A Great Egret
A Red-winged Blackbird, a Common Moorhen, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, a perched Great Egret, a partially submerged Anhinga, a trio of Double-crested Cormorants, a Pied-billed Grebe; Egyptian Geese; White Ibis; and a flock of Hooded Mergansers were all spotted here in The Villages, FL, late in the afternoon on Wednesday. I also saw a most lovely Monarch Butterfly on some wild Aster flowers.
The Grey Squirrels here have become the rodent version of the ever-begging White Ibis! When we parked the golf cart at Paradise Park, I immediately had four little squirrels come begging for any kind of hand-out treat that would be given. I had to say sorry to the little cuties but someone else had already provided a few tasty peanuts. I sure wish folks would stop feeding the wildlife here! Oh well…
Such fun to get out in beautiful weather and see the birds squirrels and yes, butterflies. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that picture. Enjoy!
A hen Moorhen
Male Red-winged Blackbird
A pair of Sandhill Cranes
A Scenic View of “Larry the Gator’s Pond”
Egyptian Goose and White Ibis
A Monarch Butterfly on an Aster flower
Anhinga on flooded Lake Mira-mar
I took these pictures on Sunday evening at twilight here in The Villages, FL. The pictures were taken at Lake Mira-mar and at near Boone Park on Lake Paradise. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White Ibis on Lake Mira-mar at Veteran’s Park area
Mottled Ducks at Boone Park, Flooded Kim Street
Great Egret on Lake Paradise from near Boone Park
These White Ibises were perching in low oak trees at the side of flooded Lake Mira-mar in The Villages, FL and walking around in the lake-side parking area at that same little lake.
I also saw several White Ibis walking on the grass between parts of the flooded Boone Park on Lake Paradise also in The Villages, FL that are separated by a now flooded street. Both lakes are still full but yes, the water is down a little. It sure is weird seeing waterfowl and wading birds paddling and walking along through the flood water on a neighborhood street! Those areas are pretty much off-limits so I was careful to stay where it was safe and easy to walk around.
I think the bird population is probably half what it was before Hurricane Irma here. Just an un-scientific guess on my part. I think most fled and flew elsewhere. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Birds cool off by opening their beaks or bills to breathe cooler air into their system. So on a hot day or evening if you see a bird panting, they are just trying to keep cool. They also will often try to sit or perch in a shady spot or wade in a stream, pond or lake. I took these photos last night at dusk here in The Villages, Florida. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Great Blue Heron
Mottled Ducks, White Ibis, Trio-colored Heron
Great Blue Heron
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 Ibis at Silver Lake Park Pond
This evening here in The Villages, FL, I took a bunch of photographs of various wading birds, water birds, and waterfowl at several small ponds and small lakes. We had a partial view of the Solar Eclipse yesterday but it only got a little dim; about like it would be at say, 6:00PM here (same as when I snapped these photographs tonight). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!
Snowy Egrets, Trip-colored Heron at the Silver Lake Park Pond
Great Blue Heron at the Silver Lake Park Pond
Great Blue Heron at Lake Paradise