Roseate Spoonbills, Sandhill Cranes, Wood Storks, Limpkins, a Black Crowned Night Heron, Egyptian Geese, White-phase Little Blue Herons, and Green Herons have all been photographed in freshwater marshes (sometimes referred to as “Prairies”), ponds, and small lakes here in or near The Villages, Florida. I love seeing these birds!
The Roseate Spoonbill (only seen here once in the four years I have lived here, the Black-crowned and White Little Blue Heron have to be the most seldom seen here of all of the above mentioned wading birds. The most common are the Wood Storks and Sandhill Cranes among the ones I am featuring today. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White Phase Little Blue Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
Roseate Spoonbill with Great Egrets
Great Blue Heron on its nest
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the particular photo. Enjoy!
Canada Goose at Lake Paradise
(Please click on each of the thumbnail images to see the slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!)
Sandhill Crane on Hacienda Golf Course
White Pelicans at the Nancy Lopez Legacy Golf Course Driving Range Pond
Limpkin Eating an Apple Snail at Lake Mira-mar
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
Blue-winged Teal Ducks
(The drake has the half moon white marking on his cheeks)
Blue-winged Teal Ducks, Great Blue Herons, Coots, Snowy Egrets, and a Limpkin were all spotted at the North Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive on the shore of Lake Apopka in Apopka, Florida on March 3, 2019.
This wildlife drive is along levees and a one-way dirt road past the fresh water marshes, lake shore, and canals of the former farm land along the huge lake. The drive is open Fridays through Sundays and is free of charge. This whole area is chock-full of wildlife with wading birds and alligators being the starring attractions! I highly recommend visiting this area if in Central Florida (about 30 miles from Orlando). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A flock of Common Coots
Great Blue Heron
I spotted this Limpkin at the shoreline of Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL on Saturday evening at dusk. The Limpkin is a wading bird that is unique as it is not related to the other types of wading birds although it does resemble the rails and the bittern (and even juvenile Green Herons). These birds primarily eat aquatic snails with Apple Snails being preferred. This is the first Limpkin I have seen at Lake Paradise but I had seen one on the nearby Lake Miramar just across the highway, several months ago on three occasions.
Limpkin are mostly active at night and are very shy. This particular bird was standing on a concrete culvert on the immediate shoreline about twenty feet from the multi-modal (golf carts, bicycles and pedestrians) pathway leading to the Silver Lake Village neighborhood. I am thrilled to have seen the bird and photographed it. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Pied-billed Grebe was spotted recently at the Wal-Mart pond on CR 466 in the Buffalo Ridge neighborhood of The Villages, FL.
The Pied-billed Grebe is a small diving water bird that is most frequently seen in fresh water ponds and lakes. The bird eats small fish, aquatic insects and worms, small frogs, small crayfish, and some aquatic plants. These birds are not often spotted here but I do enjoy their shy antics.
I also am including a photo taken by my hubby with a cell phone camera (not so great quality but I included it because seeing the rarely spotted bird was interesting) last evening at dusk. It is of a Limpkin we spotted at Lake Mira Mar in The Villages, FL, next to the golf cart bridge path. Limpkins are not often seen here and are quite secretive. They dine on Apple Snails and other aquatic insects and snails. Limpkins are most often out and about in very dim light conditions. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photograph. Enjoy!
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