants at marina docks on the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico at Cedar Key here in Florida.
These water birds dive for fish, frogs, baby alligators, tender soft-shelled turtles and larger aquatic insects and aquatic mollusks. At times, Double-crested Cormorants are mixed in near the White Pelicans here. The Double-Crested Cormorants are similar in looks to the slightly smaller Anhinga birds. The Anhingas have a straight bill while there is a downward hook to the tip of the bill on the Double-Crested Cormorants. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Diving for a bit of food
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