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!
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, FL
I have selected favorite photographs I have taken in Florida in the last three years to share here today. I tend to love Wood Storks, all the different woodpeckers, assorted ducks, and the various herons and egret,s the best! I hope you will like seeing these old favorites!
Wood Stork in The Villages, FL
A Little Blue Heron in The Villages, FL
A Green Heron in Dunellon, FL
A Great Egret in Breeding Plumage, The Villages,
Snowy Egret, The Villages, FL
A Pileated Woodpecker, Ocala, FL
Male Pileated Woodpecker
A pair of Pileated Woodpeckers, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, and a Downy Woodpecker were all spotted at Blue Run Park in Dunnellon, Florida, on February 16, 2015. I also saw a Red-bellied Woodpecker at the Dutton Island Preserve near Jacksonville, Florida, on February 11, 2015; and a Downy Woodpecker at the Guana River State Park on Highway A-1A between Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida on February 12, 2015. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Female Pileated Woodpecker
Male Red-bellied Woodpecker
This Pileated Woodpecker came to visit across the street from my home on August 8, 2014, when I snapped these pictures. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Red-headed Woodpeckers and a Pileated Woodpecker were the focus of my picture-taking efforts on several days in the last couple of months. I took the photographs of the Red-headed Woodpeckers at a small pasture area where there are lots of dead standing Pine Trees. That pasture is very close to the entrance to the development where I live. These tall dead trees provide the woodpeckers a place to live and also sometimes have many insects that the birds eat.
The Young Pileated Woodpecker was spotted in my own front yard. That was the only time I have seen a Pileated Woodpecker here in Florida in the few months I have made my hone here in Marion County, Florida. I had also seen a Downy Woodpecker here in my front yard once, and that was back in March. Sorry to say, I missed getting a picture of that particular bird here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. I hope you’ll enjoy these pictures. I really love spotting and photographing my favorite birds, the Woodpeckers!
A young adult Pileated Woodpecker visited the Oak Trees in my front yard and my next-door neighbor’s yard yesterday morning. This is the first Pileated Woodpecker I have seen in my three months of living in Florida.
Pileated Woodpeckers are among the larger of the woodpeckers. Like most woodpeckers, the Pileated Woodpeckers like Oak Trees a lot. Oaks provide Acorns as well as a variety of insect larvae and also sometimes provide shelter within hollowed-out tree trunks for these birds. There are many Live Oaks in my neighborhood. I had only seen a Downy Woodpecker here but my hubby has heard the distinctive call of the Red-headed Woodpecker so I expect that this Pileated Woodpecker has woodpecker companions of several kinds. I took these pictures on June 25, 2013 from my front yard. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Female Downy Woodpecker
Red-headed Woodpeckers with their crimson red head all the way down to their shoulders have been here in my yards almost daily now. I also have been enjoying seeing the juvenile Pileated Woodpecker, several Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers and an occasional Northern Yellow-shafted Flicker and Red-bellied Woodpecker. I just love the picture of the two Red-head Woodpeckers flitting about one another. I think that this young pair were discussing their future! The Northern Yellow-shafted Flicker was hunting for insects in the grass just at the base of my Tulip Poplar tree. The smaller woodpeckers like the Hairy and Downy all tend to come to the feeders cautiously. They sometimes have to wait for the larger birds to finish. The little woodpeckers do tend to be OK with the presence of the other small songbirds but get very flighty when confronted with the jumbo cousins. They just hang out on the dead Oak next to the feeder until it is their turn. I am crazy for woodpeckers! I took these pictures from my deck and windows in the last few days. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. Enjoy! P. S. Please excuse the wonky lay-out – happens with captions sometimes. Oh well. Many thanks!
Male Downy Woodpecker
Male Northern Yellow-shafted Flicker
Yesterday it was a windy and cooler day. We had thunderstorms on a hot and breezy Sunday so the cooler weather on Monday was just fine. The birds around here are a lot less active due to nesting, the weather, lake activity, construction in the neighborhood, and for some, molting has begun. It also is harder to catch sight of the birds because of all the lush leaves on our big trees. I was out taking pictures from the deck and the basement windows to capture a few shots of the birds and ducks and geese that visited. A Northern Yellow-shafted Flicker was hunting for bugs in the next door neighbor’s backyard lawn. The Brown Thrasher came to hunt bugs in the branches of a fallen tree next door at the border between out yards.
I also had the younger Pileated Woodpecker visit. That Pileated Woodpecker is quite shy and often will fly off at the sight of me (he is not like that other one that used to visit and allowed me to be around it). Mr. and Mrs. Mallard came several times to hunt up some tasty bird seed as well as bugs from the ground. We have several small fly catchers such as the tiny Eastern Pewee and the lovely little Phoebe. I also had Canada Geese with goslings and several Goldfinches and Mourning Doves here but I can’t include all of those pictures here today. All of these birds are interesting and very welcome in the yard. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
A Pair of Mallard Ducks
Male Northern Yellow-shafted Flicker
Male Northern Cardinal with Female House Finch
Here are a few views of some of the woodpeckers that often come to visit in my yards. The most commonly seen here are the Pileated Woodpecker, the Downy Woodpecker, and the Northern Yellow-shafted Flickers. The Red-head is a seasonal visitor. All of the woodpeckers enjoy eating insects, suet, seeds and nuts. They use their long slender bills to drill into the tree bark to find insects or to enlarge holes in the trunks of trees. The woodpeckers nest in hollow cavities of the hardwood trees. I am always very thrilled to see them here. I took these pictures in the last few weeks from my windows or my deck. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Northern Yellow-shafted Flicker