While I was at the shopping center ponds the other day, I also spotted turtles, a couple of alligators, and an Anhinga perched up in a small tree right next to the shore of the pond. These were in addition to the Great Egret, pair of Hooded Mergansers, a Common Moorhen (red flesh over its bill), and the Common Coot. I ran out of room on Friday’s post, so I’ll show photos of these animals today. Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
A Young Alligator
Little Blue Heron
Alligators, Little Blue Heron, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Bufflehead Duck, Mallard Ducks, Common Moorhens, Anhingas, Pied-billed Grebe, and Common Coots all were spotted at two small ponds right next to a small shopping center area near The Villages, Florida on Highway 466. Yes, right next to the Walmart! I took these pictures yesterday afternoon (Jan. 14, 2016). I have taken pictures at these ponds several different times in the last year. There often is wildlife to be seen there.
I am amazed at how well wildlife copes with all the new development. I am glad these wetlands, though tiny, were saved! I spotted three Alligators in the larger of the two ponds by the way and one of those was decent sized! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Drake Mallard Ducks
Great Blue Heron
Pair of Mallard Ducks
Drake (male) Bufflehead Duck
Would you believe I took all these photographs yesterday morning from sunrise through about 9:00 AM at several local marshes, and lakes in both Sumter and Lake Counties in Florida. Amazing! I am so lucky to live in an area where there are so many larger birds (and animals) in the wild.
Additionally, I saw Sandhill Cranes, a Limpkin, Wood Storks, a Tri-colored Heron, Great Blue Herons, Mallard Ducks, and Black-bellied Whistling Ducks. I’ll be posting snapshots of these birds in coming posts. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version. Enjoy!
Great Egrets, Snowy Egret & Common Cormorants
American White Ibis
Juvenile Little Blue Heron
I visited St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge in the Panacea, Florida area on May 20, 2015. I was at a small picnic park area of the refuge on the shore of Otter Lake at the small boat ramp, when I spotted these birds and a couple of alligators. I believe the better time to visit this refuge would be in the Winter when I expect that many more birds are there. I did enjoy the visit tremendously! It is a beautiful wild place.
I will share a few pictures I took featuring sea-shore wildlife, there in the refuge at the Apalachee Bay section, in an upcoming post. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Male Boat-tailed Grackle
A Green Heron in breeding plumage, was spotted perching on a low overhanging tree along the banks of a large freshwater pond in the Blue Run Park in Dunnellon, FL on April 17, 2015. The pond is next to the Withlacoochie River and has several Alligators in it.
I had spotted a pair of River Otters in this same pond last year. There is a bike trail on one side of the pond next to the river, and a looping trail around the pond. It is a short level hike that is fun and scenic. I have included a picture of the river with Cypress Tree “Knees”. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
A lot of wildlife was spotted at the lovely La Chua Trail in Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park near Gainesville, FL, on March 12, 2015. I saw 14 large American Alligators just off the wide easy trail. One does have to be careful about the alligators but they were all in the water and off of the path while I was there (alligators do get close to the trail!). I photographed that Common Gallinule (below center) just a moment before one of the alligators snuck up on it and had it for dinner.
The trail is about 2 miles long and is flat with several shade areas with benches. There is a large overlook at the end but I did not get that far as it was a hot afternoon and I was pretty tired. I only did half of this beautiful trail. We paid a $4.00 parking/entry fee at the trail head parking lot. If you go, don’t forget a bottle of drinking water! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Alligators are todays focus. Alligators were in the Dora Canal, and in Garnett Lake in Lake County, FL. I enjoy seeing ‘gators at a nice safe distance. These big reptiles eat ducks, coots, small birds, fish, turtles, eggs, and sometimes snakes and small marsh animals. They are wild and can occasionally be dangerous to people.
I saw one Alligator way out in the middle of a large lake! I was surprised that this particular ‘gator was swimming so far away from the marshy shoreline. I took these pictures on Friday, April 25, 2014 when I was on a day-long boat ride through several Central Florida waterways on a friend’s pontoon boat. Please click on the thumbnail images to see the larger picture. Enjoy!