Big exotic birds and and a tiny Palm Warbler songbird, all were spotted here in The Villages, FL, at several ponds and smaller lakes this past week. It is always such fun to take the camera and go see what animals and birds can be found on any given day. I saw these at Paradise Lake, The Freedom Pointe Lake, and the Walmart ponds on CR466 at Buffalo Ridge. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
The Villages, Florida, has some spectacular and unexpected wildlife! River Otters, small Alligators, Great Blue Herons, freshwater turtles, Anhingas a Grey Squirrel, and a King Bird were all spotted at the scenic boardwalk area of Fenney Springs in the newer Southern section of The Villages, FL yesterday, 11/24/19.
So wonderful seeing all this while walking along a quarter-mile stretch of boardwalk above the actual springs. This park with nature preserve, is adjacent to the Fenney Recreation Center in the area near Wildwood, Florida in The Villages. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Cormorants are mostly seen in groups or even in large flocks while Anhinga birds are seen by themselves or a mate (occasionally in a small flock but spread-out). The Cormorants often travel with White Pelicans to hunt fish cooperatively.
The Cormorants have a chunky thick body and a slight hook to the end of their bill. Anhingas have a thinner body and have a thin sword-like bill. Female Anhingas have a light brown ruff of feathers on the underside of their neck. Both birds are diving birds and their appearance in the water when surfacing is snake-like. Both bird must spread their wings to dry them after diving. Both are great fliers and perch in water-front trees.
The Anhingas are considered to be tropical birds and are most often here in Florida or very near. The Cormorants can be found in many places throughout the United States.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Anhinga birds and Double-crested Cormorants are very similar aquatic birds. The differences are the bill and body size with only faint differences about the feathers. The Anhingas are more slender and have a very straight slender sword-like bill. The female Anhinga is more brown in color with a light tan throat. These females are also nicknamed “Piano birds” for the pattern of their feathers.
The Double-crested Cormorants can be distinguished by the slightly hooked tip of their long also sword-like bill. The cormorants also are much heftier and blocky in body than the Anhingas. Both eat fish, frogs, and small turtles. Both are experts in flight as well as swimming. Both the Anhingas and Double-crested Cormorants are referred to as “Snake birds” as they come up from diving with only their long sinuous neck and their head peeking out of the water.
The Anhingas are here all year long but the cormorants mostly are migratory with the White Pelicans. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Fenney Springs and the Fenney Neighborhood of The Villages, FL has a variety of wildlife! Sandhill Cranes, a Glossy Ibis, a Snowy Egret, a Great Egret, a tiny Palm Warbler, an Anhinga bird, several freshwater turtles, a Great Blue Heron, and several shorebirds were all recently spotted in the Fenney Springs area and Hammock Golf Course (Red Fox and Grey Fox courses) area ponds and springs. I have read the area also is occasionally home to River Otters and an Alligator or two.
The Nature Walk is a short walk along a boardwalk over the Fenney Springs itself. The walk has scenic views of the little creek and the bubbling springs ponds. I usually see several turtles and occasionally a wading bird and even a few songbirds.
The golf course is close to the Fenney Springs and the main highway entrance into the various new neighborhoods here in The Villages, FL. The shallow pond where I saw the Glossy Ibis, the egrets, and shorebirds is to the right side of the entrance road for the Hammock Red Fox and Grey Fox golf courses close to the parking lot for the courses. I think it is amazing that I saw all of these animals and birds in such a small area of a neighborhood all on the same afternoon! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy! P.S. My community is not in the hurricane area so no worries here. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers for the “Panhandle” of Florida where the big hurricane will come ashore later today – Linda (“Wildlifewatcher”).
Male Boat-tailed Grackle
Eastern Bluebirds, a Boat-tailed Grackle, a Tufted Titmouse, a lovely pair of Sandhill Cranes and a lot of White Ibis, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Anhingas were all spotted here in The Villages, FL in the last couple of days.
I took the photo of the roosting birds on Morse Blvd. just below Rio Grande, on Monday 2/19/18, at twilight. That roosting area was active for years, and then was abandoned for the last year. This marshland is once again wet, so hundreds of wading birds such as ibis, egrets, herons, and anhingas, are back every night to rest!
I took the photos of the songbirds, here in my neighborhood. The weather has been fine so the birds have been out and about much more! The photograph of the Sandhill Cranes was taken just off of Morse Blvd. along CR 466 along the multi-modal path. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.
White Ibis Heading to the Roost
Female Eastern Bluebird
Tufted titmouse on a Palm
Sandhill Cranes at a pond on Morse near Live Oak Park
Egrets, Herons, Wood Storks, Sandhill Cranes, Anhingas, Double-crested Cormorants, Seagulls, and Common Coots were all spotted here on Freedom Pointe Lake and Lake Sumter in The Villages, FL this last weekend. What a bunch of wonderful birds to observe!
This area has a lot of ponds, small lakes and medium lakes plus marsh lands so there is a great many spots to observe the wildlife. We get a lot of different species of birds here in the Winter months. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version. Enjoy!
Cormorants, Egrets and Seagulls at Freedom Pointe Lake
Wood Storks and Anhingas
Great Blue Heron at Freedom Pointe Lake
A Raft of Common Coots on Lake Sumter
A Common Coot on Lake Sumter
A Double-Crested Cormorant on Freedom Pointe Lake
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
Anhingas are tropical water birds that are excellent in flight and in the water. Some people know these birds as “Snake birds” because of their sinuous long neck. The Anhinga hunts mostly in the water and sometimes all you can see is the head or the head and neck of the bird just above the surface of the pond, lake, or river. These birds are very speedy in the air! Mostly they are seen flying low across the body of water they live near.
There are many Anhingas in my area of Florida. I live in a county where there are lots of smaller lakes loaded with the fish, frogs, turtles, and larger aquatic insects that the Anhinga likes eating. The Anhinga will spear its prey using its long sharply pointed bill. One often sees Anhingas with their wings outspread to dry their feathers after finishing their time hunting in the water. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!