Last evening I did a bit of bird watching at Paradise Lake, Lake Mira-mar, and the Golf View Lake here in The Villages, Florida where I spotted many wild ducks. Most of the ducks were the native wild Florida Mottled Ducks, Mottled and Mallard hybrid ducks and a few Mallard Ducks.
All of these are dabbling ducks that tip their head into the water to grab small insects, worms and aquatic plants to eat. These ducks are here all year around. They are enjoying our many small ponds and lakes and have made themselves quite at home here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are sweeties! Yes, I just love these ducks that have real personality and gorgeous looks. I spotted a beautiful family of mother father and ducklings at the decorative pond in front of the Glenview Country Club in The Villages, Florida on Monday afternoon. I also have seen these ducks at the Freedom Point lakes on the Morse Blvd. side near the multi-modal pathway. By the way, the ducklings now have blue bills and feet which will eventually turn coral pink as they mature. Both drakes and hens look very similar. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture.
Drake (male) Egyptian Goose in breeding plumage
Egyptian Geese were spotted at Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL on Tuesday evening at dusk. Until recently, I had not seen both genders together. There are not a lot of Egyptian Geese here so it was not readily apparent what both genders looked like in breeding plumage. I spotted two drakes and a single hen among lot of Canada Geese and a lone Wood Stork there at the lake.
All of the geese and the stork, were browsing on the grassy shoreline next to the golf cart multi-modal path (and meandering on that very path!). Note that in breeding colors, the males have the strong black barring and are a lot brighter in color than the females. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Pair of Egyptian Geese with a Canada Goose
These Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, or “Whistlers” were spotted here in The Villages, FL in a grassy area just coming out of a golf cart tunnel near Lake Sumter and Morse. I took the pictures at about 6:00pm last night. These are such cheery cute ducks that I always enjoy seeing them. The small flock was grazing on tasty insects as the grass had just recently been cut and it had rained a little earlier in the day. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Muscovy Duck at Paradise Lake, The Villages, FL
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Florida Mottled Duck, Lake Paradise, The Villages FL
Florida Mottled Ducks on Lake Paradise, The Villages, FL
Egyptian Geese have made their home on Paradise Lake in The Villages, FL. This lake is private as is the park, and is for the enjoyment of the residents of The Villages. There are about six of these medium-sized geese here. The geese come and go between several small nearby ponds and lakes.
These Egyptian Geese originated in North Africa and were brought to Florida a number of years ago by someone to be golf course pond pets or farm pets. They are escapees. In any event, I doubt that there are many of the Egyptian Geese here in Florida. The geese hang out with the numerous Canada Geese and also occasionally with the White Ibis. They are grass eaters just like the Canada Geese. I took these pictures during the Summer here and have included a picture of part of beautiful Paradise Park. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
We still have power as of 9:30am so I am posting this. We have a bit of wind and a lot of rain. The storm itself will be in the Daytona area in another hour or so, and that is when it will be the closest to us here. I will let you all know what happens. So far, so good. The track of the storm is farther East off shore which is helpful to us (the coast will still be highly affected).
I saw these Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at Lake Mira Mar in The Villages, FL, on Sept. 7, 2016 and also at Paradise Lake in The Villages on the same day. I enjoy spotting these pretty rust, black, white and pink ducks! They whistle when communicating in similar ways other ducks quack. We are fortunate to have several small flocks of whistlers here at the moment! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of the picture. By the way, my computer has been repaired and I am back to my regular schedule of posts.
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks and Hooded Merganser Ducks have been around in the local ponds and small lakes here. I enjoy watching both but tend to be really wowed by the brown, black and white cuties with their vivid pink bills (you know which I mean). Yes, the ducks here are charming! The Hooded Mergansers are migratory here while the whistlers may be local to the region.
The Hooded Mergansers are diving ducks and fish by diving down to catch small fish, frogs, tadpoles, crayfish, large aquatic snails, small tender turtles or larger aquatic insects. The Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are more open to eating both meat and vegetation. They are like their cousins the Mallards in that aspect. Both of these ducks are excellent fliers!
I took these pictures here in my neighborhood and in a nearby neighborhood during the last several weeks. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Merry Christmas! I won’t be posting on Friday but will catch up on Saturday. See you then!