Alligators, butterflies, dragonflies and squirrels are some of the wildlife living here in my area that are not birds. I spend most of my nature observation time looking for birds but I also appreciate the other critters! We have both Grey Squirrels and the Sherman’s Fox Squirrels here but the Grey Squirrels are the most commonly seen between the two. We also have Cotton-tail Rabbits, a variety of snakes and lizards and a few Coyotes and perhaps seldom seen, a Bobcat.
Alligators are here in most of the ponds and lakes. I often spot the butterflies and dragonflies in the preserves and of course in neighborhood yards and gardens. Always a beautiful sight! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
This small probably female, Grey Squirrel was spotted at the golf cart parking lot in the lovely Paradise Park in The Villages, Florida on the shoreline of Paradise Lake. This squirrel is likely a younger squirrel but the Grey Squirrels here in Florida do seem to be a little smaller than those seen in other states.
The squirrel was happily standing on the low fence post just soaking up the Sun and perhaps, waiting for a visitor to toss a peanut or some cereal to it. The squirrels like the ibis here, have a knack for being champion beggars! I do not feed the wildlife but plenty of folks do. I did notice that a few minutes later, the same squirrel was munching on an acorn so all was well for it. I do enjoy seeing these cuties! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Cedar Waxwings, Boat-tailed Grackles, Northern Cardinals, and of course, White Ibises all have visited along the street here where I live in recent weeks. It is always surprising to see which bird (and squirrel) is around! The Grey Squirrels are usually well-behaved but on occasion, they do walk gingerly across my front screened porch screening. No holes and that is a status I hope continues.
The Ibises are gentle and unfortunately easily frightened when grazing on lawns (not so when begging at the local park lakes). Occasionally we also have Eastern Blue Jays, Carolina Wrens, Northern Mockingbirds, and Palm Warblers around but they are pretty rarely seen (same for Bluebirds, Crows, and hawks or vultures). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Northern Cardinals (likely juvenile males)
American White Ibises and a resting Wood Stork
There have been a tremendous number of water birds, and wading birds here in my area in the last week. I have seen several hundred Hooded Merganser ducks, about twenty-two or more Wood Storks, ten or so Great Blue Herons, probably thirty Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets, Anhingas, Common Cormorants, White Pelicans (sorry no pictures as they left before I returned with the camera), a Tri-color Heron, hundreds of American White Ibises, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, Canada, Egyptian and Chinese Geese, Pied-billed Grebes, Common Coots, and a Limpkin!
Such fun to watch all this action on a daily basis. I took these pictures here in Sumter and Lake Counties in The Villages, Florida, in the past week. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Blue Heron
Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets
These songbirds and ducks were spotted in the last few days in the housing development where I live. I am greeted each morning with bird song! Such a nice thing to happen. By the way, the crow shown above, was drinking a few drops of water out of the rain gutter on top of the roof. Of course, I also enjoy the ducks but they are really just come and go visitors here. We do also have rabbits and squirrels around here but I seldom see the bunnies out.
The ducks are a pair of Florida Mottled Ducks that are trying to set up a nest at the larger rainfall retention pond next to the health club. I sure hope for their sake that this rainfall retention basin pond actually gets to stay wet. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Have a great coming week and enjoy!
A commotion in the front yard caused me to go out with my camera to check on the critters I had been hearing from my living room windows. I went out and saw five small skinny squirrels chasing another squirrel all around the yard. The chase continued across the driveways, under and around two cars, up on my neighbor’s porch, and finally, up into a large Live Oak tree in my neighbor’s front yard.
It was a young female being pursued by the five potential suitors in a very dramatic fashion. I think she was pretty tired of all that attention. After a bit, things calmed down and I went back inside my home. I took these pictures on October 30, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. Enjoy!
These Grey Squirrels were seen along my street working at finding acorns and other food. That is a major part of the squirrel’s day. The Live Oaks are dropping acorns now and that is making life easier for these cuties.
There are a pair of Grey Squirrels living in the two Oaks in my front yard so I get to watch their antics from my living room window. There also must be a sufficient amount of natural food as I have never seen a squirrel on the feeder that my next door neighbor has on his back patio. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
This Grey Squirrel seemed very curious as to what I was doing with the camera. It noticed me and froze as many squirrels do when uncertain about a situation. After a few moments, it relaxed and came toward me a bit. It then went about its routine gathering Magnolia seed pods and Acorns for its meal. It seemed to enjoy the red Magnolia seeds a lot!
There are a lot of Grey Squirrels here in my neighborhood. Of course, I do live on a tree-lined street with many Live Oaks, Sycamores, Magnolias and Long-leafed Pines plus the odd Acacia tree. So there is plenty of food for all the squirrels to share. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
The Grey Squirrels are just about the only critters that have been out and about in my yards and on my street during daylight hours in the past few days. This is the beginning of the Acorn harvesting season for the squirrels here. We have a lot of Live Oaks on the street so the Grey Squirrels have been very busy at work. They scurry up and down the large tree trunks and limbs and go way out onto the thinnest of branches.
All this food collecting activity is done to secure a cache of choice Acorns for the squirrels to eat in later weeks. Of course, we do have mild Winters here in Florida. Much of this frenzied food collecting work that these squirrels do, is simply instinctive and not as necessary as is seen in cold climates where food gets scarce in Winter. I took these pictures on August 10, 2013 in my yards. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. I hope you’ll enjoy!
Here are a few pictures I have recently taken in my neighborhood. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. Enjoy!