Four Glossy Ibis, a Bald Eagle, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, a Great Egret, a beautiful Tribute-colored Heron, Sherman’s Fox Squirrels, a Grey Squirrel, Common Moorhens, and a Little Blue Heron were all spotted at the wonderful Sharon Weichens Nature Preserve here in The Villages, Florida yesterday afternoon.
It had rained (thankfully) earlier in the day so the birds were out in force gobbling up many food items that had washed into the medium-sized lake at this beautiful preserve. I do not think I have ever spotted so many different types of birds and animals while there at the preserve. We were there at about 3:30 in the afternoon.
That Bald Eagle looks like it is starting a nest up on the high tension line tower. I was a long way away from the eagle and was happy I had the long lens. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. P.S. I will post more pictures I took today in a future post.
Little Blue Heron
Grey Squirrel with a nut
Sherman’s Fox Squirrel
Southern Bald Eagle
A Great Egret ,White Ibis, and Double Crested Cormorants, and a Turkey Vulture, were spotted a few days ago. The Ibis are numerous here in Florida and love being around the water. The White Ibis eat aquatic snails, aquatic worms, land worm, and assorted insects. The White Ibis also will eat aquatic plants and some grains.
The Double Crested Cormorants are meat-eating birds that are water birds. They love to follow White Pelicans and also the herons and egrets in search of food. These birds dive into the water for fish or frogs. The Double Crested Cormorants look quite similar to the Anhinga birds but the cormorants are a bit blockier and also have the hook on the end of their bill. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Double Crested Cormorants
Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, Florida has two medium-sized ponds that have a variety of water birds, and wading birds in and around them. I was there at Tuscawilla Park on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 in the afternoon for about five minutes. No, I did not see hundreds of birds as I have in past visits during the Winter months. Many birds have gone elsewhere on their migratory journey.
I did see several Great Egrets, a couple of Wood Storks, Snowy Egrets, a lot of White Ibis, a lot of Common Cormorants, a few Wood Ducks, a few Muscovy Ducks and a Great Blue Heron. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Egret, Snowy Egrets, and Double Crested Cormorants
Juvenile White Ibis
Adult White Ibis
Great Egrets are here on our lakes all year around. I enjoy them very much. The Great Egrets are the taller of the egrets here. We basically have Snowy Egrets, Cattle Egrets and the Great Egrets. On rare occasions, we will spot a Reddish Egret but they are quite unusual here.
The Great Egrets wade in shallow water and hunt for fish, turtles, frogs, tadpoles, larger insects, small shore-side snakes and mice. They spear their prey with their strong pointed bill. The Great Egret is white with a yellow bill and black legs and feet. They have yellow eyes. They are exquisite when in their billowy breeding plumage! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Egret at right, Snowy Egret at left
Great Egrets are among the larger of the wading birds, while the Snowy Egret is a much smaller wading bird at about half the size of the Great Egret. The Great Egret has a bright yellow bill and black legs while the Snowy Egret has bright yellow feet, greenish-black coloring in the legs and a black bill. Both of these egrets are wading birds that eat fish, frogs, small tender turtles, aquatic snails and large aquatic insects and worms. The Great Egret also will eat shore-side mice, lizards, small snakes and larger insects.
Both of these birds are very beautiful big white birds! The Snowy Egret has stunningly beautiful plumage in breeding season, and is a real treat to see then. I took the picture in The Villages, FL on a local lake a few weeks ago. You really can see the difference in the size of both birds! Here in The Villages, in central Florida, we often have Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and the flocking Cattle Egrets. Only on occasion does one see the much rarer Reddish Egret (which closely resembles a lighter Little Blue Heron). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Great Egrets, Snowy Egret, Wood Storks
The Mallard Duck
I saw this drake Mallard in my back yard one early evening. I snapped that particular picture through my window. Imagine my surprise as I live about a half-mile from the nearest pond or lake. After having seen this duck, I noticed that there have been a few of these ducks roaming around this neighborhood in the last couple of weeks. Perhaps in search of a honey or maybe just different food? Who can say.
I spotted the Killdeer, Tri-colored Heron and the Great Egret at Santiago Golf Course pond, and the Wood Duck drake at Paradise Lake at Boone Park in The Villages, Florida. This Wood Duck is one of the few Wood Ducks I have ever seen in The Villages.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Tri-colored Heron at Santiago Golf Course Pond
A Great Egret Hunts
A Great Egret at Santiago Golf Course Pond
A Killdeer at Santiago Golf Course
Canada Geese at Boone Park
A Wood Duck at Boone Park
Egrets, Heron, Canada Geese
Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egrets, Great Egret
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, a Great Blue Heron, a “Great White Heron”, a Tri-colored Heron, a Little Blue Heron, some Canada Geese, and a few Double Crested Cormorants were all spotted yesterday afternoon at the quite more secluded end of our local park lake.
The Great White Heron is a subspecies of the more familiar Great Blue Heron and is mostly found here in Florida along the Gulf of Mexico coastline.
The difference between the Great Egret and the Great White Heron are slight. The Great Egret has a bright yellow bill and yellow flesh near its eyes. The Great White Heron has a greenish grey bill and green flesh near its eye. Otherwise, both are very similar in size, plumage, and color. The big waders are showing their breeding plumage which is very luxurious and full now. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Great Egret and Snow Egrets
Double Crested Cormorants
Little Blue Heron
Great White Heron in Breeding Plumage
Great Egret in Breeding Plumage