Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Great and Snowy Egrets and Mallard Ducks
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and several other kinds of wading birds and water birds were all spotted at a large freshwater marsh/rainfall retention area that is a nature preserve here in The Villages, FL community. This bird spot is located on Buena Vista Blvd. just South of the Lake Miona Recreation Center and the Bass Fishing Pond on that same street.
There were perhaps fifty egrets there with additional Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, White Ibis, and Mottled Ducks, Mallard Ducks and the ever popular Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (including many juvenile whistlers)! A truly nice gathering of birds to observe. I took these pictures yesterday morning from the grassy area off of the multi-modal path near a nicely placed bench. I of course used my long lens as the birds were quite a distance away. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly smaller version of the photo. Enjoy!
Egrets and Florida Mottled Ducks
Egrets in the Preserve
Great Egret and Mottle Ducks
Great Egrets with Florida Mottled Ducks, a Wood Stork, and a small Tri-colored Heron were spotted here in The Villages, FL on a couple of lakes and small ponds. We have a number of wading bird species that are all-year around resident birds here. The community has many ponds and small lakes in addition to a few fresh water marshes and preserves. There is plenty of food between the water and the many areas of landscaping along the streets and parking lots. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Egret and Wood Stork
Great Egret, Try-colored Heron and Mottled Duck
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 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
I spotted this Great Egret at Schwartz Park at Paradise Lake in The Villages, Florida back in mid-June 2017. The Great Egret immediately took off from the shoreline and flew across the lovely lake to the opposite shoreline.
These are such graceful big birds. I think it is a joy to see them in flight! By the way, we have had some significant amounts of rain which is refilling our local lakes and ponds. The lakes here are pretty full now! It is nice to finally see water under docks.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!