Sandhill Cranes; Great Egrets; Great Blue Herons; White Pelicans; Mallard Ducks; Canada Geese; and Anhingas have all been regularly spotted each Winter, here on our small ponds and lakes in The Villages, Florida. It is always a treat to go out and do a bit of bird watching! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Canada Goose, Mallard Ducks, Great Egret
Great Blue Heron
Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of these photographs of the Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, taken on July 20, 2019 in The Villages, FL at Lake Mira-mar. As ever, I hope you enjoy these pictures!
Red Winged Black Birds are commonly seen here in freshwater marshes such as the one at the lovely Sharon Wiechens Nature Preserve in The Villages, Florida. These smaller birds flit from reed to reed and flower to flower in search of tasty insects for their meal. The males are black with the gold and red bars on their wings. The females are a streaky brown color. The males have a buzzy call which is pretty distinctive. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Glossy Ibis was spotted on the multi-modal trail heading South from CR 466 near Morse Blvd. here in The Villages, FL. We eventually piloted our golf cart to the lovely Sharon Rose Wiechens nature preserve were we saw a Great Blue Heron, a Common Moorhen, a lovely male Red-winged Blackbird, and a Snowy Egret.
It was quite windy and we also had several sprinkles of rain during our quick visit to the preserve. On the way home, we were happy to have spotted a Limpkin, which is a rarely seen bird here in The Villages, as well as a trio of freshwater turtles basking in the Sun to keep warm.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Freshwater Cooter Turtles
Great Blue Heron
Male Red-winged Blackbird
The Belted Kingfisher is a very elusive small bird that is found near ponds, rivers, lakes, and even salt marsh-lands. The Belted Kingfishers fly over the water to catch fish for their meal. They stab the fish with their thin strong and sharp bill. These birds are a steel-blue in color with a white neck and breast, and a patch of rust-colored feathers on the flanks. Belted Kingfishers have black eyes and a black bill.
Belted Kingfishers are shy birds that fly quickly. They are wary of people and hard to photograph. I am glad I got these long-distance (and cropped for good viewing) pictures. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Several Glossy Ibis were spotted in various places along the shoreline of the beautiful and very large, Lake Apopka on the North Wildlife Drive, in Apopka, FL, yesterday morning.
The Glossy Ibis like eating aquatic plants, seeds, small insects, and aquatic snails. The Glossy Ibis wade through the shallows and often are seen among the reeds or perched in low trees.
These are very lovely wading birds with dark mahogany brown, dark cinnamon brown and highlights of blue on their feathers. Like the White Ibis, their bill is rubbery and banana shaped, but the bill is a tan color rather than the pink bill that the White Ibis has. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A pair of Sandhill Cranes and a Little Blue Heron were seen at two ponds here in The Villages, Florida last week. I saw the cranes on the shore of the small pond near Live Oaks Park on Morse Blvd. near CR 466, and the Little Blue Heron was at Freedom Pointe Lakes (The larger lake). By the way, it has been very windy on several days here so a bit of blown-in trash is evident in the pictures. Most of our shorelines are very clean here and this is a rare occurrence.
Both of these are wading birds that eat fish, frogs, aquatic snails, larger aquatic insects, small shoreline snakes, baby waterfowl, and baby Alligators. The cranes also will eat grains and seeds. I love seeing these beautiful big birds here! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Little Blue Heron