Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets were in their gorgeous breeding plumage when I spotted them on the St. John’s River near Blue Springs State Park here in Florida on Valentine’s Day. I also saw the Belted Kingfisher, Turkey Vultures, Anhingas and so much more! A fabulous day of wildlife watching. Today’s post concludes this series of posts concerning that wonderful short river cruise. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White-tailed Deer; Nine-banded Armadillos; a Juvenile Little Blue Heron; a Great Egret; a Double-crested Cormorant, a chatty Red-bellied Woodpecker, and an enormous migratory flock of Turkey Vultures were spotted at the lovely Manatee Springs State Park near Chiefland, Florida on November 8, 2016. Sorry to say, I did not see a single Manatee. I think it is probably too early in the season for Manatee sightings here.
This beautiful little Florida State Park is on the shoreline of the Manatee Spring and also the Suwanee River. There is a very nice campground and the park also has a canoe and Kayak rental program also with a nice launch area and small concession stand restaurant. People may swim in the 72 degree spring but there is no lifeguard service. I chose not to swim as it was too cool for that. I will conclude my series about this park on Monday with my next post. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Cypress Tree “Knees”
The Suwanee River
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.
This Turkey Vulture and another Turkey Vulture were hanging out on the fencing and trees surrounding the horse farm or ranch pond in Northwestern Marion County, FL on S.W. 110th Ave. below Highway 40, where I often go to observe wildlife from the side of the road. The vultures were guarding the carcass of a large turtle in the grass next to the wooden fence.
I took the pictures from the side of my car but the vulture spotted me and flew up to a nearby power pole where it perched. After a bit, I left the scene thinking that I would let the clean up squad do its natural work. On the way home, I spotted a large number of vultures gliding and flying way up in the skies above the neighborhood. I took these pictures on Jan. 13, 2015. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
This flock of Black Vultures was running towards a meal on the highway we were traveling along, when I quickly snapped the pictures. I took these pictures through the windshield of our pick-up truck as we drove past. I took these pictures on Wednesday, October 29, 2014, a few miles from my home.
The more commonly seen Turkey Vultures (red face and brown feathers), and these Black Vultures, are nature’s clean-up squad and often can be found eating dead critters that have been hit by cars on the roads. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Have a safe and happy Halloween!
A Killdeer, several Turkey Vultures, and a Hawk (Red-shouldered???), were all seen in the development where I live on December 4, 2013 in the late afternoon. I also spotted a large flock of birds, likely also Killdeer. The Turkey Vultures, often nicknamed “Buzzards”, were circling and soaring. There were three of these large vultures and only one ventured low in the sky.
The Hawk was perched with its back to me, in a small tree. It probably was just resting. The Killdeer was spotted along a section of the golf course fairway near the road. I sure enjoy seeing the broad variety of birds here in Marion County, Florida. More birds are on the way South. I am very interested to find out which birds I will see next. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
This is the Paynes Prarie State Park, and it is several miles South of Gainesville, Florida, near a town called Micanopy. The part of the park where we were, is a fresh-water wetlands. We had pulled off the highway (not the I-75 freeway which is close-by) to see a park overlook. This stop was an un-planned, very quick visit. We went out on a wooden boardwalk over the swampy landscape, and viewed several Great Egrets, two Little Blue Herons, and one Great Blue Heron. That Great Blue Heron stood stock-still and almost looked like a statue during the ten or so minutes we were out watching the birds.
The birds were a long way from this boardwalk so it was a good thing I had my long zoom lens! I also saw a Red-shouldered Hawk perched in an old tree across the highway, and a Turkey Vulture flying overhead. I have read that this park has quite a lot of wildlife. This is a park I definitely want to return to. I took these pictures on August 31, 2013. Please click on the thumbnail images to see the larger photo. Enjoy!