Alligators and Anhingas are sometimes spotted here in The Villages, FL in or along the shoreline of various smaller ponds and lakes. The ‘Gators are mostly located in places where they are not a threat to people under normal circumstances. It is best to stay far away from Alligators and be especially careful when walking near ponds, lakes or springs during early morning and late afternoon hours.
Anhingas are lovely medium-sized water birds that have pointed long bills, a snake-like neck and an oval body. They have piano-key like markings on their wings when their wings are spread open. Anhingas often are seen with just their neck and head above the water fishing, or are perched on a branch or inlet pipe drying their spread-out wings. Anhingas cannot fly if their wings are wet. Anhingas eat fish, frogs and crayfish mostly.
The easiest way to tell the difference between an Anhinga and a Cormorant is that the Anhinga has the straight sharp bill, while the Cormorant’s bill has a slight hook at the end and is thicker. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Little Blue Heron
These two small ponds are on CR-466 in The Villages next to and near the Walmart’s parking lot. I took these pictures on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. That ‘Gator looks to be about 9’ long by the way. I took the photographs from the opposite shore of this pond! I have taken pictures at this location several times in the last few years.
In addition to the Alligator, there were two Little Blue Herons, a Try-colored Heron, a Great Egret, a Pied-billed Grebe, and two Anhingas. Pretty amazing to see all that wildlife so close to commercial enterprises and parking lots!
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy
Little Blue Heron
Alligators are fairly common here in Florida. Recently, I spotted Alligators in two places – a very small one in the shallows of Cherry Lake at Live Oaks Park in The Villages and an adult at what is known as “Fishing Pond” here in The Villages on Morse Blvd.
I also saw a small flock of White Ibis and a Little Blue Heron there at the Fishing Pond next to that ‘gator. Additionally, I usually see a Great Blue Heron at Freedom Pointe Lake. I was not disappointed. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
These birds, turtles, and the alligator were all spotted here in The Villages, FL on Sunday afternoon. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Wood Stork, Double-crested Cormorants, Mallard Ducks
Double-crested Cormorants, White Pelicans
Alligators are commonly seen on the North Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive in Apopka, Florida. The alligators can be seen mostly in the former farm canals, but also some can be seen in the large lake itself. Some of the alligators I spotted when I visited on March 3, 2019, were very large!
All of the gators were either swimming in the water or were on an opposite shore so I always felt quite safe along the road when I would get out of the car to take pictures. All of the alligators are wild and one must be careful around them. Please click on the thumbnail images to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photograph. These were taken on 9-1-18 at North Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive in Apopka, FL. Enjoy!
Great Blue Heron
The North Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, Apopka, FL, visit last Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, was a huge success! I enjoyed seeing a lot of birds and alligators. Here are the last few photographs I enjoyed taking. I hope you will enjoy seeing these beautiful birds! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.
Anhinga in Flight
Little Blue Heron
An Anhinga drying its wings
Two smallish Alligators, two Anhinga birds, a beautiful blue Dragonfly, a Common Moorhen, and a lone Great Egret were the reptiles, birds, and insect I spotted at the Sharon Rose Wiechens Nature Preserve here in The Villages, FL, last evening around 6:30pm.
One of the Alligators was perhaps six feet long which was the one seen swimming in deeper water in the lake. The other Alligator was probably around four to five feet in size and was sitting right under the edge of the raised boardwalk (people were very safe from the ‘Gator).
I always enjoy visiting this preserve and no two visits are alike. Always different critters and yes, many more aquatic plants in the lake near the shore now, as compared to even a year ago! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Great Egret in the Distance
Close-up of the smaller Alligator’s head
St. Augustine, Florida and surrounding areas are really chock-full of wildlife. This Atlantic ocean beach city is the oldest city in the United States! I spent last week there vacationing. I was thrilled by all the wading birds, ducks, songbirds, reptiles and surprisingly, wild bees around. A Reddish Egret was basking in the fading Sun at a small boat pier on the Matanzas River near the St. Augustine Lighthouse.
We also went to the Fort Matanzas National Historic Monument on highway A1A South of St. Augustine. There is a half-mile long nature trail there where we spotted a hive of wild Honey Bees, and saw a Black Racer snake right on the boardwalk trail! Across the street at the beach parking lot, I was surprised to see a Gopher Tortoise meandering around the dirt driveway and onto the pavement of that lot. As far as I know, that tortoise was unharmed (though it had a close call with one car). I took these pictures on August 20, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Alligators made themselves quite present in the two foot deep waters of the marsh at the Paynes Prairie State Preserve near Gainesville, Florida on Saturday, April 5, 2014. I was there late in the afternoon when I spotted five adult and one older juvenile American Alligators. I would not be surprised if there were many more Alligators around as I heard many bellow-like grunts from all over the acres.
This park is a very large place with most of the area I was near, swampy marshland. It had rained several days earlier and the area looked flooded. I think it is breeding season for the Alligators. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the thumbnail image. Enjoy!