White Pelicans are Winter visitors here in The Villages, FL. In the Northern sections of the community, White Pelicans are mostly spotted at Freedom Pointe on El Camino Blvd. and at the lovely Nancy Lopez Legacy Golf Course on the driving range pond. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photograph. Enjoy!
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
The U.S. Forest Service “Juniper Springs Campground” is on Highway 40 in Marion County, FL, between Ocala and Daytona. This public campground features junipers, pines, sweet gums, palms, and huge oaks. There is a rustic display of an old spring-fed electric power generating mill in the campground. This mill, like the campground, was built by the U.S. Conservation Corps during the 1930s.
This is a natural spring area which offers a several miles-long canoe and kayak run (rentals available) as well as a nice semi-natural swimming pool (no alligators!). Because it was chilly we skipped the water-oriented sports. I have included a few pictures of the stream that runs from the springs.
We did try to do a little bit of bird watching. We saw several woodpeckers and sapsuckers and did see a nice male Common Grackle bird. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
American White Pelicans migrate South and visit our ponds and lakes here in The Villages, Florida every year in the Winter months (We do have about 10 White Pelicans that stay all year-long now). The two main places in the Northern end of The Villages to spot the pelicans are The Nancy Lopez Legacy Golf Course and Freedom Pointe Lakes.
Both Lopez Golf and Freedom Pointe lake locations have quite a few pelicans although sometimes pelicans do fly between these areas. Always a fun sight to see the young adult pelicans massed! Sometimes there are large groups of accompanying Double-crested Cormorants, too! I took these photographs last week here in The Villages. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Wood Storks are among my very favorite of the big birds. There are a lot of Wood Storks around the various ponds and lakes here in The Villages, FL, right now. They seem to come several times every year to feed and enjoy our lovely small lakes.
Wood Storks are still on the “Threatened Species” list so I am glad to see so many here. I think due to conservation efforts these birds are happily on the rebound! Wood Storks mostly feed on small fish, tadpoles and small frogs, as well as aquatic worms, snails and occasionally, grains and seeds. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Great Egret and Cormorants
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Tri-colored Herons, Canada Geese, and Double-crested Cormorants, are here this Winter at many of our ponds and lakes in The Villages, FL. Most of these birds are now in the beginning of their breeding season and the egrets will be developing long billowing plumage with which to attract their potential mate.
Egrets hunt by wading in shallow water to spear a small fish or frog with their sharp bill. They also will occasionally root in the mud for aquatic worms and snails. On land, the Great Egret sometimes hunts for mice, lizards and snakes in the landscaping around yards and parking lots. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Egret & Canada Geese
Snowy Egret, Tri-colored Heron
Great Blue Herons are now in their breeding finery. I photographed one such heron on 12/26/19 at a natural pond area on the Nancy Lopez Legacy Golf Course, in The Villages, FL, along the multi-modal path down the middle of the course. What a lovely bird! By the way, I have mentioned it before quite a while ago, but my real-life name is Linda Woody. I am visiting other blogs a lot more and want to be clear about who I am. I just like the moniker “wildlifewatcher” a lot. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!