Great Blue Heron
Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Sandhill Cranes, a Limpkin, a few Wood Storks, and a lot of White Ibis, and Snowy Egrets (not pictured), were all spotted here in The Villages, Florida last month, May, 2017.
We often spot the egrets herons and ibis, but the cranes, wood storks, glossy ibis, and limpkin, are only spotted during certain months of the year (Sandhill Cranes being the most easily seen of this particular group of wading birds). We also get to see Tri-colored Herons and Little Blue Herons on occasion.
These larger wading birds enjoy the many small and medium-sized lakes here in our community where the food is usually abundant. We are recovering from a recent drought so the lakes happily are refilling with recent rains.
Most of these big birds eat aquatic snails, frogs, worms, and small fish. Some of the birds such as Sandhill Cranes also eat grains and seeds. I always enjoy getting out and spotting both songbirds and these big beauties! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White Pelicans, Great Egret
Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida has an amazing number of birds visiting these days. Of course with the water level so low, there has been very easy access to fish, frogs, tadpoles, turtles, aquatic insects, and aquatic plants. The supermarket for birds has been open for fine dining and the birds have been loving it. No rain other than our big storm on Saturday. That helped a tiny bit. I was glad for the moisture.
I took these pictures on Sunday early in the evening. I spotted the flock of White Pelicans, a Great Blue Heron, a pair of Egyptian Geese, a few Double Crested Cormorants, lots of Canada Geese, a flock of White Ibis, several small shorebirds, crows, and the usual Mallard and Mottled Ducks. I never know what birds will be there so it is a lot of fun to check on the visitors. I think they also somehow check on us, too! Ha!
Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
This small flock of Wood Storks were spotted at Paradise Lake in The Villages, Florida on Friday, May 12, 2017. The wonderfully serene but unusual-looking wading birds were here to enjoy the pickings of the remaining aquatic snails, worms, small minnows, tadpoles, frogs and such in the shallow water. The lake is extremely diminished from its normal water level.
Happily, we did have a big rain on Saturday here but it did not do too much to raise the lake’s level. The Wood Storks were only on the lake that one day. I hope we see them again soon! They are one of my favorites! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White Pelicans and Great Blue Herons
White Pelicans, Sandhill Cranes, a Great Blue Heron, Canada and Egyptian Geese, ducks a plenty and egrets were all spotted at Paradise Lake in Paradise Park, The Villages, Florida on Tuesday (5/9/17) evening at dusk. No rain in sight and the lake continues to shrink. As a blog friend mentioned in comments on a recent post here, the birds seem to be benefitting short-term from the low water levels.
Additionally, I took several pictures at the lake this morning (5/12/17) and saw Wood Storks, White Pelicans, shorebirds of some type (Plovers?), and a huge gathering of egrets and herons. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the very slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy! P.S. Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday!
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, White Ibis
Sandhill Crane and Great Blue Heron in the Background
Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks
This flock of Sandhill Cranes has been frequenting the shrinking Paradise Lake in The Villages, Florida for a couple of weeks now, mostly at dusk. I have photographed these birds a few times now. The cranes are becoming lively and showing courtship ritual behaviors such as jumping up and dow with spread wings and vocalizing a little.
The lake is ultra-low now due to our on-going drought conditions. There is still a lot of food for the large birds in and on the lake. The grasses, seeds, frogs, tadpoles, crayfish, and aquatic weeds are all food for these beautiful big birds. I think we will be seeing and hearing the “Colts”, which are the baby Sandhill Cranes in several weeks! I can’t wait. I took these pictures last night at about 6:30pm. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A small flock of Sandhill Cranes visited the shrinking Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL last evening at twilight. This lake’s water level is continuing to drop as our local drought goes on. I took most of the pictures from the wooden deck at Swartz Park at a pretty far distance.
The Sandhill Cranes are loving the exposed tender aquatic plants and grasses now above water. They also occasionally dine on land insects, mice, small lizards, aquatic insects, frogs, worms, crawdads (crayfish) and tadpoles. Mostly the cranes prefer grains and grasses. I often have spotted Sandhill Cranes in ranch pastures and even on the golf courses here in The Villages.
I enjoyed seeing about twelve Sandhill Cranes along with a Trip-colored Heron, a Great Blue Heron, a Snowy Egret, several shorebirds, and about a hundred black-bellied Whistlers plus assorted Mallards and Canada Geese last night on the lake. Lots to see. I will share more photo’s of the birds here in coming posts. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Grey Squirrels, Mallard Ducks, and hybrid Mallard/Florida Mottled Ducks were spotted on the little Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida on Monday night at twilight. I am including views of the lake on the Swartz Park end which is almost totally dry to the North and rapidly shrinking again to the South. By the way, that shot that looks like a huge grassy prairie, is really the dry lake bed. Yikes!
We are still in a drought situation here. I enjoy this regional park which is reserved for residents and guests here in The Villages, Florida. There is always wildlife around us here. I have a great time bird and critter-watching. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!