Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Cattle Egrets, White Ibis and the grand Wood Storks are large white wading birds that have been here in The Villages in recent weeks. The Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and White Ibis are here all the time, but the Cattle Egrets are very occasional. The Wood Storks come and go every few weeks it seems. The other large white birds are the White Pelicans, which are here in the Winter and early Spring, the white phase of the Little Blue Heron, and the white Great Blue Herons.
The only ones of these listed that really are not truly wading birds, are the Cattle Egrets which prefer being in cattle or horse pastures along with the livestock. All of these birds are great flyers and the Wood Storks have been known for flying quite a long ways to find food. I believe many of the Ibis and egrets are now roosting on Lake Mira-mar near the Veteran’s Memorial Park end of the little lake (having probably moved from the now abandoned roosts on Morse Blvd. near Rio Grande). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.
I spotted White Ibises at two parks this last week here in The Villages. Actually, these wading birds are pretty commonly seen in neighborhoods and at local ponds and lakes. The small flocks were at Paradise Park and Lake Mira-mar in the golf cart parking areas near the lakes.
Ibises at the Lake Mira-mar parking lot are known to be champion beggars! They wait for treats from well-meaning tourists/grandkids who feed them bread and cereal as if they are park ducks (people should not feed exotic wild birds). These are really good birds as they eat insects and are charming to watch. By the way, the one in the photo that is partially brown is an older juvenile. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White Pelicans on Lake Paradise this past Spring
The Wood Storks, Great Egrets, White Ibis, Cattle Egrets, White Pelicans, and Snowy Egrets are all large white-colored wading birds/water birds . I did not add in the various white geese, swans, or ducks because I seldom see these birds here in The Villages, FL.
By the way, I saw three very placid Wood Storks on the parking lot next to Lake Mira-mar last night at dinner time. Unusual to see more than two at a time but yes, that area is a hot spot for big bird hand-outs (not good for people to feed these exotic birds). We continue to have intermittent rain showers and thunderstorms here so I have not been out to bird watch with the camera in a few days. Hope to be out and about soon! I will post what new pictures I do take in coming days. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White Ibis at the Shoreline of Freedom Pointe Lake
Great Egret at Paradise Lake
Cattle Egret at Freedom Pointe Pond Meadow
Snowy Egret at El Lago Santiago
Wood Stork in Flight at Lake Paradise
Great Egrets and Sandhill Crane on Lake Paradise this last Spring
Bald Eagles, Osprey, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Wood Storks, Anhingas, Little Blue Herons, Trio-colored Herons, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Double-crested Cormorants, Sandhill Cranes, Mottled Ducks, Muscovy Ducks, Mallard Ducks and Black-bellied Whistling Ducks all have been spotted at the lovely pond at the El Santiago Golf Course in The Villages, Fl this year.
I often can spot several larger birds here and am usually rewarded with good sightings. There is easy access to the pond from Enrique Drive or the recreation center’s parking lot. By the way, the Bald Eagles sometimes perch on the electric line towers both on the golf course and just down the street. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
I photographed these two Wood Storks in The Villages, Florida, this last Sunday. One of the two storks was walking off toward a small pond at a country club just off Buena Vista Blvd. near El Camino, while the other was spotted about a mile away on the shoreline of the El Santiago golf course pond on Enrique Drive.
Wood Storks have been around this community in recent weeks. I think we do see them quite a bit in July, and also in the Spring months here.
The big white and black birds often fly many miles from their nest rookeries to find food. They prefer small fish, crayfish, snails, aquatic worms, smaller turtles, and baby alligators.
I have found the demeanor of Wood Storks to be quite placid and easy-going but it is likely they are just resting a bit when I happen by. I always give the birds quite a lot of space so as to not stress them while I observe or photograph them.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
This Little Blue Heron was spotted here in The Villages, Florida at the Santiago golf course pond on Enrique Drive on Saturday evening at about 5:00pm. I was driving around that area trying to look for the Bald Eagles I sometimes spot there, and came upon the heron while it was fishing for its dinner.
This large pond is right up against the street so when the big wading birds or the ducks are present, it is easy to see them. This golf course is closed and under maintenance now so the birds are more at ease being there. The Santiago golf course pond is in a residential area and at the recreation center with parking there for cars and carts.
The Little Blue Herons are around the community but not at every lake or pond. I would say, I see a Little Blue Heron about every few weeks. The White Ibis or Great Blue Herons are much more commonly seen here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
I spotted this Great Egret at Schwartz Park at Paradise Lake in The Villages, Florida back in mid-June 2017. The Great Egret immediately took off from the shoreline and flew across the lovely lake to the opposite shoreline.
These are such graceful big birds. I think it is a joy to see them in flight! By the way, we have had some significant amounts of rain which is refilling our local lakes and ponds. The lakes here are pretty full now! It is nice to finally see water under docks.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!