This small flock of Wood Storks were spotted at Paradise Lake in The Villages, Florida on Friday, May 12, 2017. The wonderfully serene but unusual-looking wading birds were here to enjoy the pickings of the remaining aquatic snails, worms, small minnows, tadpoles, frogs and such in the shallow water. The lake is extremely diminished from its normal water level.
Happily, we did have a big rain on Saturday here but it did not do too much to raise the lake’s level. The Wood Storks were only on the lake that one day. I hope we see them again soon! They are one of my favorites! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
White Pelicans and Great Blue Herons
White Pelicans, Sandhill Cranes, a Great Blue Heron, Canada and Egyptian Geese, ducks a plenty and egrets were all spotted at Paradise Lake in Paradise Park, The Villages, Florida on Tuesday (5/9/17) evening at dusk. No rain in sight and the lake continues to shrink. As a blog friend mentioned in comments on a recent post here, the birds seem to be benefitting short-term from the low water levels.
Additionally, I took several pictures at the lake this morning (5/12/17) and saw Wood Storks, White Pelicans, shorebirds of some type (Plovers?), and a huge gathering of egrets and herons. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the very slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy! P.S. Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday!
Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, White Ibis
Sandhill Crane and Great Blue Heron in the Background
Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, FL
I have selected favorite photographs I have taken in Florida in the last three years to share here today. I tend to love Wood Storks, all the different woodpeckers, assorted ducks, and the various herons and egret,s the best! I hope you will like seeing these old favorites!
Wood Stork in The Villages, FL
A Little Blue Heron in The Villages, FL
A Green Heron in Dunellon, FL
A Great Egret in Breeding Plumage, The Villages,
Snowy Egret, The Villages, FL
A Pileated Woodpecker, Ocala, FL
Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, Florida has two medium-sized ponds that have a variety of water birds, and wading birds in and around them. I was there at Tuscawilla Park on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 in the afternoon for about five minutes. No, I did not see hundreds of birds as I have in past visits during the Winter months. Many birds have gone elsewhere on their migratory journey.
I did see several Great Egrets, a couple of Wood Storks, Snowy Egrets, a lot of White Ibis, a lot of Common Cormorants, a few Wood Ducks, a few Muscovy Ducks and a Great Blue Heron. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Great Egret, Snowy Egrets, and Double Crested Cormorants
Juvenile White Ibis
Adult White Ibis
This group of Wood Storks was here in December but several are still around the area. The Wood Storks are genuinely odd-looking sweet big birds! I love seeing them here.
Wood Storks roost in trees but wade in shallow water to hunt for crustaceans, aquatic snails, larger aquatic insects, small fish, shore-side large land insects, and worms. The Wood Storks also eat grains and plants on occasion.
Mostly the Wood Storks just stand around. That seems to really be the case. Wood Storks are very passive calmer birds and that helps make them easy to photograph. I sometimes wonder what they are thinking and doing? Fascinating birds. By the way, the younger birds have lighter-colored pink feet (Wood Storks of all ages do have pink feet) and lighter-colored bills. I have read that Wood Storks may fly some fifty miles from their own roost area to find enough food. That seems amazing! They sure are good at flying! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Wood Storks, Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Double Crested Cormorants, Ring-necked Ducks, and Hooded Mergansers all visited the little park lake (Paradise Lake) here in the past two weeks.
An interesting thing about Wood Storks is how they sit. Their knees bend so that their lower legs rest in front – quite the opposite from many animals. and of course, people.
I took these pictures on Dec. 21-22, 2016. Most of these water birds are meat-eaters and they certainly had easy fishing since our lake is drying up (we are in a drought). I wish all who celebrate, a happy Hanukkah. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy! Happy New Year!
Great Blue Heron
Hooded Merganser Ducks
Double Crested Cormorant
Great Egret in Breeding Plumage
Flocks of Sandhill Cranes, White Pelicans and Wood Storks have recently visited our little neighborhood park lake (Paradise Lake) here in The Villages, FL. Because we have had so little rainfall, the lake has rapidly been shrinking and the fishing seems to be the big draw for the migratory wading and water birds!
It was quite funny for me yesterday to shoot a round of archery here, while a large group of White Pelicans flew right over the lake-side archery range! A most pleasant distraction for sure.
I drive past Swartz Park on my way home from my daily archery practice so I get to notice when there are large gatherings of the wading or water birds on the lake. I took these pictures on December 21, and Dec. 22, 2016. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy! I want to wish all a Merry Christmas! I will continue the second part of this three part series on Monday.