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This flock of Sandhill Cranes has been frequenting the shrinking Paradise Lake in The Villages, Florida for a couple of weeks now, mostly at dusk.  I have photographed these birds a few times now.  The cranes are becoming lively and showing courtship ritual behaviors such as jumping up and dow with spread wings and vocalizing a little.

The lake is ultra-low now due to our on-going drought conditions.  There is still a lot of food for the large birds in and on the lake.  The grasses, seeds, frogs, tadpoles, crayfish, and aquatic weeds are all food for these beautiful big birds.  I think we will be seeing and hearing the “Colts”, which are the baby Sandhill Cranes in several weeks!  I can’t wait.  I took these pictures last night at about 6:30pm.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Some Favorites

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, FL

I have selected favorite photographs I have taken in Florida in the last three years to share here today.  I tend to love Wood Storks, all the different woodpeckers, assorted ducks, and the various herons and egret,s the best!  I hope you will like seeing these old favorites!

Wood Stork in The Villages, FL

A Little Blue Heron in The Villages, FL

A Green Heron in Dunellon, FL

 

 

A Great Egret in Breeding Plumage, The Villages,

Snowy Egret, The Villages, FL

A Pileated Woodpecker, Ocala, FL

 

 

 

 

 

 

A largish flock of perhaps seventy or so, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks or “Whistlers” as they are also known, came in waves the other evening to feed along the shore of Paradise Lake in The Villages, FL.  I enjoy seeing the flock and hearing their lovely whistle calls.

I was amazed that group after group kept coming in from the Spanish Springs, Lake Miramar area (nearby across the highway).  I was too far away from where the ducks were feeding to get clear shots so I am just including the shots of the ducks in flight mostly.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

I photographed this Tri-colored Heron at Paradise Lake in The Villages, Fl, on Sunday evening.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Sandy’s at Sunset

A small flock of Sandhill Cranes visited the shrinking Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL last evening at twilight.  This lake’s water level is continuing to drop as our local drought goes on.  I took most of the pictures from the wooden deck at Swartz Park at a pretty far distance.

The Sandhill Cranes are loving the exposed tender aquatic plants and grasses now above water.  They also occasionally dine on land insects, mice, small lizards, aquatic insects, frogs, worms, crawdads (crayfish) and tadpoles.  Mostly the cranes prefer grains and grasses.  I often have spotted Sandhill Cranes in ranch pastures and even on the golf courses here in The Villages.

I enjoyed seeing about twelve Sandhill Cranes along with a Trip-colored Heron, a Great Blue Heron, a Snowy Egret, several shorebirds, and about a hundred black-bellied Whistlers plus assorted Mallards and Canada Geese last night on the lake.  Lots to see.  I will share more photo’s of the birds here in coming posts.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Grey Squirrels, Mallard Ducks, and hybrid Mallard/Florida Mottled Ducks were spotted on the little Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida on Monday night at twilight.  I am including views of the lake on the Swartz Park end which is almost totally dry to the North and rapidly shrinking again to the South.  By the way, that shot that looks like a huge grassy prairie, is really the dry lake bed.  Yikes!

We are still in a drought situation here.  I enjoy this regional park which is reserved for residents and guests here in The Villages, Florida.  There is always wildlife around us here.  I have a great time bird and critter-watching.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whistlers

Here are some photographs I took of ducks including the ever-so-cute, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (flock in flight) at Paradise Park in The Villages, Florida, on Monday evening at dusk.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Mallard and Mottled Hybrid Ducks

Whistlers

Muscovy Duck

 

 

 

 

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