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!
At El Santiago Golf Course Pond, The Villages, FL
At Mallory Hill Golf Course Pond, The Villages, FL
Great Blue Herons, that is! Ha! I have spotted a few Great Blue Herons around the community’s ponds in the last few days and have enjoyed photographing these rather majestic wading birds.
The Great Blue Herons eat fish, frogs, turtles, baby alligators, snails, worms, mice, small snakes, lizards, and larger insects. We have had a lot of rain this past week, so the hunting for worms in lawns around the lakes and ponds is particularly easy for the wading birds at the moment. By the way, it is pretty unusual to see a Great Blue Heron on a lawn other than immediately at water’s edge. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Near Lake Sumter Landing, The Villages, FL
At Schwartz Park on Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL
Great Blue Heron
Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Sandhill Cranes, a Limpkin, a few Wood Storks, and a lot of White Ibis, and Snowy Egrets (not pictured), were all spotted here in The Villages, Florida last month, May, 2017.
We often spot the egrets herons and ibis, but the cranes, wood storks, glossy ibis, and limpkin, are only spotted during certain months of the year (Sandhill Cranes being the most easily seen of this particular group of wading birds). We also get to see Tri-colored Herons and Little Blue Herons on occasion.
These larger wading birds enjoy the many small and medium-sized lakes here in our community where the food is usually abundant. We are recovering from a recent drought so the lakes happily are refilling with recent rains.
Most of these big birds eat aquatic snails, frogs, worms, and small fish. Some of the birds such as Sandhill Cranes also eat grains and seeds. I always enjoy getting out and spotting both songbirds and these big beauties! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White Pelicans, Great Egret
This Limpkin has visited the little Lake Mira-Mar in The Villages, FL near Spanish Springs several times. I have previously photographed the big wading bird at this same location. I usually see the Limpkin at the Veteran’s Park area next to the golf cart path at the approach to the golf cart bridge. The bird is pretty secretive and is usually nocturnal so the best times to see it would be early in the morning and at dusk. I took these pictures at dinner-time last night.
Limpkins are a wading bird that love eating the aquatic Apple Snails found in the small lakes here in The Villages. There are not very many Limpkins around at all. I have only seen three (and one of my sightings may well have been this bird at a different spot). The Limpkins are marsh birds that are primarily living here in Florida in the USA.
These birds are vaguely similar in looks to juvenile White Ibis, juvenile Green Herons and Bitterns. All are about the same size and have a streaky brown coloring. The Limpkin the only bird of its family type and is not related to rails or even the cranes. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Egyptian Geese are apparently making a home for themselves here in the United States. I have occasionally spotted pairs or small groups of these African immigrant geese during the last couple of years.
I also recently saw a photo from Texas where a pair of Egyptian Geese were strolling around a golf course. I think that may have been the idea of bringing these geese here from Africa. The Egyptian Geese are lovely and seem to have an OK temperament. I took these pictures on Lake Paradise on May 9, 2017. I also earlier spotted Egyptian Geese at the lake behind Freedom Pointe in The Villages, where there were a family of these geese, but that was about two months back. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.
This Belted Kingfisher lives on Lake Paradise in The Villages, Florida. I have seen this bird at both Paradise Park (the opposite shore from the bird) and at Boone Park. I took these pictures last week.
The Belted Kingfisher eats fish, frogs, tender turtles, tadpoles and larger aquatic insects. It swoops down and spears its prey with its sharp long bill. This bird is quite shy. Belted Kingfishers live around salt or fresh water.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Juvenile White Ibis
White Ibises and Great Egrets are among the many varieties of birds frequenting our shrinking small lakes here in The Villages, FL these days. The Great Egrets are sporting their magnificent breeding plumage now. Quite the beautiful sight! There are several juvenile White Ibises around, too. The youngsters have the brown color mixed in with the white. In a few months, they will turn white.
I took these pictures on Dec. 20, 2016 at Paradise Lake. We are in a drought and the little lake is rapidly drying up. The Boone Park area of the lake is mostly mud flats and Swartz Park is nearly so. The main part of the lake still has a lot of water so all is not dire. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version the picture. Enjoy. Wishing everyone a very happy New Year in 2017!
Adult White Ibis
Great Egret with empty Apple Snail shells on mud flat lake bottom