Whistling Ducks, and Mallard Ducks were both spotted here in The Villages, FL this past Sunday. I was happy to see the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at the marsh where I also had spotted many egrets. I also saw the Mallards there. Lake Paradise has a bunch of Mottled Ducks and Mallard Ducks right now.
Later in the Winter, there will be a lot of other breeds of migrating ducks here on our many ponds and lakes. I so enjoy watching the ducks. By the way, most of this bunch of Whistlers were juveniles with their bluish-pink bills, legs and feet! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great and Snowy Egrets and Mallard Ducks
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and several other kinds of wading birds and water birds were all spotted at a large freshwater marsh/rainfall retention area that is a nature preserve here in The Villages, FL community. This bird spot is located on Buena Vista Blvd. just South of the Lake Miona Recreation Center and the Bass Fishing Pond on that same street.
There were perhaps fifty egrets there with additional Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, White Ibis, and Mottled Ducks, Mallard Ducks and the ever popular Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (including many juvenile whistlers)! A truly nice gathering of birds to observe. I took these pictures yesterday morning from the grassy area off of the multi-modal path near a nicely placed bench. I of course used my long lens as the birds were quite a distance away. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly smaller version of the photo. Enjoy!
Egrets and Florida Mottled Ducks
Egrets in the Preserve
I spotted this Limpkin at the shoreline of Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL on Saturday evening at dusk. The Limpkin is a wading bird that is unique as it is not related to the other types of wading birds although it does resemble the rails and the bittern (and even juvenile Green Herons). These birds primarily eat aquatic snails with Apple Snails being preferred. This is the first Limpkin I have seen at Lake Paradise but I had seen one on the nearby Lake Miramar just across the highway, several months ago on three occasions.
Limpkin are mostly active at night and are very shy. This particular bird was standing on a concrete culvert on the immediate shoreline about twenty feet from the multi-modal (golf carts, bicycles and pedestrians) pathway leading to the Silver Lake Village neighborhood. I am thrilled to have seen the bird and photographed it. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
These Great Egrets were spotted in The Villages, Florida at El Santiago Golf Pond, Silver Lake Recreation Center Pond, and Lake Paradise near Schwartz Park and Boone Park. I took these pictures this past weekend. Some of the areas are harder to get to still due to minor flooding, but more areas are opening up once again.
The Great Egrets eat small fish, frogs, turtles, baby alligators, mice, lizards, baby birds, and snakes (and other small critters). They fish with their long sharp yellow bills and spear their prey. These birds are mostly wading birds but they do hunt on land in shrubbery and on lawns at times. Great Egrets are white with yellow bills, black legs and black feet. They are among the tallest of the egrets. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Try-colored Heron at Boone Park Flooded Lake Paradise on Street
We just got our Internet back on so I am able to post here. We had evacuated from our home here for the duration of the storm and returned to absolutely no damage to our house (Hooray!). We were fortunate. Our community did fine and there is not a lot of damage here unlike the South of Florida and Jacksonville to the Northeast.
We had minor flooding in a couple parts of our neighborhoods along some of the little lakes and ponds but I don’t think many (if any) houses got lake water inside. The Paradise Park archery range is flooded and I may not be doing any archery practice for more than a few days. It can wait.
I am grateful beyond measure for all the wonderful electric line workers who have come from all over to help Florida get power back on! Also grateful to those disaster workers who are helping in hard hit areas here in the state!
Last night and this morning I went out safely and took some pictures of birds and the little lakes. Here are a few of those photographs. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Egrets on Flooded Lake Mira-mar
Flooded Lake Mira-mar
White Ibis at Lake Mira-mar
Tri-colored Heron at Flooded Boone Park on Lake Paradise
Flooding at Boone Park on Lake Paradise
White Ibis at Flooded Lake Mira-mar
A Squadron of Mottled Ducks sails on the Freedom Pointe Lake
Egrets, Egyptian Geese, Canada Geese, Herons and Mottled Ducks were all spotted here in The Villages, FL on the lake at Freedom Pointe and on the street parkway on Buena Vista Blvd. last week. I so enjoy getting out an about to spot and watch the birds here. We often see these exotic birds! It is amazing.
I have been working on hurricane preparations as we expect to see some type of tropical storm force or hurricane force winds here on Sunday and Monday. We don’t have a firm track for the hurricane so I cannot say how bad it should be but I think we will be better off here inland as we are 60 miles from both coastlines. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Please understand if I don’t post on Monday – perhaps we will have power but likely not. Thanks.
A Great Egret Hunts in the Shrubbery on Buena Vista Blvd.
White Ibis, Egyptian Goose, Canada Goose and Great Blue Heron
A Great Egret Roosts at Freedom Pointe
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Cattle Egrets, White Ibis and the grand Wood Storks are large white wading birds that have been here in The Villages in recent weeks. The Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and White Ibis are here all the time, but the Cattle Egrets are very occasional. The Wood Storks come and go every few weeks it seems. The other large white birds are the White Pelicans, which are here in the Winter and early Spring, the white phase of the Little Blue Heron, and the white Great Blue Herons.
The only ones of these listed that really are not truly wading birds, are the Cattle Egrets which prefer being in cattle or horse pastures along with the livestock. All of these birds are great flyers and the Wood Storks have been known for flying quite a long ways to find food. I believe many of the Ibis and egrets are now roosting on Lake Mira-mar near the Veteran’s Memorial Park end of the little lake (having probably moved from the now abandoned roosts on Morse Blvd. near Rio Grande). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.