Belted Kingfisher on the Suwanee River
Double Crested Cormorants on the Suwanee River
This lovely Florida State Park has a 72 degree F fresh water spring, is on the banks of the Suwanee River, has a wonderful campground, and walking trails with a children’s playground area. I saw many deer, nine, I think. I also saw four armadillos. There were a few wading birds, and songbirds, but there were perhaps a hundred Turkey Vultures (with a few Black Vultures in the bunch).
Almost every large tree on the Suwanee River at the mouth of the Manatee Springs stream, had many vultures perched on it! It is an amazing sight to see a seventy foot tall Cypress tree festooned with buzzards (another name for vultures).
This park is not a zoo and all the animals are wild. I was surprised to see the animals so boldly walking around were people were.
I recommend visiting Manatee Springs State Park. A lovely place with a lot to see in a small park. It is about six miles from the small town of Chiefland where there are several stores and restaurants. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Probably an Eastern Phoebe
Pied-billed Grebe on the Suwanee River
Juvenile Little Blue Heron at the Manatee Spring
Great Egret at right, Snowy Egret at left
Great Egrets are among the larger of the wading birds, while the Snowy Egret is a much smaller wading bird at about half the size of the Great Egret. The Great Egret has a bright yellow bill and black legs while the Snowy Egret has bright yellow feet, greenish-black coloring in the legs and a black bill. Both of these egrets are wading birds that eat fish, frogs, small tender turtles, aquatic snails and large aquatic insects and worms. The Great Egret also will eat shore-side mice, lizards, small snakes and larger insects.
Both of these birds are very beautiful big white birds! The Snowy Egret has stunningly beautiful plumage in breeding season, and is a real treat to see then. I took the picture in The Villages, FL on a local lake a few weeks ago. You really can see the difference in the size of both birds! Here in The Villages, in central Florida, we often have Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and the flocking Cattle Egrets. Only on occasion does one see the much rarer Reddish Egret (which closely resembles a lighter Little Blue Heron). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Great Egrets, Snowy Egret, Wood Storks
Northern Shoveler Ducks were spotted a few weeks ago with the huge flock of White Pelicans, Seagulls, and Double Crested Cormorants at a local golf course water hazard pond. The Northern Shovelers have that distinctive long broad shovel-like bill. They are medium-sized ducks and are migratory here.
Drakes are often brighter in color than the hens, and most drakes have a darker head that is often greenish brown or greenish purple. The ducks use their big bills to dabble in the mud for insects, worms, snails, and vegetation. They are quite similar to the Mallards in their feeding habits. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
A Green Heron in breeding plumage, was spotted perching on a low overhanging tree along the banks of a large freshwater pond in the Blue Run Park in Dunnellon, FL on April 17, 2015. The pond is next to the Withlacoochie River and has several Alligators in it.
I had spotted a pair of River Otters in this same pond last year. There is a bike trail on one side of the pond next to the river, and a looping trail around the pond. It is a short level hike that is fun and scenic. I have included a picture of the river with Cypress Tree “Knees”. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Alligators are todays focus. Alligators were in the Dora Canal, and in Garnett Lake in Lake County, FL. I enjoy seeing ‘gators at a nice safe distance. These big reptiles eat ducks, coots, small birds, fish, turtles, eggs, and sometimes snakes and small marsh animals. They are wild and can occasionally be dangerous to people.
I saw one Alligator way out in the middle of a large lake! I was surprised that this particular ‘gator was swimming so far away from the marshy shoreline. I took these pictures on Friday, April 25, 2014 when I was on a day-long boat ride through several Central Florida waterways on a friend’s pontoon boat. Please click on the thumbnail images to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Wood Ducks are quite gorgeous! I was happy beyond measure to have seen a double family of Wood Ducks on the Dead River in Central Florida on Friday, April 25, 2014. Friends of mine invited me out for a day-long boating journey and we enjoyed seeing a lot of riparian wildlife.
This particular group of Wood Ducks was amazing! There were two father drakes, two mother hens, and twenty-three ducklings! What a sight! I noticed several duck boxes along the banks of this rather lake-like river. This river gets its name from the geographical characteristic of the river dead-ending into land and having a very slow current. Yes, the Dead River is full of life and I am so glad! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Happy Fourth of July! I am showing some photographs I took a couple of weeks ago in Alaska of Bald Eagles. Several Bald Eagles were sighted in the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve near Haines, Alaska. I think that the eagle on the nest was one that I had photographed before during a trip we took two summers ago in 2010. We enjoyed our cruise excursion that was arranged by the Chilkat River Adventures Company there near Haines, Alaska. My husband and I were on a week-long Princess cruise, which is how we found this particular jet boat excursion. This excursion was excellent, as was the overall cruise!
The picture of the Bald Eagle sitting on the iceberg was one I took when we were in the Tracy Arm fjord near Juneau, Alaska. Yes, the ice really is that color of blue! Just stunning! Yes, the eagle really was sitting perched on that ice! I did not have my Nikon camera or a long lens on this trip. I took these pictures using my Olympus snap-shot camera. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. Enjoy! Have a safe and fun celebration tonight if you will be watching fireworks or traveling.