Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, FL
I have selected favorite photographs I have taken in Florida in the last three years to share here today. I tend to love Wood Storks, all the different woodpeckers, assorted ducks, and the various herons and egret,s the best! I hope you will like seeing these old favorites!
Wood Stork in The Villages, FL
A Little Blue Heron in The Villages, FL
A Green Heron in Dunellon, FL
A Great Egret in Breeding Plumage, The Villages,
Snowy Egret, The Villages, FL
A Pileated Woodpecker, Ocala, FL
A Pied-billed Grebe
The Sharon Wiechens Nature Preserve in The Villages is a community treasure of a place! I really enjoy visiting this lake-side preserve here. I made a short trip there yesterday afternoon and saw quite a few different birds. I spotted two Southern Bald Eagles; a Pied Billed Grebe; a flying hen Mallard Duck; a Great Egret; a Glossy Ibis; a nesting Moorhen; and a few Boat-tailed Grackles.
I also saw a few Common Coots there at the preserve. Usually I spot something different when we visit each time. There is a fantastic boardwalk deck overlook which loops around into the lake itself over the shallow marsh. I also occasionally go up onto the wooden observation deck structure for a quick look around. I did not see any Sherman’s Fox Squirrels this trip. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Great Egret
Male Boat-tailed Grackles
A Glossy Ibis
Southern Bald Eagles (From a distance)
A Hen Mallard
Common Moorhen on its Nest
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