Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons and Tri-color Herons are the most frequently seen herons here in The Villages, FL. I am also including a shot of a Green Heron that I spotted in Fairfield Glade, Tennessee several years ago, and a Yellow-crowned Night Heron I saw in Belize this last December. These large birds live around fresh water mostly and wade in the shallow water hunting for small fish, frogs, aquatic snails and larger insects. Some of the herons are very colorful such as the Little Blue Heron.
I enjoy watching the birds stroll along the banks of the ponds or lakes and then seriously stare down their prey when on the hunt for their meal. These birds use their sharp-pointed bill to stab catch their meal. Herons usually roost in large trees were they build nests of sticks. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Little Blue Heron
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Great Blue Heron on nest
Little Blue Heron
A Loggerhead Shrike, Northern Cardinal and a Northern Mockingbird were all spotted on Sunday, March 25, 2018 in The Villages, FL. I saw the male Northern Cardinal at Live Oak Park, the Loggerhead Shrike was seen on the multimodal trail on Morse Blvd. near Mallory Hill Golf Course, and the Northern Mockingbird was seen at the entrance to the Sharon Rose Wiechens Preserve.
I rarely see the Loggerhead Shrikes here so it was great to again spot one. The cardinals are around my neighborhood as are the mockingbirds. The shrikes are great hunters and love insects and very small rodents, lizards and baby birds. The mockingbirds also eat insects while the cardinals mostly eat seeds fruits and berries. By the way, I saw a lot of birds during my excursion from the Northern part of The Villages down South to the Wiechens nature preserve. I will be including some of those in my next several posts here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Male Northern Cardinal
Female Northern Mockingbird
Sandhill Cranes at a pond on Morse near Live Oak Park
Egrets, Herons, Wood Storks, Sandhill Cranes, Anhingas, Double-crested Cormorants, Seagulls, and Common Coots were all spotted here on Freedom Pointe Lake and Lake Sumter in The Villages, FL this last weekend. What a bunch of wonderful birds to observe!
This area has a lot of ponds, small lakes and medium lakes plus marsh lands so there is a great many spots to observe the wildlife. We get a lot of different species of birds here in the Winter months. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version. Enjoy!
Cormorants, Egrets and Seagulls at Freedom Pointe Lake
Wood Storks and Anhingas
Great Blue Heron at Freedom Pointe Lake
A Raft of Common Coots on Lake Sumter
A Common Coot on Lake Sumter
A Double-Crested Cormorant on Freedom Pointe Lake
Hooded Merganser Ducks
On Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, I spotted a small flock of Hooded Merganser ducks, a Great Egret, a Pied-billed Grebe and a Wood Stork with White Ibis at Lake Mira-mar in The Villages, FL. The ducks, egret and grebe were in the arm of the lake bordering the highway and the Veteran’s Memorial Park. The Wood Stork was in the parking lot area on the main body of the little pond-like lake. All were such fun to watch! I will be taking a break from blogging for the next couple of weeks and will be posting at my normal schedule when I begin blogging again. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Wood Stork with Ibis
View of the some of the fields near the parking area and educational building
Sunnyhill Farm Restoration Area near Weirsdale, FL, (19411 SE Hwy 42), is a spot I occasionally visit to just take in the beautiful river-side prairie swampland scenery. This former working, now park, is huge at over 2,000 acres! Nearly all of the park is kept wild and is inhabited by river animals, prairie swamp animals and a variety of wading birds, ducks, and songbirds.
While we were there, we saw a pair of Sandhill Cranes along the road but there was not a good spot to stop to take the picture of them so we just went along our way (of course when we left the park, the cranes were long gone from the entrance road-way area). My hubby and I spent about an hour walking along river and canal trails and enjoyed ourselves quite a lot yesterday afternoon. The overcast and windy weather was not conducive for bird watching but we managed to spot a few different birds. We saw a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks, a Great Blue Heron, a lone Eastern Bluebird and an Eastern Pewee bird. We hope to go back again soon! It is a lovely spot! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
A Red-shouldered Hawk
A Great Blue Heron
An Eastern Pewee Bird
The Ocklawaha River
A Red-shouldered Hawk
A male Eastern Bluebird
A Great Egret
A Red-winged Blackbird, a Common Moorhen, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, a perched Great Egret, a partially submerged Anhinga, a trio of Double-crested Cormorants, a Pied-billed Grebe; Egyptian Geese; White Ibis; and a flock of Hooded Mergansers were all spotted here in The Villages, FL, late in the afternoon on Wednesday. I also saw a most lovely Monarch Butterfly on some wild Aster flowers.
The Grey Squirrels here have become the rodent version of the ever-begging White Ibis! When we parked the golf cart at Paradise Park, I immediately had four little squirrels come begging for any kind of hand-out treat that would be given. I had to say sorry to the little cuties but someone else had already provided a few tasty peanuts. I sure wish folks would stop feeding the wildlife here! Oh well…
Such fun to get out in beautiful weather and see the birds squirrels and yes, butterflies. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
A hen Moorhen
Male Red-winged Blackbird
A pair of Sandhill Cranes
A Scenic View of “Larry the Gator’s Pond”
Egyptian Goose and White Ibis
A Monarch Butterfly on an Aster flower
A resting Sandhill Crane
I spotted these birds last Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 at Lake Paradise, as well as on a golf course near Morse and CR 466, here in The Villages, FL. Such fun to get out and watch the various types of birds we have around now. The weather recently has been very windy rainy and cooler. Hopefully I will find time to get out and take a bunch of new photographs to share here soon. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Canada Geese on Lake Paradise
A Double Crested Cormorant on Lake Paradise at Boone Park
Likely a Red-shouldered Hawk at Lake Paradise