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Posts tagged ‘outdoors thumbnail images’

Around the Neighborhood Lake at Schwartz Park

A pair of Egyptian Geese, a White Ibis, a Great Blue Heron and a drake Mallard Duck, were spotted today on a hot afternoon here in The Villages, Florida, on and at the shoreline of Paradise Lake at Schwartz Park.  Always fun to see the Egyptian Geese!  We have probably fifty Canada Geese on the lake so those Egyptian Geese have plenty of company among the waterfowl here.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Great Egrets

Two Great Egrets were spotted last evening at dusk at our neighborhood small lake in two spots as well as a passing small flock of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in flight.  This was the first time in a very long while I have been out of the house other than to take exercise walks around the block here.

We did stay in our golf cart and were never near other people during this very short bird watching jaunt.  I really hope you enjoy seeing these photos of the egrets!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.

Sandhill Cranes in Florida

Sandhill Cranes are resident and migratory birds here in The Villages, FL.  It is not uncommon to see these large birds around the edges of golf courses, especially those near marshes.  Sandhill Cranes often eat grass, seeds, insects, worms, snails and prefer the cut apron areas of fairways.  Occasionally the cranes can be seen on people’s front or backyard lawns!  We do not fence most lots here.  By the way, the photo of the cranes in flight was actually taken at Paynes Prairie overlook on Highway 441 near Gainesville, FL.

These are various photographs I have taken here in the past months of the Sandhill Cranes.  Please click on the thumbnail images to see the slightly larger version of the picture.

 

A Flock of Snowy Egrets

Snowy Egrets were spotted as a small flock of perhaps ten birds, at the lovely little “Golf View Lake” pond behind the Paradise Recreation Center and Mark Twain Library here in The Villages, Florida on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 in the afternoon.  This is likely a migratory flock on its way up North.  It is very unusual to see so many Snowy Egrets (and probably seven Great Egrets) together.  There also was a White Pelican, several Double-crested Cormorants, a Great Blue Heron, and two Canada Geese at the pond while I was there.

These are fish and frog-eating birds that wade in the shallows of ponds, streams, lakes and marshes to catch their prey with the sharp long bill.  Snowy Egrets are small white egrets with mustard yellow legs and feet with a black bill.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

 

Common Moorhen, Purple Gallinule and Common Coot

Purple Gallinule

The Rail family of birds includes moorhens, gallinules and coots.  All are marsh birds that have a chicken-like appearance but act more like wading birds and ducks.  All eat a variety of seeds, and mostly aquatic insects (some land based worms and grubs too).

The Common Moorhen is black for the males and brown for the hens with a red fleshy area over their beak.  The Purple Gallinule is a flashy turquoise with purple accents and the red fleshy area over the beak.  The Common Coot is black with the white fleshy area over the beak.  All behave fairly the same.   Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.

Common Moorhen

Common Coot

Purple Gallinule

 

 

Various Water Birds Around the Community

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes; Great Egrets; Great Blue Herons; White Pelicans; Mallard Ducks; Canada Geese; and Anhingas have all been regularly spotted each Winter, here on our small ponds and lakes in The Villages, Florida.  It is always a treat to go out and do a bit of bird watching!  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

Great Egret

Canada Goose, Mallard Ducks, Great Egret

Great Blue Heron

 

 

White Pelicans

Anhinga

White Pelicans

Wordless Wednesday: Double-crested Cormorants

Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.  Enjoy!

 

White Pelicans at Local Ponds

 

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!

 

Wordless Wednesday: Wood Storks

Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Birds & Scenery, Juniper Springs Campground

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!

 

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