Fenney Springs and the Fenney Neighborhood of The Villages, FL has a variety of wildlife! Sandhill Cranes, a Glossy Ibis, a Snowy Egret, a Great Egret, a tiny Palm Warbler, an Anhinga bird, several freshwater turtles, a Great Blue Heron, and several shorebirds were all recently spotted in the Fenney Springs area and Hammock Golf Course (Red Fox and Grey Fox courses) area ponds and springs. I have read the area also is occasionally home to River Otters and an Alligator or two.
The Nature Walk is a short walk along a boardwalk over the Fenney Springs itself. The walk has scenic views of the little creek and the bubbling springs ponds. I usually see several turtles and occasionally a wading bird and even a few songbirds.
The golf course is close to the Fenney Springs and the main highway entrance into the various new neighborhoods here in The Villages, FL. The shallow pond where I saw the Glossy Ibis, the egrets, and shorebirds is to the right side of the entrance road for the Hammock Red Fox and Grey Fox golf courses close to the parking lot for the courses. I think it is amazing that I saw all of these animals and birds in such a small area of a neighborhood all on the same afternoon! 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
A Lesser Yellowlegs with reflections on the lake
Lake Paradise is one of the little park lakes here in The Villages, Florida. It is home to a variety of birds big and small. The level of the lake is way down now. We are in a drought. This is a man-made lake and depends on rainfall for its water.
I spotted the Belted Kingfisher again. I have photographed the bird several different times. I also saw a pair of Canada Geese browsing up in the park near the shoreline. There were about a hundred small shorebirds and Seagulls. The shorebirds likely were some type of plovers and Lesser Yellowlegs. I also saw a lone Snowy Egret and a lone Great Blue Heron. The sad fact is that those shorebirds were wading in what should be the middle of the lake in mere inches of water.
Not many ducks at all this morning. I took the pictures at about 8:00am. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Low water levels!
Shorebirds (probably Plovers)
Killdeer at the Freedom Pointe Lakes
Killdeer, Great Blue Herons, a Little Blue Heron, and a number of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were all spotted on and in our little lakes here in The Villages, Florida, in the last several days. Additionally, there were Wood Storks, Anhingas, a few Hooded Merganser Ducks, Ring Necked Ducks, Mallards, Egyptian and Canada Geese, and Great Egrets. I think the Killdeer possibly was standing right on its nest in the picture above, but it may also just be some pebbles.
I enjoy going sound to different lakes to check out what kinds of birds are visiting. More and more (and different) birds are arriving during the Winter migration. Just yesterday, I saw an amazing fifty or so Great Egrets plus about twenty Wood Stork out on one of the small park lakes here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Black-bellied Whistling Duck at Swartz Park on Lake Paradise
Little Blue Heron (Boone Park on Paradise Lake)
Great Blue Heron at a Freedom Pointe area lake
The Mallard Duck
I saw this drake Mallard in my back yard one early evening. I snapped that particular picture through my window. Imagine my surprise as I live about a half-mile from the nearest pond or lake. After having seen this duck, I noticed that there have been a few of these ducks roaming around this neighborhood in the last couple of weeks. Perhaps in search of a honey or maybe just different food? Who can say.
I spotted the Killdeer, Tri-colored Heron and the Great Egret at Santiago Golf Course pond, and the Wood Duck drake at Paradise Lake at Boone Park in The Villages, Florida. This Wood Duck is one of the few Wood Ducks I have ever seen in The Villages.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Tri-colored Heron at Santiago Golf Course Pond
A Great Egret Hunts
A Great Egret at Santiago Golf Course Pond
A Killdeer at Santiago Golf Course
Canada Geese at Boone Park
A Wood Duck at Boone Park
Snowy Egret and Florida Mottled Ducks
Over-heated Common Crows
Eastern Blue Jay Perched on a Fence
Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Florida Mottled Duck
Older Juvenile American White Ibises
Male Downy Woodpecker
It is likely a House Finch that is attempting to use a decorative nest as it’s own. (Edited caption)
I visited the Apalachee Bay section of the St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge on May 20, 2015. I had a great time as we drove a few miles through marshlands to the coast. I spotted a few shorebirds, a couple of Turkey Vultures, a White-tailed Deer, a huge Fiddler Crab nursery area in the mud, and a domestic pet goat that was feeding in the tall grass along the highway in front of the home where it belongs. I sure enjoyed my all-to-brief visit! Wishing you a happy and safe holiday today. I am remembering the families and friends of lost service members in my thoughts and prayers.
Black-necked Stilts are a shorebird that are rather striking looking. The shorebird has long pink legs, and a white and black body. It is about the size of a Lesser Yellowlegs. This was the first Black-necked Stilt I have ever seen. The Stilt was wading on the far side of the basin, trying to find some tasty insects, tadpoles or frogs to eat.
The Stilt was visiting the larger of the rainfall retention basins here in the development where I live. This basin is drying up so that may be why the pond is now attractive to shorebirds. I spotted this bird on Friday, May 8, 2015 early in the evening. It was there at the pond with the nesting pair of Mottled Ducks, a Boat-tailed Grackle, and a single Killdeer. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of each photo. Enjoy!
Three Lesser Yellowlegs, a couple of Killdeer and a few Common Crows all were hunting for their early evening meal at the rapidly drying up rainfall retention basin pond here in the development. The Yellowlegs are frequent visitors to this seasonal pond. I noticed that the cattail reeds and grass along the pond’s edge had recently been mown. I spotted these Yellowlegs last evening at about 5:00 pm.
The Yellowlegs are a wading shorebirds and eat small fish, tadpoles, frogs, turtles, and larger insects. I think there are a lot of tadpoles (also called pollywogs) in this pond at the moment as well as many worms and insects. I am always happy to spot wading birds at the pond as it seems to be the only place now that I am seeing wading birds here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Here are more pictures that I took of the largest and rapidly shrinking, rainfall retention basin pond here in the development. I took these pictures of a lone Snowy Egret and three Lesser Yellowlegs on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. There is a lot of food now easily available to these birds.
I don’t know how much longer the water will support waders, but I sure was glad to be there and spot these beautiful birds! I took these pictures just at twilight and the light was golden. The birds were at the far side of the pond that evening, which is a big difference from the scene a few days ago (part 1). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photograph. Enjoy!