Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
I spotted these Cattle Egrets at Lake Paradise in The Villages on Saturday afternoon. I noticed the huge flock perched in a tree and on the roof of one of the lake front homes. How about that! I think the residents were away for the afternoon.
These egrets seldom visit this lake. I think the big flock was on its way elsewhere and was resting. Cattle Egrets live in pastures among cows and horses mostly. They dine on insects. I think the cool water and pleasant surroundings were a nice place to rest. I sure enjoyed the unusual sight. By the way, the two geese next to the flock of egrets are Egyptian Geese. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Egrets are resident birds here in The Villages, FL area. We have a lot of small lakes and ponds and tiny creeks here with plenty of food for these birds. Of course, the Cattle Egrets come and go and are mainly seen near the few horse and cattle ranches we have in the overall community. We tend to have more Great Egrets here than Snowy or Cattle Egrets. All are meat or insect eating birds. There also are Reddish Egrets in the region but I have only spotted one here in The Villages and that was months ago.
The largest of these three kinds of egrets is the Great Egret which is perhaps three feet tall. The smallest of these egrets is the Snowy Egret, with the Cattle Egret in the mid-range. I took these pictures at various times this year here in The Villages, primarily on Lake Mira-mar, Lake Paradise, and Freedom Pointe Lake. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy! P.S. The community’s archery range will reopen today for the first time since Hurricane Irma damaged it a bit. Hooray!
Great Egret and Snowy Egrets
These Great Egrets were spotted in The Villages, Florida at El Santiago Golf Pond, Silver Lake Recreation Center Pond, and Lake Paradise near Schwartz Park and Boone Park. I took these pictures this past weekend. Some of the areas are harder to get to still due to minor flooding, but more areas are opening up once again.
The Great Egrets eat small fish, frogs, turtles, baby alligators, mice, lizards, baby birds, and snakes (and other small critters). They fish with their long sharp yellow bills and spear their prey. These birds are mostly wading birds but they do hunt on land in shrubbery and on lawns at times. Great Egrets are white with yellow bills, black legs and black feet. They are among the tallest of the egrets. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Squadron of Mottled Ducks sails on the Freedom Pointe Lake
Egrets, Egyptian Geese, Canada Geese, Herons and Mottled Ducks were all spotted here in The Villages, FL on the lake at Freedom Pointe and on the street parkway on Buena Vista Blvd. last week. I so enjoy getting out an about to spot and watch the birds here. We often see these exotic birds! It is amazing.
I have been working on hurricane preparations as we expect to see some type of tropical storm force or hurricane force winds here on Sunday and Monday. We don’t have a firm track for the hurricane so I cannot say how bad it should be but I think we will be better off here inland as we are 60 miles from both coastlines. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Please understand if I don’t post on Monday – perhaps we will have power but likely not. Thanks.
A Great Egret Hunts in the Shrubbery on Buena Vista Blvd.
White Ibis, Egyptian Goose, Canada Goose and Great Blue Heron
A Great Egret Roosts at Freedom Pointe
Bald Eagles, Osprey, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Wood Storks, Anhingas, Little Blue Herons, Trio-colored Herons, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Double-crested Cormorants, Sandhill Cranes, Mottled Ducks, Muscovy Ducks, Mallard Ducks and Black-bellied Whistling Ducks all have been spotted at the lovely pond at the El Santiago Golf Course in The Villages, Fl this year.
I often can spot several larger birds here and am usually rewarded with good sightings. There is easy access to the pond from Enrique Drive or the recreation center’s parking lot. By the way, the Bald Eagles sometimes perch on the electric line towers both on the golf course and just down the street. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Cattle Egret
Cattle Egrets, Snowy Egrets and the Great Egrets have been here in The Villages, Florida this past week at several park lakes. I spotted the Cattle and Snowy Egrets at the Freedom Pointe lakes, and the Great Egret at the gazebo at Boone Park on Paradise Lake.
The Cattle Egrets have only recently arrived here. They usually are found in cattle and horse pastures attending those animals. The Great Egret is large and has the long yellow bill. The Snowy Egret is the small one with the yellow feet and black bill. The Cattle Egrets are also small but have a few small rust-colored patches of feathers on the head and chest and sides in the breeding season.
All of these egrets enjoy insects with the Snowy and Great Egret mostly liking aquatic animals, insects and the occasional small mouse, lizard or snake. I have never yet seen a Reddish Egret here in The Villages, but you never know. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Great Egret Cools Off
The Snowy Egret