This Eastern Blue Jay was spotted on the lawn at Paradise Park in The Villages, Florida a few days ago. I am thrilled to photograph the little birds as it seems all I ever do is take pictures of the larger exotic birds.
This Blue Jay is the more commonly seen blue jay here in Florida. The other blue jay is the Florida Scrub Jay which is smaller and has a lot more of the blue and only a bit of white/grey. The Scrub Jay is quite rare here now. Both jays love nuts seeds and insects! This one seems to have successfully hunted that morning and had a full belly.
The Mourning Doves were spotted on Sunday at the freshwater marsh where I spotted a lot of egrets and ducks. The doves were perching on the fencing and were not bothered by my presence in any way. These doves seemed to be very calm birds.
I enjoy being in the parks here and taking pictures of the various birds. Always something to see on the lawns, in the trees, marsh preserves and of course, on the lakes. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Egrets are resident birds here in The Villages, FL area. We have a lot of small lakes and ponds and tiny creeks here with plenty of food for these birds. Of course, the Cattle Egrets come and go and are mainly seen near the few horse and cattle ranches we have in the overall community. We tend to have more Great Egrets here than Snowy or Cattle Egrets. All are meat or insect eating birds. There also are Reddish Egrets in the region but I have only spotted one here in The Villages and that was months ago.
The largest of these three kinds of egrets is the Great Egret which is perhaps three feet tall. The smallest of these egrets is the Snowy Egret, with the Cattle Egret in the mid-range. I took these pictures at various times this year here in The Villages, primarily on Lake Mira-mar, Lake Paradise, and Freedom Pointe Lake. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy! P.S. The community’s archery range will reopen today for the first time since Hurricane Irma damaged it a bit. Hooray!
Great Egret and Snowy Egrets
Wood Storks are seen here in The Villages, FL every now and then. They fly together in small flocks and stay for several days. These larger wading birds eat grains, small fish, frogs, small tender turtles, small alligators, and aquatic snails.
We have had minor flooding here and I spotted a pair of these Wood Storks strolling down flooded Kim Street at Boone Park on Lake Paradise earlier this evening. The storks were accompanied by a Great Egret, a Little Blue Heron and several Mottled Ducks. The other stork was spotted in the parking lot at the flooded Lake Mira-mar in The Villages. I had to take several of the pictures from quite a distance because of the flooded Boone Park and Kim Street areas (the other bird, which was at Lake Mira-mar, was quite close to our golf cart). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
These Sandhill Cranes were spotted in The Villages, FL on April 3, 2017 and also yesterday. I saw the big birds at both the Live Oak Park area near the pond North of the park on the East side, and also at Paradise Park. Both groups of the cranes were seen in the very early evening hours.
The flock at Paradise Park was quite near Swartz Park. This lake has two smaller parks and the large Paradise Park. The lake is ringed on three sides with homes and on the other side with the big park. The birds were there in search of their evening meal and probably to engage in courtship rituals. I saw a lot of jumping and flapping of wings. I am still getting to know my new-to-me camera which has a lot of adjustments I am not yet familiar with. I apparently had mis-set my speed and so most of the pictures of the Sandhill Cranes from Paradise Park were pretty blurry. Sad but true. I like the camera which is a hand-me-down from my husband. Much lighter to carry than the big 500mm zoom and older camera. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Here are some shots of the Double Crested Cormorants. 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 that photo. Enjoy!
The Sandhill Cranes suddenly appeared on Saturday night at twilight (12/14/17) at the little neighborhood Lake Paradise here in The Villages, Florida. I took these pictures at Swartz Park. There were twenty-one Sandhill Cranes in all. The Sandhill Cranes are enjoying the low water levels which make hunting for aquatic insects, small fish, crustaceans, and even aquatic plants, very easy. I believe these are migrating birds. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!