Just another WordPress.com weblog about Nature and Wildlife

Posts tagged ‘Coots’

Critters at the Sharon Rose Wiechens Preserve

Sherman's Fox Squirrel (Monkey Squirrel)

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!

Moorhen

Moorhen

Coot

Coot

Hawk (Possibly a Red-shouldered?)

Hawk (Possibly a Red-shouldered?)

 

Male Red-winged Blackbird

Male Red-winged Blackbird

Male Northern Cardinal

Male Northern Cardinal

Coots

Coots in the distance

Duck, Duck, Coot!

Hen Lesser Scaup Duck

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 Duck

Drake Lesser Scaup and Common Coot

Drake Lesser Scaup and Common Coot

A Pair of Lesser Scaup Ducks

A Pair of Lesser Scaup Ducks

A Visit to the Shopping Center Ponds

A Young Alligator

A Young Alligator

Coot

Coot

Little Blue Heron

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!

Mallard Duck

Drake Mallard Ducks

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Pair of Mallard Ducks

Pair of Mallard Ducks

 

Great Egret

Great Egret

 

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

Drake (male) Bufflehead Duck

Drake (male) Bufflehead Duck

 

Common Moorhen

Common Moorhen

Alligator

Alligator

Anhinga

Anhinga

A Visit to the Sharon Rose Weichens Preserve

 

Southern Bald Eagle

Southern Bald Eagle

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Little Blue Heron

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

Scenic View of the Far Shore

Ring-necked Ducks

Ring-necked Ducks

Southern Bald Eagle

Southern Bald Eagle

 

 

Entry

Entry

Sherman's Fox Squirrel

Sherman’s Fox Squirrel

Observation Tower and Deck

Observation Tower and Deck

 

American Coot

American Coot

Eastern Meadowlarks

Eastern Meadowlarks

 

 

 

American Coot

American Coot

 

 

Common Coots and Common Moorhens

Common Coots

Common Coots

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.

Common Moorhens

Common Moorhens

Common Coot

Common Coot

Hen Common Moorhens

Common Moorhens

La Chua Trail at Paynes Prairie

DSC_1717

DSC_1734

DSC_1769

A lot of wildlife was spotted at the lovely La Chua Trail in Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park near Gainesville, FL, on March 12, 2015.  I saw 14 large American Alligators just off the wide easy trail.  One does have to be careful about the alligators but they were all in the water and off of the path while I was there (alligators do get close to the trail!).  I photographed that Common Gallinule (below center) just a moment before one of the alligators snuck up on it and had it for dinner.

The trail is about 2 miles long and is flat with several shade areas with benches.  There is a large overlook at the end but I did not get that far as it was a hot afternoon and I was pretty tired.  I only did half of this beautiful trail.  We paid a $4.00 parking/entry fee at the trail head parking lot.  If you go, don’t forget a bottle of drinking water! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

DSC_1863DSC_1824DSC_1832

 

DSC_1774DSC_1793DSC_1820

Guano River State Park and Wildlife Management Area

 

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagles, a flock of American Robins, a female Downy Woodpecker, a flock of Common Coots, Brown Pelicans and a Snowy Egret were all spotted at the Guano River Wildlife Management Area and State Park on Florida’s A-1A coastal highway near Jacksonville.  I visited this large marsh and hardwood forest on February 12, 2015.  The front side of the park has a large lake and marsh, and several wonderful flat hiking trails that lead to the Wildlife Management Area.

The Wildlife Management Area is a place where hunting does take place at times so it is crucial to follow instructions given on prominent signs at the entrance gates.  We were there when no hunting was happening.  There are streams, beautiful jungle-like hardwood forests, marshes, and the large and small lakes.  I really enjoyed  the short hike we did while there.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

American Robin

American Robin

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

 

Coot

Coot

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

Tag Cloud