A Pair of Common Moorhens
Both the Common Moorhens and the Common Coots are here in The Villages, FL during the winter months. We also have moorhens here all year long but do have many more around in the winter.
Common Moorhens show different coloring between the genders while mostly the coots are just a charcoal black. Moorhen drakes are also charcoal while the hens are a brown color. Moorhens have a fleshy red growth on their faces and the coots have a white growth. Both types are members of the Rail family of water birds. Both look like a cross between a chicken and a duck. Moorhens and coots live in marshes, lakes, ponds, and slow streams. The coots and moorhens are good at flight. The coots form “Rafts” which are huge numbers of birds paddling together on a body of water. Coots are more flock birds while the Moorhens are often in pairs or small groups. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
A Raft of Common Coots
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
Sherman’s Fox Squirrel (Monkey Squirrel)
Hawks, Coots, Sherman’s Fox Squirrels, Common Moorhens, a handsome male Northern Cardinal, and several male Red-winged Blackbirds were all spotted yesterday afternoon at the Sharon Rose Wiechens Preserve at The Villages, Florida.
It was a dreary rainy afternoon but we did see a fair amount of wildlife there at the preserve. I always adore the Sherman’s Fox Squirrels there. I usually see three of the beautiful squirrels in the lawn just near the walkway. By the way, the Sherman’s Fox Squirrels come in different coat colorations with some like the one shown, being light-furred. Many are darker brown. Yesterday, I only saw two squirrels, one was off in the distance.
There were plenty of Common Coots in Lake Deaton. I saw a huge raft of the coots floating and rising up and down on the lake off in the distance. I think the presence of a hawk or two made the coots wary.
In spite of the weather, I always enjoy going to this new preserve in the Southern end of The Villages development. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger image. Enjoy!
Hawk (Possibly a Red-shouldered?)
Male Red-winged Blackbird
Male Northern Cardinal
Coots in the distance
Hen Lesser Scaup Duck
What? You thought I was going to say “Goose!”? I spotted the pretty Lesser Scaup ducks along with the Common Coot at a local small park lake. These cute ducks are pretty used to being around visitors so I was able to get pretty close to a lot of them.
I took the pictures yesterday, Jan. 31, 2016, late in the afternoon. It was a cool, cloudy day here, but the good news is that it is warming up a bit. I am glad. Not that Florida’s weather is anything to really complain about! Please click on the thumbnail images to see the larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Drake Lesser Scaup Duck
Drake Lesser Scaup and Common Coot
A Pair of Lesser Scaup Ducks
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
Southern Bald Eagle
Little Blue Heron
This nature preserve is part of The Villages, Florida in a new area to the South end of the development. I went to the preserve on December 15, 2015 and enjoyed seeing American Coots, a Little Blue Heron, a Bald Eagle (up on the high tension electric tower), a Red-bellied Woodpecker, the Sherman’s Fox Squirrels, a number of ducks in the distance, and Meadowlarks.
In the past, I have also seen Great Egrets, and a White Tailed Deer (across on the far side of the lake). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. By the way, it was raining lightly when I was at the preserve. P.S. I saw a huge flock of White Pelicans arrive at the small neighborhood lake near my home this afternoon. I hope to get some pictures taken while the birds are still around. Wildlifewatcher
Scenic View of the Far Shore
Southern Bald Eagle
Sherman’s Fox Squirrel
Observation Tower and Deck
Common Moorhens and Common Coots are both members of the Rail family of birds. Both of these duck-like birds were spotted a few days ago happily paddling around the marshy shallows of a medium-sized lake in a new nature preserve, the Sharon Rose Weichens Preserve, which has opened at The Villages, Florida. This preserve is also where I photographed the Sherman Fox Squirrels.
The Moorhens and Coots mostly eat vegetation but also will eat insects, worms, and snails. They really are quite good at flying as well as walking on land (but generally only walk near the shore). These birds are often preyed-upon by eagles and hawks. Both genders of Common Coots look-alike, but the hen Common Moorhen is brown rather than the black of the drake Common Moorhen. I am always happy to see the coots and moorhens! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture.