These White Ibises were perching in low oak trees at the side of flooded Lake Mira-mar in The Villages, FL and walking around in the lake-side parking area at that same little lake.
I also saw several White Ibis walking on the grass between parts of the flooded Boone Park on Lake Paradise also in The Villages, FL that are separated by a now flooded street. Both lakes are still full but yes, the water is down a little. It sure is weird seeing waterfowl and wading birds paddling and walking along through the flood water on a neighborhood street! Those areas are pretty much off-limits so I was careful to stay where it was safe and easy to walk around.
I think the bird population is probably half what it was before Hurricane Irma here. Just an un-scientific guess on my part. I think most fled and flew elsewhere. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
This pair of Southern Bald Eagles was spotted on Enrique Drive in The Villages, FL on Tues. night at twilight. We had been out after arriving home from our hurricane evacuation. This pair of eagles was perched on the electric tower and was probably spotting all sorts of prey in the flooded golf course pond area at the El Santiago Golf Course. The weather had been fairly cool so perching on the tower was not unpleasantly hot as it sometimes is for these eagles. Good to see the birds in good condition after the hurricane! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Try-colored Heron at Boone Park Flooded Lake Paradise on Street
We just got our Internet back on so I am able to post here. We had evacuated from our home here for the duration of the storm and returned to absolutely no damage to our house (Hooray!). We were fortunate. Our community did fine and there is not a lot of damage here unlike the South of Florida and Jacksonville to the Northeast.
We had minor flooding in a couple parts of our neighborhoods along some of the little lakes and ponds but I don’t think many (if any) houses got lake water inside. The Paradise Park archery range is flooded and I may not be doing any archery practice for more than a few days. It can wait.
I am grateful beyond measure for all the wonderful electric line workers who have come from all over to help Florida get power back on! Also grateful to those disaster workers who are helping in hard hit areas here in the state!
Last night and this morning I went out safely and took some pictures of birds and the little lakes. Here are a few of those photographs. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Egrets on Flooded Lake Mira-mar
Flooded Lake Mira-mar
White Ibis at Lake Mira-mar
Tri-colored Heron at Flooded Boone Park on Lake Paradise
Flooding at Boone Park on Lake Paradise
White Ibis at Flooded Lake Mira-mar
Ornamental Waterfalls at Paradise Lake in The Villages, FL
The wildlife such as White Ibis, Great Blue Herons, Mottled Ducks, all are enjoying a much fuller Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL this week. I am thrilled that the little park lake is now full of water and the ornamental waterfalls are turned back on. Lots of beautiful local scenery.
This park lake has seen a huge variety of birds visit. The White Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Canada Geese, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Mottled Ducks, Mallard Ducks and Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are resident birds. We also get visits by White Pelicans, Bald Eagles, Osprey, Bufflehead Ducks, Coots, Hooded Mergansers, Egyptian Geese, Try-colored Herons, Sandhill Cranes, Wood Storks, Muscovy Ducks; Lesser Scaups, Yellowlegs, Kildeer, Anhingas, Double-belted Kingfishers, and occasionally a few other types of wild ducks such as Teal, Wood Ducks, White Pekin Ducks, and others. It is a really nifty spot to bird watch but the birds do come and go so one never knows how many varieties of birds one will see. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.
Great Egret and Tri-color Heron
Probably a Red-shouldered Hawk
A Snowy Egret, a couple of Great Blue Herons, and surprisingly, a hawk (probably a Red Shouldered Hawk but hard to tell) were all spotted here in The Villages, Florida, last evening at about 5:30.
I spotted the egret at Lake Paradise, the Great Blue Herons at Lake Paradise and Lake Mira-mar, and the hawk at a lamp-post on Morse Blvd. near Rio Grande. Always fun to spot the hawks as they are not as frequently seen as are all the big wading and water birds here. I also spotted several Wood Storks which I will feature in a coming post. Always something to see here! So much fun! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
I photographed these two Wood Storks in The Villages, Florida, this last Sunday. One of the two storks was walking off toward a small pond at a country club just off Buena Vista Blvd. near El Camino, while the other was spotted about a mile away on the shoreline of the El Santiago golf course pond on Enrique Drive.
Wood Storks have been around this community in recent weeks. I think we do see them quite a bit in July, and also in the Spring months here.
The big white and black birds often fly many miles from their nest rookeries to find food. They prefer small fish, crayfish, snails, aquatic worms, smaller turtles, and baby alligators.
I have found the demeanor of Wood Storks to be quite placid and easy-going but it is likely they are just resting a bit when I happen by. I always give the birds quite a lot of space so as to not stress them while I observe or photograph them.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
At El Santiago Golf Course Pond, The Villages, FL
At Mallory Hill Golf Course Pond, The Villages, FL
Great Blue Herons, that is! Ha! I have spotted a few Great Blue Herons around the community’s ponds in the last few days and have enjoyed photographing these rather majestic wading birds.
The Great Blue Herons eat fish, frogs, turtles, baby alligators, snails, worms, mice, small snakes, lizards, and larger insects. We have had a lot of rain this past week, so the hunting for worms in lawns around the lakes and ponds is particularly easy for the wading birds at the moment. By the way, it is pretty unusual to see a Great Blue Heron on a lawn other than immediately at water’s edge. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Near Lake Sumter Landing, The Villages, FL
At Schwartz Park on Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL