Double-crested Cormorants and a Seagull
Water birds, wading birds and turtles were all spotted at Freedom Pointe and Paradise Lakes in The Villages, Florida this past weekend. I am happy that the weather was nice enough to permit a bird watching jaunt both on Friday at dusk and on Saturday afternoon.
The Double-crested Cormorant flock will be flying North in coming days. I was surprised that this flock did not follow the White Pelicans that left for their migration on Friday morning. The Great Egret, Snowy Egret, the Cooter Turtles, Canada Goose, Great Blue Heron, and what is probably a Try-colored Heron, are all resident birds here in The Villages, Florida. These birds are mostly meat eaters while the geese love seeds and grasses. I love getting out and about at the many small ponds and lakes and preserves here! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Double-crested Cormorant in the Live Oak Tree Roost
Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorant, Cooter Turtle and a Canada Goose
Great and Snowy Egrets
Double Crested Cormorants are frequently here on our ponds and lakes in the winter months here in The Villages, Florida. These birds enjoy the warm weather quite a lot and around ponds, lakes, rivers, and both fresh and salt water marsh-lands. Some of these cormorants are natives here but many are migrants from places north of us. I also have spotted Double-Crested Cormorants at marina docks on the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico at Cedar Key here in Florida.
These water birds dive for fish, frogs, baby alligators, tender soft-shelled turtles and larger aquatic insects and aquatic mollusks. At times, Double-crested Cormorants are mixed in near the White Pelicans here. The Double-Crested Cormorants are similar in looks to the slightly smaller Anhinga birds. The Anhingas have a straight bill while there is a downward hook to the tip of the bill on the Double-Crested Cormorants. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Diving for a bit of food
Hooded Merganser ducks
Hooded Mergansers, and Double-crested Cormorants were spotted at the pond in the Silverlake Community Center’s small park area here in The Villages, FL this past week. I also spotted a small flock of Lesser Scaup ducks at the nearby Lake Paradise right at Paradise Park in The Villages.
I just am wowed by the huge variety of water birds we have here in The Villages during the winter months! This bunch of scaups have become used to people and behave like typical park ducks begging for, and receiving hand-outs (please do not feed bread to ducks as it is not the healthiest for them). Someone was flinging bread cubes to the seagulls and the ducks rushed over to get in on that action.
Most wild ducks are very wary of people so this behavior of coming near the shore when people are around is unusual in migratory birds. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Drake (male) Lesser Scaup
A pair of Lesser Scaup ducks
Please click on each thumbnail picture of the Double-crested Cormorants (and a pair of Hooded Mergansers in the background) to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
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
A Double-crested Cormorant
White Ibis, Mallard Duck, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, a Double Crested Cormorant, A Snowy Egret, Sandhill Cranes, and a Little Blue Heron were all photographed while in flight. All were moving from place to place here in Central Florida in The Villages and in the Ocala area. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
A Hen Mallard Duck
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
A Snowy Egret
A Little Blue Heron
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!