The Villages, Florida, has some spectacular and unexpected wildlife! River Otters, small Alligators, Great Blue Herons, freshwater turtles, Anhingas a Grey Squirrel, and a King Bird were all spotted at the scenic boardwalk area of Fenney Springs in the newer Southern section of The Villages, FL yesterday, 11/24/19.
So wonderful seeing all this while walking along a quarter-mile stretch of boardwalk above the actual springs. This park with nature preserve, is adjacent to the Fenney Recreation Center in the area near Wildwood, Florida in The Villages. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Manatee Eating Romaine Lettuce
Wood Storks, a Red Wolf, a Pink Flamingo, Green Herons all were some of the wonderful Florida animals and birds seen at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park on August 15, 2018. The park is a small zoo that cares for orphaned wild animals, rehabilitated wounded wild animals or captive born wild animal species that cannot live in the wild.
There are three or four naturalist-led talks or demonstrations about the animals each day. I was fascinated to watch the Manatee Feeding talk where the naturalist told the crowd that the five Manatees at the park get fed 300 heads of Romaine Lettuce each day! The manatee shown in the picture here was fed such lettuce and I photographed that animal via an underwater viewing portal. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Southern Bald Eagle
Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Wood Stork Catching a Fish in the Stream
I visited St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge in the Panacea, Florida area on May 20, 2015. I was at a small picnic park area of the refuge on the shore of Otter Lake at the small boat ramp, when I spotted these birds and a couple of alligators. I believe the better time to visit this refuge would be in the Winter when I expect that many more birds are there. I did enjoy the visit tremendously! It is a beautiful wild place.
I will share a few pictures I took featuring sea-shore wildlife, there in the refuge at the Apalachee Bay section, in an upcoming post. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Male Boat-tailed Grackle
Great Blue Heron
The Sandhill Crane family was there, a lone Canada Goose was there, a pair of Florida Mottled Ducks were there, a fleeing Great Blue Heron had been there, and last but not least a lone Cooter Turtle was there! The spot was the horse farm pond in Northwestern Marion County, Florida where I often go to observe wildlife from the side of the road.
The Sandhill Crane family was resting under the Oak Trees on the far shore of the pond and seemed serene. The ducks paddled around the pond as ducks do. The turtle was dreamily basking in the warm sun. I think the Canada Goose started flying and must have spooked the heron, which then took off flying to other places. So, these are the scenes I observed at this wonderful rural pond on April 22, 2015. Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Canada Goose and Mottled Duck
Florida Mottled Ducks
Florida Mottled Ducks
Family of Sandhill Cranes
Sand Hill Cranes were spotted en-mass in Gainesville, Florida at the University of Florida’s cattle research lot on Williston Road. There likely were between 50 and 100 Sand Hill Cranes along with a single Whooping Crane where I was there early in February, 2015.
These cranes love the fenced cattle pasture with water tubs and lots of grain and hay to feast on. The cranes fly off to roost in larger trees elsewhere in Gainesville and return to the pasture during the day. I believe these are migratory cranes but there may be some locals in the mix. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Here are more photographs of wildlife and scenery that I took while at the Sunnyhill Restoration Area, Weirsdale, Florida on January 3, 2015. Please click on the thumbnail images to see the larger photograph. Enjoy!