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!
Double Crested Cormorants are local resident birds but there also are quite a few flocks of migrating birds here in this area during the Winter months.
Double Crested Cormorants are meat-eating birds. They dive and catch fish, frogs, turtles and baby alligators. They often are spotted with flocks of White Pelicans or among Great and Snowy Egrets. They spread their wings to dry them after coming out of the water.
These birds closely resemble the Anhinga but they are larger bodied and have a broader bill that has a slight downward hook on the end. I took these pictures last week here in The Villages at a pond in the Polo Ridge neighborhood and also at the small lakes at Freedom Pointe. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Double Crested Cormorants
There is a huge flock of Double Crested Cormorants here at one of the little community lakes here in The Villages, FL. The Double Crested Cormorants have migrated South for the Winter. These kinds of cormorants also can be seen in fresh water marshland and salt marshes in Florida and along the Gulf of Mexico and some areas of the Atlantic.
The Double Crested Cormorants often accompany the White Pelicans and sometimes, the Wood Storks in their migration. The cormorants are fishing birds. They dive into the water to catch their fish or frogs. Wading birds and pelicans often help herd the fish into the waiting bills of the cormorants or vice-versa.
This bunch of cormorants are presently on the two little lakes behind the Freedom Pointe Assisted Living Facilities on El Camino here in The Villages. I believe these birds are also roosting in the large trees along the shore. I took these pictures on Nov. 17, 2016 late in the afternoon. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A large part of the big flock of Double Crested Cormorants
Cormorants drying their wing feathers
Double Crested Cormorants
Wood Storks; a Great Blue Heron; Great Egrets; Snowy Egrets; Double-crested Cormorants; Pied-billed Grebes; a Little Blue Heron and a small flock of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were all vying for a meal of tasty fish, tadpoles, frogs, small turtles; or larger aquatic insects in the lovely little Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL on Sunday, October 23, 2016.
This is quite an unusual sight to find so many varieties and numbers of wading birds all in one spot. Most of these birds are migrating and are just stopping over to rest in the small welcoming lake.
In these feeding frenzies, I have seen it be common for the herons, egrets, and storks to follow what is happening with the cormorants in the water. By the way, later in the day, I also saw a Tri-colored Heron at Swartz Park.
I took these pictures from Paradise Park and Swartz Park on the small private residential lake. Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Wood Storks, Snowy Egret
While I was at Tuscawilla Park in Ocala on Jan. 15, 2015, I saw a lot more birds than just the Wood Storks. I was thrilled by seeing many American White Ibis, at least twenty American White Pelicans, a few Common Coots, a lot of Common Cormorants, and a Great Egret or two. Yes, I also saw about a hundred Black Bellied Whistling Ducks (I’ll save those pictures of Whistlers for another post). There also were several resident park ducks such as Muscovy Ducks and Pekin Ducks.
The sheer number of large birds at this older city park was amazing! I believe that there are (or were) many fish in the two ponds as the park has a catch and release fishing policy. Nearly all of these birds are migratory visitors to the park. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photograph. Enjoy!
White Ibis and Sea Gull (brown and white Ibis is a juvenile)
White Pelicans with a Common Cormorant
Great Egret and White Pelican
American White Ibis