Ring-necked Ducks, a Little Blue Heron, a beautiful Purple Gallinule, a few Common Moorhens, several Pied-billed Grebes, an Anhinga, and a Common Coot were spotted at the lovely gem of a nature preserve, the Sharon Rose Wiechens Nature Preserve here in The Villages, Florida on Friday, Dec. 28, 2018.
I often see the Common Moorhens and in season coots at this preserve. Less commonly seen are the Ring-Necked Ducks (all hens), the grebes, and the Little Blue Heron. I also frequently see Osprey in the area as the lake is a medium-sized one with lots of wildlife and fish. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that particular photo. Enjoy!
Hen Ring-necked Ducks
Hen Ring-necked Ducks
Little Blue Heron
A cute Pied-billed Grebe was spotted at the golf course pond behind the Mark Twain Library here in The Villages, FL on Sunday afternoon. The small water bird is a frequent Winter visitor to our area. This bird dives for aquatic snails, small fish, tiny frogs, tadpoles, tender small crayfish, and aquatic worms.
I rarely see flocks of these birds but generally do see one or two at a time. These are at home on ponds lakes and slower flowing rivers. The Pied-billed Grebe is named for the banded, short, chicken-like bill the bird has. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
An American Alligator, a Pied-billed Grebe, White Ibis, a couple of Anhinga birds, a Tri-colored Heron, a couple of Great Blue Herons were spotted in The Villages, Florida last week on Monday, October 15, 2018. I saw most of these birds at the Freedom Point Lakes on Morse Blvd. I spotted the Alligator I call “Hacienda Harry”, and the Anhinga in the tree, at the Hacienda Golf Course Pond on the multi-modal trail. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of each picture. Enjoy!
Great Blue Heron
Hacienda Harry the Alligator
Hooded Merganser Ducks
On Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, I spotted a small flock of Hooded Merganser ducks, a Great Egret, a Pied-billed Grebe and a Wood Stork with White Ibis at Lake Mira-mar in The Villages, FL. The ducks, egret and grebe were in the arm of the lake bordering the highway and the Veteran’s Memorial Park. The Wood Stork was in the parking lot area on the main body of the little pond-like lake. All were such fun to watch! I will be taking a break from blogging for the next couple of weeks and will be posting at my normal schedule when I begin blogging again. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Wood Stork with Ibis
A Pied-billed Grebe
The Sharon Wiechens Nature Preserve in The Villages is a community treasure of a place! I really enjoy visiting this lake-side preserve here. I made a short trip there yesterday afternoon and saw quite a few different birds. I spotted two Southern Bald Eagles; a Pied Billed Grebe; a flying hen Mallard Duck; a Great Egret; a Glossy Ibis; a nesting Moorhen; and a few Boat-tailed Grackles.
I also saw a few Common Coots there at the preserve. Usually I spot something different when we visit each time. There is a fantastic boardwalk deck overlook which loops around into the lake itself over the shallow marsh. I also occasionally go up onto the wooden observation deck structure for a quick look around. I did not see any Sherman’s Fox Squirrels this trip. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Great Egret
Male Boat-tailed Grackles
A Glossy Ibis
Southern Bald Eagles (From a distance)
A Hen Mallard
Common Moorhen on its Nest
A Pied-billed Grebe was spotted recently at the Wal-Mart pond on CR 466 in the Buffalo Ridge neighborhood of The Villages, FL.
The Pied-billed Grebe is a small diving water bird that is most frequently seen in fresh water ponds and lakes. The bird eats small fish, aquatic insects and worms, small frogs, small crayfish, and some aquatic plants. These birds are not often spotted here but I do enjoy their shy antics.
I also am including a photo taken by my hubby with a cell phone camera (not so great quality but I included it because seeing the rarely spotted bird was interesting) last evening at dusk. It is of a Limpkin we spotted at Lake Mira Mar in The Villages, FL, next to the golf cart bridge path. Limpkins are not often seen here and are quite secretive. They dine on Apple Snails and other aquatic insects and snails. Limpkins are most often out and about in very dim light conditions. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photograph. Enjoy!
A Little Blue Heron, a few Common Moorhens, and a little Pied-billed Grebe were spotted at the pond next to the Wal-Mart parking lot on CR 466 around the Buffalo Ridge area in The Villages, Florida last week.
The Little Blue Heron starts out as a white bird and gets darker with age until it is a lovely purplish-blue. The Little Blue Heron also has greenish-yellow legs and feet. It is a beautiful big wading bird. The Little Blue Heron eats fish, frogs, turtles, crayfish, aquatic worms, aquatic snails, and sometimes, shore-based insects and mice. The heron roosts in tall trees, and prefers Cypress Trees when possible. please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. My thoughts and prayers are with those people in Northern California who are affected by flooding, or the precautionary evacuations for the Oroville Dam difficulties.
Little Blue Heron