Great and Snowy Egrets and Mallard Ducks
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and several other kinds of wading birds and water birds were all spotted at a large freshwater marsh/rainfall retention area that is a nature preserve here in The Villages, FL community. This bird spot is located on Buena Vista Blvd. just South of the Lake Miona Recreation Center and the Bass Fishing Pond on that same street.
There were perhaps fifty egrets there with additional Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, White Ibis, and Mottled Ducks, Mallard Ducks and the ever popular Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (including many juvenile whistlers)! A truly nice gathering of birds to observe. I took these pictures yesterday morning from the grassy area off of the multi-modal path near a nicely placed bench. I of course used my long lens as the birds were quite a distance away. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly smaller version of the photo. Enjoy!
Egrets and Florida Mottled Ducks
Egrets in the Preserve
Egrets are resident birds here in The Villages, FL area. We have a lot of small lakes and ponds and tiny creeks here with plenty of food for these birds. Of course, the Cattle Egrets come and go and are mainly seen near the few horse and cattle ranches we have in the overall community. We tend to have more Great Egrets here than Snowy or Cattle Egrets. All are meat or insect eating birds. There also are Reddish Egrets in the region but I have only spotted one here in The Villages and that was months ago.
The largest of these three kinds of egrets is the Great Egret which is perhaps three feet tall. The smallest of these egrets is the Snowy Egret, with the Cattle Egret in the mid-range. I took these pictures at various times this year here in The Villages, primarily on Lake Mira-mar, Lake Paradise, and Freedom Pointe Lake. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy! P.S. The community’s archery range will reopen today for the first time since Hurricane Irma damaged it a bit. Hooray!
Great Egret and Snowy Egrets
White Ibis at Silver Lake Park Pond
This evening here in The Villages, FL, I took a bunch of photographs of various wading birds, water birds, and waterfowl at several small ponds and small lakes. We had a partial view of the Solar Eclipse yesterday but it only got a little dim; about like it would be at say, 6:00PM here (same as when I snapped these photographs tonight). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Snowy Egrets, Trip-colored Heron at the Silver Lake Park Pond
Great Blue Heron at the Silver Lake Park Pond
Great Blue Heron at Lake Paradise
Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, Florida has two medium-sized ponds that have a variety of water birds, and wading birds in and around them. I was there at Tuscawilla Park on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 in the afternoon for about five minutes. No, I did not see hundreds of birds as I have in past visits during the Winter months. Many birds have gone elsewhere on their migratory journey.
I did see several Great Egrets, a couple of Wood Storks, Snowy Egrets, a lot of White Ibis, a lot of Common Cormorants, a few Wood Ducks, a few Muscovy Ducks and a Great Blue Heron. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Egret, Snowy Egrets, and Double Crested Cormorants
Juvenile White Ibis
Adult White Ibis
Wood Storks; a Great Blue Heron; Great Egrets; Snowy Egrets; Double-crested Cormorants; Pied-billed Grebes; a Little Blue Heron and a small flock of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were all vying for a meal of tasty fish, tadpoles, frogs, small turtles; or larger aquatic insects in the lovely little Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL on Sunday, October 23, 2016.
This is quite an unusual sight to find so many varieties and numbers of wading birds all in one spot. Most of these birds are migrating and are just stopping over to rest in the small welcoming lake.
In these feeding frenzies, I have seen it be common for the herons, egrets, and storks to follow what is happening with the cormorants in the water. By the way, later in the day, I also saw a Tri-colored Heron at Swartz Park.
I took these pictures from Paradise Park and Swartz Park on the small private residential lake. Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Wood Storks, Snowy Egret
A Cattle Egret in Breeding Colors
Cattle Egrets, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Anhingas, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, and other large wading birds have created a rookery or nesting area in a marshy preserve on Morse Ave. in The Villages, FL above CR 466. This area is along a popular golf cart multi-modal pathway and golf carts can easily stop there in the grassy area in front of the rail fence (not automobiles). I have photographed this area once before.
I was very surprised to see the large flock of hundreds of Cattle Egrets that have nested there in the front section of the preserve. The swampy area likely is protected by both the fence and the Alligators that may be present in the shallow marsh under the shrubbery. I took these pictures in the afternoon, on April 30, 2016. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Great Egret in Flight
Cattle Egrets in the Roost
Cattle Egret with Nesting Materials
Nesting Cattle Egret
Cattle Egret Nest
This gorgeous Snowy Egret was spotted at what I refer to as “The Walmart Pond”, a small pond on the side of the Buffalo Ridge Walmart parking lot off of CR 466 near The Villages, FL. I have often gone to this particular pond to watch the egrets, herons, gators and other wildlife there. I took these pictures back on April 9, 2016. It is one of my favorite hot-spots for spotting wading birds.
The Snowy Egret is in its breeding plumage. The Snowy Egret has a black bill, blackish green legs and mustard-yellow feet. It is a smaller egret but is slightly larger than the Cattle Egret. The Snowy Egret eats fish, frogs, tadpoles, aquatic snails, larger aquatic and near shoreline insects and worms. I am usually rewarded by seeing at least a few water birds, ducks, or the big waders. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of the picture. Enjoy!