These two Great Blue Herons were spotted on Saturday here in The Villages, FL at two different small ponds. The first Great Blue Heron was seen on the shoreline of a tiny almost dry pond near the Hacienda executive golf course here. There was a small thin stream of water almost like a creek flowing at the bottom of the basin. I think the heron was trying for a tasty lizard or snake or possibly a few tadpoles in a puddle. This bird was pretty close to the multi-modal golf cart path so I noticed the heron right away.
The other heron was fishing on the shore of a tiny park pond at the Silver Lake Community Center park a few blocks away from Lake Paradise. I did see the Great Blue Heron take a very short low flight to another spot where it probably felt the fish were headed. These park ponds mainly have smaller fish, frogs, and small turtles in them. I left before I was able to see the bird catch anything. Always fun to watch these Great Blue Herons! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Blue Heron
A couple of days ago at dusk, I went to the Sharon Rose Wiechens Nature Preserve here in The Villages, Florida. It was the first time I have been to the preserve since Hurricane Irma. Not much has changed except for one large tree being cut down.
While at the preserve I spotted Common Coots, a few Common Moorhens, a few Boat-tailed Grackles, a few Red-winged Blackbirds, and toward the end of our visit, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, a Great Blue Heron , and a flock of ducks that suddenly appeared way up in the sky flying Northward. The preserve is a lovely spot and I am glad to have been there again. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A Common Coot
Male Red-winged Blackbird
A male Common Moorhen
A Flock of Ducks
This flock of Glossy Ibis were hanging out on the side of a freshwater marsh and golf course area here in The Villages, FL early this evening at about 5:00pm. This is the first time I have ever seen these two types of birds together. I also have never seen so many Glossy Ibis in one spot. These birds are a dark mahogany brown with blue-green accents and are oh-so-pretty! The Glossy Ibis’ feathers really shine in a metallic way when in breeding plumage (now).
The ducks are nearly the same color as the ibis. I also saw a scant few Mallards and some crows there too. A beautiful pair of Sandhill Cranes (photographs will be posted here in coming days) joined in the feeding frenzy. There must have been some really tasty stuff there – perhaps duck chow grain from a neighbor? Who can say. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
This Wood Stork was spotted on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 on the shore of the lovely little golf course pond at the Torri Pines golf course in The Villages, FL. I had posted this past week about several different birds spotted there during that photo-taking visits.
We have a few Wood Storks here all year around but we do see more of these big birds in the winter months. The Wood Storks are usually seen in very small groups or as singles. I think I have only seen a larger group of maybe around a dozen Wood Storks together once here. Wood Storks mostly will hunt by scooping with their large sturdy bill into the water or softer mud. They eat small aquatic animals, aquatic insects, aquatic mollusks and these birds will occasionally eat grains roots and seeds.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
These Great Blue Herons recently were spotted fishing at two lakes here in The Villages, FL. The big herons are tremendous at wading in shallow water to spear fish or frogs with their long sharp bills. They sometimes also dine on mice if the mouse is close to the shore, and same for small snakes and lizards.
The Great Blue Herons fly to the pond, lake, river or marsh, from their rookery in the tops of larger sturdy trees. After fishing, herons will step out of the water, make a short flight up the shoreline, land, and spread their wings in the Sunshine to dry themselves (if necessary) before returning to the hunt or to the roost. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
Snowy Egrets are here in The Villages, FL, all year around. There also are a number of migratory Snowies here during the winter months. These small egrets fish in the ponds and lakes for smaller fish, frogs, baby alligators, aquatic insects and in the shoreline grasses for small lizards and snakes.
The Snowy Egrets are currently in their long plush breeding plumage. Snowy Egrets have a black bill, yellowish-green legs and bright yellow feet. They are very beautiful wading birds! I am always glad to see the Snowies but they are shy birds and pretty hard to photograph unless one is fairly far away. By the way, our cold weather (and I have a cold) has kept me at home more this past week than I had planned so these photos are those I had taken earlier in the year. I hope to get out soon and take a bunch of pictures here at our local lakes. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
A Double-crested Cormorant
White Ibis, Mallard Duck, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, a Double Crested Cormorant, A Snowy Egret, Sandhill Cranes, and a Little Blue Heron were all photographed while in flight. All were moving from place to place here in Central Florida in The Villages and in the Ocala area. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
A Hen Mallard Duck
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
A Snowy Egret
A Little Blue Heron