Sandhill Cranes, Common Moorhens, and a gorgeous Little Blue Heron were spotted the other day at the scenic Sharon Wiechens Preserve in The Villages, Florida. All were feeding as it was late in the afternoon while we visited.
This nice preserve is on the shore of a medium-sized lake and has been open about a year or so now. I am amazed at the numbers of birds seen in a small area and all are wild! The preserve has a concrete walkway, a two-floor wood observation tower deck and a wooden pier walkway that juts out into the lake quite a way and then returns in a half rectangle toward the shore. Lots of opportunities to see ducks, moorhens, coots and the occasional egrets, herons, ibis, and Bald Eagle (eagle up on the far electric tower).
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Little Blue Heron and Common Moorhen
Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron
Four Glossy Ibis, a Bald Eagle, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, a Great Egret, a beautiful Tribute-colored Heron, Sherman’s Fox Squirrels, a Grey Squirrel, Common Moorhens, and a Little Blue Heron were all spotted at the wonderful Sharon Weichens Nature Preserve here in The Villages, Florida yesterday afternoon.
It had rained (thankfully) earlier in the day so the birds were out in force gobbling up many food items that had washed into the medium-sized lake at this beautiful preserve. I do not think I have ever spotted so many different types of birds and animals while there at the preserve. We were there at about 3:30 in the afternoon.
That Bald Eagle looks like it is starting a nest up on the high tension line tower. I was a long way away from the eagle and was happy I had the long lens. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. P.S. I will post more pictures I took today in a future post.
Little Blue Heron
Grey Squirrel with a nut
Sherman’s Fox Squirrel
Southern Bald Eagle
Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, Florida has two medium-sized ponds that have a variety of water birds, and wading birds in and around them. I was there at Tuscawilla Park on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 in the afternoon for about five minutes. No, I did not see hundreds of birds as I have in past visits during the Winter months. Many birds have gone elsewhere on their migratory journey.
I did see several Great Egrets, a couple of Wood Storks, Snowy Egrets, a lot of White Ibis, a lot of Common Cormorants, a few Wood Ducks, a few Muscovy Ducks and a Great Blue Heron. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Egret, Snowy Egrets, and Double Crested Cormorants
Juvenile White Ibis
Adult White Ibis
Mature White Pelican
White Pelicans, an American Alligator, Egyptian Geese, Sea Gulls, and a lot of Double Crested Cormorants all were spotted here in The Villages, Florida on the lovely little lake behind Freedom Pointe off of El Camino yesterday at Noon. Don’t worry, that ‘Gator seemed to be a smaller one! The alligators often can be seen here in the lakes and larger ponds. The pelicans and cormorants are migratory visitors to the area but the geese, egret and ibises are year-around residents. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White Pelicans and Double Crested Cormorants
Cormorants and Pelicans
Palm Warblers, Eastern Bluebirds, and a lone Tufted Titmouse were spotted in the past week here in my neighborhood. One of the Palm Warblers was seen below ornamental grass at Paradise Park in The Villages, FL. The other birds were in my own yards. It is great to see all the newly arriving songbirds who have migrated here for the Winter! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Eastern Bluebird male
A Northern Mockingbird, juvenile male Northern Cardinal, a sweet Morning Dove, and a Palm Warbler in the grass were all spotted along my street this last weekend. Not much going on other than the big wading birds and ducks on the ever-shrinking local park lakes (I have seen a large number of Seagulls in recent days on the water). It has been quite windy and cooler here. We are also in a drought which is not helping matters. Hopefully rain is in the forecast here in coming days. Wishing everyone a very happy 2017! Happy birding!
Wood Storks, Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Double Crested Cormorants, Ring-necked Ducks, and Hooded Mergansers all visited the little park lake (Paradise Lake) here in the past two weeks.
An interesting thing about Wood Storks is how they sit. Their knees bend so that their lower legs rest in front – quite the opposite from many animals. and of course, people.
I took these pictures on Dec. 21-22, 2016. Most of these water birds are meat-eaters and they certainly had easy fishing since our lake is drying up (we are in a drought). I wish all who celebrate, a happy Hanukkah. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy! Happy New Year!
Great Blue Heron
Hooded Merganser Ducks
Double Crested Cormorant
Great Egret in Breeding Plumage