This pair of White Ibis were hunting for a quick meal in my front yard this afternoon. There was a break in the rain squalls so the big white birds came to browse for bugs. I am glad! The ibises are entertaining and pretty cool about my watching them and taking their picture (from an appropriate distance using my zoom lens). In the parks, the ibis seem calm and tame but when patrolling neighborhood lawns, they can be skittish. I was happy to see the birds be so nonchalant about my presence.
We are awaiting the coming Tropical Storm which we hope will not do much if anything as far as damage here in The Villages. Up North in Ocala where I used to live will be a bit rougher but still not hurricane strength stormy. I am going to post today, Thursday, instead of tomorrow due to uncertainty about the coming storm. Probably everything will be fine! I will let you know tomorrow or on my regular Monday post. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
UPDATE: All is fine for us here in my neighborhood of The Villages, FL. No damage on my street and just a bunch of Oak Tree sticks to rake up. No flooding or high winds at all. Thanks for your good wishes and prayers! Wildlifewatcher
A family of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
This Black-bellied Whistling Duck family at Paradise Park, in The Villages, FL, is quite cute. The parents are the ones with the pink bills and pink feet. The ducklings have blue-grey bills and feet that turn pink as they mature. Such sweeties! I took the pictures at dusk this last Sunday. The ducks were quite a long way away from where I was located, so I am glad I had the zoom lens on my camera. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Here are a bunch of pictures of various water birds that I photographed last night at twilight at the lovely little Lake Paradise from the shoreline of Paradise Park in The Villages, FL.
I enjoyed my vacation. I was in California visiting my family and attending a wedding. I did not take many pictures at all on the trip. We thankfully just missed all the terrible floods in Louisiana by only 2 days! We actually drove through areas that just days later, were under water. I hope you will remember the communities in Louisiana who have suffered the floods in your thoughts and prayers.
Happily I saw a new family of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks there at Lake Paradise along with many Canada Geese, White Ibis, Mallards and Florida Mottled Ducks. There also were a few Anhingas, and a Snowy Egret.
I did miss seeing all of the big birds on my trip. I did see a California Sea-lion, a Jack Rabbit, and a flock of wild “Freeway chickens” on Highway 99 up in Northern California above Sacramento. All in all, a great trip!
A flock of Goldfinches arrived several days ago here in my neighborhood. Our neighbor across the street here has recently put up a bird feeding station with great success, and another family behind them also has a feeder (the blue feeder shown).
The Goldfinches and other songbirds just love the Sunflower Seeds, a “Finch sock”, Dried Meal Worms, and a Suet block that are available at that neighbor’s feeder station. The finches love the “Finch sock”, and the Black Oil Sunflower Seeds. I think the small birds also like the tray feeder a lot.
These are the first Goldfinches I have spotted here in my new neighborhood. I think they are a migratory flock just passing through and resting here a few days. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
White Ibises come through my neighborhood and browse for insects, worms, grubs, and tie-bits of seeds on lawns from time to time.
Early last night at twilight, we came home from shopping at the local supermarket to find a small flock of Ibises on our lawn. So, out came my camera and here is the result. I enjoy these goofy-looking sweet big birds!
It does take a bit of getting used-to but I really love having White Ibises on the lawn. The ibises don’t stay long in one spot. I suspect that the ibises are good for the grass, too! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger image. Enjoy! Have a happy Easter!
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
American White Ibises and a resting Wood Stork
There have been a tremendous number of water birds, and wading birds here in my area in the last week. I have seen several hundred Hooded Merganser ducks, about twenty-two or more Wood Storks, ten or so Great Blue Herons, probably thirty Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets, Anhingas, Common Cormorants, White Pelicans (sorry no pictures as they left before I returned with the camera), a Tri-color Heron, hundreds of American White Ibises, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, Canada, Egyptian and Chinese Geese, Pied-billed Grebes, Common Coots, and a Limpkin!
Such fun to watch all this action on a daily basis. I took these pictures here in Sumter and Lake Counties in The Villages, Florida, in the past week. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Blue Heron
Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets
American White Ibises seem to be around in this area in many spots. Most are gathered on the shorelines of the little park lakes but some also are roaming the neighborhood grazing on lawns. The American White Ibises eat insects and worms mainly but also enjoy seeds and sometimes plants.
American Ibises are found in marshes and along bodies of water in addition to parks and sometimes, neighborhood lawns, here in Florida. Occasionally American White Ibises can be spotted in other warm weather semi-tropical states, usually along the Gulf of Mexico, and Georgia or South Carolina near or on the Atlantic coast (I have also heard of some Ibises being seen in Southern California once in a while).
The Ibises are big flock social birds and like being with geese, ducks, herons, egrets, and the Wood Storks. Ibises seem to be quite placid and content and people can easily observe the birds from a distance without spooking them – at least here in suburbia that is true. I took most of these pictures last evening at dusk, with the exception being that of the white adult with the brown-colored juvenile which I took back in August also at the same lake. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!