A flock of White Pelicans
Northern Mockingbirds, Cedar Waxwings, and a fly-by of a flock of American White Pelicans were all spotted early this evening (March 16, 2018) here on my street in The Villages, FL.
The Northern Mockingbirds are residents of the neighborhood, while the Cedar Waxwings and White Pelicans are Winter visitors. The pelicans were headed North in a definite flock pattern. The Cedar Waxwings likely are on the way North but have stopped here to feed on berries. Many of the Holly Bushes and small Holly Trees are full of berries and there are also a lot of other small fruits in season here such as Loquats.
The Waxwings love various kinds of berries and sometimes get tipsy on fermented fruits and berries. I love the Winter visit here by the beautiful waxwings. The former Juniper across the street that was a favorite place to perch for the waxwings got cut down a few months ago so the birds are in a few trees here including the big Live Oak in my backyard. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Please click on each thumbnail image of wildlife at Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida, to see the slightly larger version of the picture. I took these photos a few days ago. Enjoy!
Drake Mallard Ducks
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
A couple of days ago at dusk, I went to the Sharon Rose Wiechens Nature Preserve here in The Villages, Florida. It was the first time I have been to the preserve since Hurricane Irma. Not much has changed except for one large tree being cut down.
While at the preserve I spotted Common Coots, a few Common Moorhens, a few Boat-tailed Grackles, a few Red-winged Blackbirds, and toward the end of our visit, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, a Great Blue Heron , and a flock of ducks that suddenly appeared way up in the sky flying Northward. The preserve is a lovely spot and I am glad to have been there again. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Common Coot
Male Red-winged Blackbird
A male Common Moorhen
A Flock of Ducks
Male Boat-tailed Grackle
Eastern Bluebirds, a Boat-tailed Grackle, a Tufted Titmouse, a lovely pair of Sandhill Cranes and a lot of White Ibis, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Anhingas were all spotted here in The Villages, FL in the last couple of days.
I took the photo of the roosting birds on Morse Blvd. just below Rio Grande, on Monday 2/19/18, at twilight. That roosting area was active for years, and then was abandoned for the last year. This marshland is once again wet, so hundreds of wading birds such as ibis, egrets, herons, and anhingas, are back every night to rest!
I took the photos of the songbirds, here in my neighborhood. The weather has been fine so the birds have been out and about much more! The photograph of the Sandhill Cranes was taken just off of Morse Blvd. along CR 466 along the multi-modal path. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.
White Ibis Heading to the Roost
Female Eastern Bluebird
Tufted titmouse on a Palm
Hooded Merganser ducks
Hooded Mergansers, and Double-crested Cormorants were spotted at the pond in the Silverlake Community Center’s small park area here in The Villages, FL this past week. I also spotted a small flock of Lesser Scaup ducks at the nearby Lake Paradise right at Paradise Park in The Villages.
I just am wowed by the huge variety of water birds we have here in The Villages during the winter months! This bunch of scaups have become used to people and behave like typical park ducks begging for, and receiving hand-outs (please do not feed bread to ducks as it is not the healthiest for them). Someone was flinging bread cubes to the seagulls and the ducks rushed over to get in on that action.
Most wild ducks are very wary of people so this behavior of coming near the shore when people are around is unusual in migratory birds. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Drake (male) Lesser Scaup
A pair of Lesser Scaup ducks
A Pair of Common Moorhens
Both the Common Moorhens and the Common Coots are here in The Villages, FL during the winter months. We also have moorhens here all year long but do have many more around in the winter.
Common Moorhens show different coloring between the genders while mostly the coots are just a charcoal black. Moorhen drakes are also charcoal while the hens are a brown color. Moorhens have a fleshy red growth on their faces and the coots have a white growth. Both types are members of the Rail family of water birds. Both look like a cross between a chicken and a duck. Moorhens and coots live in marshes, lakes, ponds, and slow streams. The coots and moorhens are good at flight. The coots form “Rafts” which are huge numbers of birds paddling together on a body of water. Coots are more flock birds while the Moorhens are often in pairs or small groups. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
A Raft of Common Coots
Hooded Merganser Ducks at Lake Mira-mar
Great Egrets; White Pelicans; Snowy Egrets; Wood Storks; Pied-billed Grebes; Hooded Mergansers; Lesser Scaup Ducks; Mallard Ducks; Black-bellied Whistling Ducks; Great Blue Herons; Seagulls; Common Coots; Moorhens; Double-crested Cormorants; Egyptian Geese; Canada Geese; White Ibis; Florida Mottled Ducks; Little Blue Herons, Anhingas; and to a lesser extent Sandhill Cranes; Glossy Ibis; and Limpkins, all are currently to be seen here in The Villages, FL on lakes, ponds, and park-like lawns.
Of course, I am only showing just a few here on today’s post. It is such fun to see the big birds en-mass, at various times. By the way, the roost area on Morse Ave. near Rio Grande that had been abandoned for about a year, is back to being used by at least the White Ibises and a few egrets! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Pied-billed Grebe at Lake Mira-mar
Snowy Egrets, Seagulls, Pelican, Wood Stork, all at Freedom Pointe Lake