Belted Kingfisher on the Suwanee River
Double Crested Cormorants on the Suwanee River
This lovely Florida State Park has a 72 degree F fresh water spring, is on the banks of the Suwanee River, has a wonderful campground, and walking trails with a children’s playground area. I saw many deer, nine, I think. I also saw four armadillos. There were a few wading birds, and songbirds, but there were perhaps a hundred Turkey Vultures (with a few Black Vultures in the bunch).
Almost every large tree on the Suwanee River at the mouth of the Manatee Springs stream, had many vultures perched on it! It is an amazing sight to see a seventy foot tall Cypress tree festooned with buzzards (another name for vultures).
This park is not a zoo and all the animals are wild. I was surprised to see the animals so boldly walking around were people were.
I recommend visiting Manatee Springs State Park. A lovely place with a lot to see in a small park. It is about six miles from the small town of Chiefland where there are several stores and restaurants. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Probably an Eastern Phoebe
Pied-billed Grebe on the Suwanee River
Juvenile Little Blue Heron at the Manatee Spring
Deer are such wonderful animals! I saw these deer while on my trip to South Dakota (Custer State Park), and Wyoming at Yellowstone National Park, this past June. Basically I’d spot the deer but they would spot or hear the vehicle and flee. Usually when trying to photograph deer, one has to be very quiet and still or be far away.
Many of these deer were very young adults. The males shed their antlers yearly and grow a new pair. These deer are Mule Deer. I saw deer in the Custer State Park of South Dakota and again in Yellowstone National Park. The trio of young bucks were spotted while I was on a guided bus tour to the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park. I recommend this late afternoon and early evening tour, called the Wildlife Tour to Lamar Valley. It is a large group bus tour but you do see many animals and there are opportunities to get out of the bus for rest stops and picture-taking. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
We were driving down the street about a half-block from our driveway when out trotted three White-tailed does. The does are the female deer. It is now deer season for hunting here in this county so I am sure that the deer are happy that they were on a street and in a neighborhood where hunting is not allowed (nearby areas do have hunting on private land). The deer here have lots of places to hide in thickets and woods. These does were so pretty! This is the second time I have seen deer close to our new home. In fact, when we were looking at the place before buying it, we were told that the reason why the top rail in two small areas of the wood fence were down, was due to deer jumping over the fence to get to the garden. So, I am sure we will need to additionally fence our garden plot next Spring. I took these pictures from inside the car on Dec. 13, 2011. The shots are hazy since I had to take the pictures through the closed windows and did so in a big hurry. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
White-tailed Deer, Turkey Vultures, and Western Grebes were among the animals and birds that I was watching in the past few days here in my greater community and on the lake where I live. We have a rather large flock of Vultures that lives in the more undeveloped woodland area of our community here on the beautiful Cumberland Plateau. These big birds roost together in large pine and hemlock trees in a sparsely developed neighborhood that borders a wildlife management area. I also came upon three Deer when on a drive to that same forested area of the community. The Western Grebes are a mystery to me. I think that these water birds are out of place but I do welcome seeing them. At first, I was confused as to what kind of bird these were. I wondered if they were a Yellow Billed Loon, or some type of Cormorant. Upon reading on the Internet, I have come to believe that no, they are not Loons, and they are not Cormorants, and they are not even Clark’s Grebes. I believe them to be Western Grebes. The Western Grebe lives in areas in the Western U.S. and generally is seldom seen here in Cumberland County. I have been happy to see all of these unique animals and birds! I took all of these pictures on 12/8/10 and 12/9/10. By the way, I have been trying out a new camera. I took the pictures of the Vultures with a Panasonic Lumix FZ40 Model point and shoot digital camera with zoom. That little camera will be my “Keep it in the car” camera for times when I come across animals or memorable sights while out on drives. A side note, I am seeing several new and different waterbirds here on the lake in the last several days. I’ll be posting the pictures here soon. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Wood Duck Hen
Pileated Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, White-Tailed Deer, a Turkey Vulture, Wood Ducks, Tufted Titmice, an American Robin and several more kinds of wildlife were seen in my backyard and in my larger community on Monday, October 25, 2010. I was amazed to see even more birds such as the Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Carolina Chickadees, White-Breasted Nuthatches, Canada Geese, a Bald Eagle, Mallard Ducks, a Goldfinch, a Dark-Eyed Junco, several frisky Chipmunks, and several Grey Squirrels! Whew! I almost could not believe the feeding frenzy in the backyard this afternoon just after it quit raining. We had a tremendous thunderstorm early in the wee hours of the morning on Monday. It was cool and breezy early but just after the rain in the afternoon at about 2:30 PM Central, I started to see the birds swarming in my yards! What a sight! I am showing just a smidgeon of the total variety of the birds, waterfowl, and animals that were here. I took these pictures yesterday in my yard (except for vulture and deer which were on the other side of my community). Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Possibly a Dark-Eyed Junco
Downy Woodpecker Female