Egyptian Geese have made their home on Paradise Lake in The Villages, FL. This lake is private as is the park, and is for the enjoyment of the residents of The Villages. There are about six of these medium-sized geese here. The geese come and go between several small nearby ponds and lakes.
These Egyptian Geese originated in North Africa and were brought to Florida a number of years ago by someone to be golf course pond pets or farm pets. They are escapees. In any event, I doubt that there are many of the Egyptian Geese here in Florida. The geese hang out with the numerous Canada Geese and also occasionally with the White Ibis. They are grass eaters just like the Canada Geese. I took these pictures during the Summer here and have included a picture of part of beautiful Paradise Park. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
We still have power as of 9:30am so I am posting this. We have a bit of wind and a lot of rain. The storm itself will be in the Daytona area in another hour or so, and that is when it will be the closest to us here. I will let you all know what happens. So far, so good. The track of the storm is farther East off shore which is helpful to us (the coast will still be highly affected).
Here are more photographs of the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (from a week ago at Paradise Lake in The Villages, FL). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that particular photo. Enjoy!
Great Blue Heron
A Great Blue Heron was spotted along with a lovely Tri-colored Heron, at the tiny neighborhood Swartz Park on Lake Paradise, in The Villages, Florida, on Tuesday evening (9/20/16) at about 5:30PM.
The Great Blue Heron was perched on the top of a neighboring residential fishing dock gazebo. The Tri-colored Heron was out successfully fishing for its dinner. The Great Blue Heron never moved in the five minutes I spent birding at that location.
The Tri-colored Heron was always in motion – stalking in the shallow water; perching on the top of a cypress; or flying between lake shore areas. Both of these herons fish for their meals of fish, frogs, tadpoles, small tender turtles, and snails by stabbing with their sharp sword-like bills. Occasionally, these wading birds will also eat smaller shoreline animals or large insects.
I always have a lot of fun bird watching in this neighborhood lake. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Reflection of the Great Blue Heron on the lake
Great Blue Heron
Tri-colored Heron with Fish
Adult Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
These Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were photographed early last night at almost dusk, on Lake Paradise at Swartz Park and also at Boone Park, here in The Villages, Florida.
The ducklings were all in a line behind Mom and Dad. Those babies are adorable with their dark blue-grey bills and feet. Mom and Dad have the distinctive coral orange-pink bills and feet. This family is among a small flock on the lake.
I think perhaps a resident offers duck chow but I do not know that for a fact. I believe this flock was also here last year. The “Whistlers” come and go from around The Villages, FL. These ducks love eating aquatic insects, tiny fish, aquatic vegetation, tadpoles, worms, and of course, grain. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Adult Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Juvenile and Adult Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
The Whistler Family
I saw these Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at Lake Mira Mar in The Villages, FL, on Sept. 7, 2016 and also at Paradise Lake in The Villages on the same day. I enjoy spotting these pretty rust, black, white and pink ducks! They whistle when communicating in similar ways other ducks quack. We are fortunate to have several small flocks of whistlers here at the moment! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of the picture. By the way, my computer has been repaired and I am back to my regular schedule of posts.
Mourning Doves have been cooing in the trees here on my street all year-long. These placid medium-sized tan doves are so soothing and pretty, they are a joy to have nearby. The doves have enjoyed feeding at the neighbor’s hanging tray bird feeder and also picking up fallen seed underneath the feeder pole.
Mourning Doves also enjoy a splash or two at the neighbor’s bird bath during the hot weather. Doves mostly eat grains but do also enjoy some fruits from time to time. They are sweet-tempered birds. I took these pictures during several days in the last month. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that picture.
These Eastern Blue Jays have made their home in my neighborhood this year. There are a few pairs here that frequent bird feeders, bird baths, and our Oaks and shrubbery. These jays enjoy a lot of seeds and fruit but also occasionally enjoy insects. The Eastern Blue Jays are widespread in most of the Midwest, South, Southeast and Eastern USA.
The Eastern Blue Jays are one of the two types of Blue Jay we have in Florida. The other kind of jay is the Florida Scrub Jay which is a very different-looking bird. The Florida Scrub Jays are getting very rare. I have not seen a Scrub Jay in my neighborhood. The Scrub Jays mostly live in undeveloped land with lots of native shrubs and low trees. I took these pictures both last week and this past weekend. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
White Ibises are not that unusual here in The Villages, Florida, but the medium-sized wading birds are most often seen on the shore of a pond or lake. Occasionally, the little flocks take wing and decide to strike out for different pastures and land in neighborhoods. A few days ago, I looked out my window and behold, there they were! It is exciting to see a small group of the ibises strolling along the lawns. About the only thing that gets the birds excited is when a resident walks their dog or when cars roll down the street. These birds seem pleasant and are excellent bug hunters. A nice thing here.
The juveniles are the brownish-colored ones in my pictures; with a more brown to tan-colored bill. The juvenile White Ibises get white feathers with black wing tip under feathers as they age and the bill of the juvenile turns red at the same time. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
These are a few of the ducks I spotted at Lake Mira Mar in The Villages, Fl recently. They are Mottled Ducks, and hybrid Mallard Ducks. The Mallards may be a cross between Mottled and Mallard as well as a cross between Mallard and Muscovy. They seem to be sweet happy ducks.
I enjoy seeing the ducks waddling around on the lawns or paddling in the small lakes and even the man-made stream that runs from the plaza to the lake. Occasionally (Winter) some white Pekin Ducks or wild ducks such as Lesser Scaups, Hooded Mergansers, or even Green Teal join in the fun at this pleasant park and lake area. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A family of Sandhill Cranes was spotted at the residential shoreline of Paradise Lake in what is known as the “Historic side” of The Villages, Florida, near Paradise Park. This little family was browsing in the shallow water of the lake for some food. The cranes eat a variety of aquatic and land plants, and seeds. Sandhill Cranes also occasionally eat insects and small aquatic animals.
This is the first time I have seen any Sandhill Cranes in the area of Paradise Lake. Mostly there are White Ibis, Canada Geese, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Mallard Ducks, Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets and the occasional Egyptian Geese, migratory ducks, Tri-color Herons, White Pelicans and Wood Storks. It was a pleasure to see the three Sandhill Cranes! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.
I spotted the cranes on May 13, 2016 from the tiny Swartz Park shore near the new picnic area, and again last evening at dusk at the beautiful little Boone Park at Kim and Silver Oaks. As ever, I hope you’ll enjoy viewing the pictures.
Crossing Kim Street in The Villages, Florida
Mother and Juvenile Sand Hill Crane at Boone Park, The Villages, FL
Father and Juvenile Sandhill Cranes at Boone Park, The Villages, FL