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.
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!
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!