Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida has an amazing number of birds visiting these days. Of course with the water level so low, there has been very easy access to fish, frogs, tadpoles, turtles, aquatic insects, and aquatic plants. The supermarket for birds has been open for fine dining and the birds have been loving it. No rain other than our big storm on Saturday. That helped a tiny bit. I was glad for the moisture.
I took these pictures on Sunday early in the evening. I spotted the flock of White Pelicans, a Great Blue Heron, a pair of Egyptian Geese, a few Double Crested Cormorants, lots of Canada Geese, a flock of White Ibis, several small shorebirds, crows, and the usual Mallard and Mottled Ducks. I never know what birds will be there so it is a lot of fun to check on the visitors. I think they also somehow check on us, too! Ha!
Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
White Pelicans and Great Blue Herons
White Pelicans, Sandhill Cranes, a Great Blue Heron, Canada and Egyptian Geese, ducks a plenty and egrets were all spotted at Paradise Lake in Paradise Park, The Villages, Florida on Tuesday (5/9/17) evening at dusk. No rain in sight and the lake continues to shrink. As a blog friend mentioned in comments on a recent post here, the birds seem to be benefitting short-term from the low water levels.
Additionally, I took several pictures at the lake this morning (5/12/17) and saw Wood Storks, White Pelicans, shorebirds of some type (Plovers?), and a huge gathering of egrets and herons. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the very slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy! P.S. Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday!
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, White Ibis
Sandhill Crane and Great Blue Heron in the Background
Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks
Here are some photographs I took of ducks including the ever-so-cute, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (flock in flight) at Paradise Park in The Villages, Florida, on Monday evening at dusk. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Mallard and Mottled Hybrid Ducks
I spotted these Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, commonly called “Whistlers” on Sunday night at twilight at Lake Mira-mar in The Villages at Spanish Springs. The charming ducks whistle instead of quacking. This whistle is pretty high-pitched and distinctive. They are aloof but generally very sweet ducks. Beautiful with bright pink bills, legs and feet. The birds get the pink bill and feet when they become adults. They eat grains, seeds, and insects. They are a welcomed duck here in our area! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
This male Hooded Merganser duck was spotted on Sunday March 5, 2017, at the Wal-Mart pond on CR 466 in The Villages, Florida.
The Hooded Merganser was first seen lounging on the base of a large pond fountain. After a moment, the duck slid into the water and paddled off in search of a bite to eat. I did not see a female or hen with the merganser. I did see a few Mallard Ducks there as well as a Little Blue Heron and a single Common Moorhen.
Hooded Mergansers are gorgeous ducks. The males are rusty-brown, white and black in color. Male Hooded Mergansers have a large white hooded region on their heads that they raise when alert or to signal danger to the other ducks. These ducks dive for prey of fish, frogs, crayfish, tadpoles and small tender turtles.
I have been seeing the Hooded Mergansers with some Bufflehead Ducks, and Lesser Scaups around the community in the last couple of weeks. Pretty soon, these migratory ducks will head North. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Wood Ducks were spotted at Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, Florida on Tuesday, January 4, 2017. I had an errand in Ocala so we decided to check on what was going on wildlife-wise at Tuscawilla. Mostly ducks, cormorants, ibis, and a few Wood Storks. No pelicans or herons at all on that occasion.
The Wood Ducks are especially beautiful. Notice that one of the hens is very light in color. I may have photographed this leucastic hen two years ago there. The leucastic color is just a faded color on the feathers and is a rare condition, probably a genetic mutation.
Wood Ducks eat fish, crayfish, frogs, tender small turtles, and aquatic insects for the most part. Occasionally they will also eat grains and fruit. They nest up perhaps ten feet or more in trees where the ducklings glide out onto the ground as pretty-much new hatchlings. That always amazes me. The nests are usually in hollowed out spaces in trees or in specially made “Duck boxes” on posts on the immediate shore or in the water on poles.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Belted Kingfisher, White Pelicans, Sea Gulls, Muscovy Ducks, and Canada Geese were all spotted on Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL, on January 7, 2017. This little neighborhood lake has a few more inches of water in it since we got a good soaking rain yesterday and the night before last. I am so very glad! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!