Last week I spotted several Sandhill Cranes here in The Villages, FL along pond shorelines at Morse Blvd. and CR 466 (near Live Oak Park) and at the Arnold Palmer Legends golf course also along CR 466 near Laurel Manor Recreation Center.
These are native Florida Sandhill Cranes. I think we have many breeding pairs and small family groups around the area. The Sandhill Cranes especially like the fringes of golf courses near the ponds. Plenty of food and water and most golfers don’t mind the presence of the cranes since the cranes mostly are hanging out on the fringes of the courses near fences or under the trees. It is always a big pleasure to see these large lovely birds! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Happily, this female Eastern Bluebird decided my front yard Magnolia Tree was a great place to perch and rest the other day. We have been having very rainy weather recently after having experienced a long period of drought.
The Eastern Bluebird is a great insect hunter! I am glad to have these beautiful small songbirds around. They like just about any insect or worm they can find. By the way, this lovely bird really blended-in with the green and rust coloration of the Magnolia. Nature’s camouflage. The male Eastern Bluebird has a much brighter tone to its color. I did not see the male on this occasion. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A trio of Florida Mottled Ducks, a Wood Stork with a Great Egret, and a hunting Snowy Egret were all spotted at the lovely Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida. I spotted these at Boone Park and at Schwartz Park, which is right around the corner basically, from Boone Park. Both small pocket parks have a nice viewing area and the water at Boone has filled in nicely after the drought.
This is a neighborhood residential lake with three parks on it. The larger park of the trio is Paradise Park. I often go to this lake to watch for larger birds. I also occasionally spot Sandhill Cranes such as the trio I photographed in flight above the adjacent neighborhood. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Wood Stork and Great Egret
Florida Mottled Ducks
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!
Little Blue Heron
I visited the very lovely Ocklockonee River State Park a few weeks ago and spent a wonderful night camping there. I was thrilled to see three White Tailed Deer, an Osprey, a Little Blue Heron, a Red-headed Woodpecker, several Boat-tailed Grackles, a pair of Mourning Doves, a couple of Brown Thrashers, and a gorgeous little White Squirrel (sorry no photo).
I took these pictures several times in the morning and it was very cloudy and misty out in my early shots that morning. I am including a couple of shots of just scenery so you can get a sense of the view at this beautiful Florida State Park. The river is a short walk from the campground area.
This state park is quite close to the St. Mark’s National Wildlife Sanctuary and is probably about twenty-five miles to the Gulf of Mexico. I enjoyed the park and would return someday for a longer stay. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
White-tailed Deer at a vernal pool