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
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Cattle Egrets, White Ibis and the grand Wood Storks are large white wading birds that have been here in The Villages in recent weeks. The Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and White Ibis are here all the time, but the Cattle Egrets are very occasional. The Wood Storks come and go every few weeks it seems. The other large white birds are the White Pelicans, which are here in the Winter and early Spring, the white phase of the Little Blue Heron, and the white Great Blue Herons.
The only ones of these listed that really are not truly wading birds, are the Cattle Egrets which prefer being in cattle or horse pastures along with the livestock. All of these birds are great flyers and the Wood Storks have been known for flying quite a long ways to find food. I believe many of the Ibis and egrets are now roosting on Lake Mira-mar near the Veteran’s Memorial Park end of the little lake (having probably moved from the now abandoned roosts on Morse Blvd. near Rio Grande). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.
Last week I spotted several Sandhill Cranes here in The Villages, FL along pond shorelines at Morse Blvd. and CR 466 (near Live Oak Park) and at the Arnold Palmer Legends golf course also along CR 466 near Laurel Manor Recreation Center.
These are native Florida Sandhill Cranes. I think we have many breeding pairs and small family groups around the area. The Sandhill Cranes especially like the fringes of golf courses near the ponds. Plenty of food and water and most golfers don’t mind the presence of the cranes since the cranes mostly are hanging out on the fringes of the courses near fences or under the trees. It is always a big pleasure to see these large lovely birds! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
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
White Ibis at Lake Mira-mar
I spotted these water birds last weekend in The Villages, Fl at Lake Mira-mar at Spanish Springs, and the lovely little golf course pond at El Santiago Golf Course on Enrique Drive. Both spots are places I often can spot a few (or more) water birds and wading birds such as White Ibis, Sandhill Cranes, Snowy Egrets, and Anhingas. The golf course was being worked on and golf was not happening while I was there.
By the way, I occasionally spot Wood Storks and Bald Eagles at the area around the El Santiago golf course pond. It is a pleasure to visit the pond on Enrique Drive and try to see if there are eagles or storks around. The eagles are sometimes spotted up on the electric line towers there at the course, and about a block or two down the street. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Sandhill Cranes at the El Santiago Golf Course near the pond
A Snowy Egret hunts in the pond-side grass at the El Santiago Golf Course Pond
An Anhinga Dries off at the El Santiago Golf Course Pond
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