This Southern Bald Eagle was in flight when I first spotted it at Paynes Prairie State Park near Gainesville, FL on January 5, 2015. It was a cold blustery afternoon with wind chills in the 30’s! Cold for us! The eagle perched on a tall electric pole and just sat in the wind surveying its territory.
I was across the road at the boardwalk pier overlook on highway 441 when I saw this gorgeous eagle. I walked along the side of the road and continued to take pictures as the eagle landed and while it stayed perched. These eagles are excellent hunters and eat a variety of rodents and other small animals, fish, and birds. There seems to be a lot of good hunting in this freshwater marsh now. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, South of Gainesville, Florida, is a beautiful place! It is close enough to a small city yet it is wilderness. Within the park there is a woodland area; a few fairly tropical-looking spots; the nice small Visitor’s Center; a vast, marshy prairie; small ponds; and a medium-sized lake.
We went into the interior of the park and paid the nominal day use fee. We did see the Alligator at the Highway 441 overlook just outside of the official park (no charge to go out on that boardwalk pier overlook). The huge observation tower within the main part of the park was closed for repairs yesterday.
There is a lot of varied wildlife at times within this park. I took these pictures on November 30, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
White Pelican and Cormorant
Roadway in Paynes Prairie State Park
These egrets were spotted during my recent visit to the Paynes Prairie State Park near Gainesville, Florida. I am not sure which of the egrets these are. Perhaps they are Great Egrets? Hard to tell because the birds were a long way off in the distance. I used my long zoom lens to take the pictures. This Florida State Park has a huge area of freshwater marsh where many kinds of wading birds thrive.
I saw these egrets, a Great Blue Heron, and several Sand Hill Cranes during the hour I spent at one of the park overlooks just off of the highway. I took these pictures on December 16, 2013. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy! Have a most wonderful Christmas! I am taking Christmas day off and will be right back here on Friday with a new post. See you then.
This Great Blue Heron was sighted at the Paynes Prairie State Park near Gainesville, Florida. It was standing in the shallow water in the Cattails, and grasses. It likely was trying to hunt for a small frog, or turtle. This area is in a fresh water marsh. There was quite a lot of water in the area because of recent heavy rains.
This park has a very large expanse of wild land marsh. There are a lot of wading birds around now. I was very happy to have spotted this heron. I took the pictures on December 16, 2013. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Sand Hill Cranes are both migratory and resident birds here in Florida. I recently saw several Sand Hill Cranes in the fresh water marshy grasslands of the Paynes Prairie State Park near Gainesville, Florida. These huge light grey birds walk upright while browsing the grasslands for grains, worms, and snails. These handsome birds have a red patch above their bill, and up between their eyes.
Sand Hill Cranes are really neat to see when they are flying. I had a pair fly right overhead when I was at the park. In one photo I took, a pair of Sand Hill Cranes is looking up. That happened right when a hawk flew by. There were several hawks around that day. I took these pictures on December 16, 2013. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!