A Great Egret, an American White Ibis, a quartet of Wood Storks, and an Anhinga were all spotted at a small lake in a neighborhood park in Lake County, Florida in the last two weeks. Sometimes a funny sight like the Great Egret perching on a backyard pergola or four Wood Storks lounging in a lake-front backyard (there had been ten there an hour before!) just amazes me.
I so enjoy spotting a big number of birds around this lake. It is about the size of a very large pond and is full of needed food for all the wading birds, ducks and geese that enjoy life on its waters. The little lake is ringed by homes with the park on its far shore. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
American White Ibis sitting in a an Oak Tree
Anhinga with its fish
A Great Egret, several Snowy Egrets, and a Little Blue Heron all took their places temporarily in a medium-sized Cypress Tree. They were very flighty. I took all but one of these pictures at a little pond near CR 466 in Sumter County, Florida at about 5:45 PM last night. I doubt these birds actually were intending to roost for the night, but were probably just resting a few moments. There are two ponds very close together in the area.
The picture of the Ibises was taken a few minutes later on last evening. It was taken on the shore of the little park lake, located just off of the Spanish Springs Square in The Villages, Florida. Please click on the thumbnail images to see a slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
Snowy Egret and Florida Mottled Ducks
Over-heated Common Crows
Eastern Blue Jay Perched on a Fence
Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Florida Mottled Duck
Older Juvenile American White Ibises
Male Downy Woodpecker
It is likely a House Finch that is attempting to use a decorative nest as it’s own. (Edited caption)
I spotted several small flocks of American White Ibises in the last two weeks. Here are some of the views of the big white wading (and lawn) birds! Ibis like rooting around in freshly mown lawns to seek out insects, worms, and grubs. They also will wade in shallow water to get aquatic snails or other small water insects to eat. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger photo. Enjoy!
I saw a flock of American White Ibises in a small park along the shoreline of a very small lake a few days ago. Now, seeing Ibises near a lake or in a park here in Florida is really, no big deal. I was absolutely thrilled, to spot another small group of Ibises hunting for bugs in the grass at the side of our now dry, rainfall retention pond here on my own street! By the way, the Ibises that have brown streaks are older juveniles which are in the process of turning from cocoa brown to mostly all white!
There was also a unique back story to the Ibises being on my block here. I had heard a commotion among the throng of Crows and went outside to see what was going on. I spotted not only the Ibis flock, but there was a Turkey Vulture trying to get a drink of water from the little pool of rainwater left in the basin at that time! It has been very hot here so I can imagine that the vulture just put up with the white birds, the black birds, and yes, that crazy lady with her camera! A few moments later, the vulture flew off to parts unknown. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Sometimes reflections in a photo are interesting. I took these pictures on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 here in my development. These are the same Great Egret and juvenile American White Ibis that I shared about in Wednesday’s post, but these are new photographs. I just enjoy the look of the reflection of the large birds on the pond’s surface. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Here are some Ibises and Egrets spotted here several weeks back. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Edit: I have taken some pictures this morning so here are the latest. Snowy Egret, Great Egret and juvenile White Ibis at one of the rainfall retention ponds here. Enjoy this update below!
A flock of American White Ibis juveniles were enjoying the lowered water level of one of the larger rainfall retention ponds here on Wednesday evening. We were driving past the medium-sized pond and spotted six of the juveniles. This was the first time I had seen juvenile American White Ibises. They are brown and white with the distinctive pinkish bill. The brown coloring disappears as they mature, usually at between 18 and 24 months of age.
These big wading birds eat fish, aquatic snails, frogs, turtles, crayfish, worms, and larger insects. They seem right at home here in Florida. I did not see any adult Ibises around so this group is probably in the older range. of juvenile (often called immature). I took the pictures on August 4, 2013 at about 6:00PM at a pond near one of the golf courses here where I live. I took the pictures from the roadway while in the car. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
American White Ibises came to visit in my immediate neighborhood several times in late May and early June. I could hardly contain my glee! Boy was I happy! Other than in a zoo,, I had never seen a live Ibis, much less several of them. They were here to do one thing and that was to eat. They ate any insects they could find, and ate tadpoles, frogs, and worms. The Ibises strolled around the rainfall collection basin which is lined with St. Augustine Grass and was almost dry. The association here that manages this housing development cuts the grass in this basin about twice a month.
It was funny to see these awkward yet beautiful, large birds stroll around among the yards near houses. I had to laugh seeing one Ibis slowly stroll past a small garden gnome sculpture on a neighbor’s front lawn! I miss seeing the American White Ibises. I think maybe a small flock will return late next Spring for another visit. I sure hope so. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
I took these pictures of this lone American White Ibis in the now somewhat drier shallow rainfall collection basin across the street from my home on Monday afternoon (July 8, 2013). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. Enjoy!