Late post on babies


Baby anhingas from June.


Younger anhingas begging Dad to feed them.


He’s trying to ignore the three babies. He’s probably hoping Mom is coming back soon with food.


Actually, it looks like Dad was just waiting for his food to regurgitate back up so he can feed them.


These parents have it rough. I wonder if the babies ever poke the parents in the throat.


“I’m next.” says the other one.


The muscovy ducks were working on a family.


“Here’s a thank you kiss Honey.”


A few nests had older great egret babies that were still being fed by the parents.


I had forgotten to post these pictures of the anhinga babies from June. I had driven up north of Tampa to a neighborhood that had a small lake with a mangrove island in the middle. I had heard about stork island, where the wood storks were raising their babies and finally made the drive up. The island is in the middle of the lake so these are all extremely cropped. It was a challenge to see through all of the branches. It was great to see anhingas nesting there as well. I’ve only seen them nest at Gatorland. I’ll try to get up there earlier next year.

Check out more pictures at Our World Tuesday  Our World Tuesday Graphic

Posted in bird photography | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The hottest walk of the year!


An anhinga drying off after a swim to catch fish.


Sad looking cardinal. I’m assuming he’s molting into adulthood.


I think this is a young least bittern. He was far out in the reeds and would not come close. I had heard they were there recently but this was my first sighting of them at this park.


The edge of the lake was full of dragonflies.


Really? I’m standing there sweating in 90 degree weather and a million % humidity to take pictures of grackles? That’s when I knew it was time to go home.


Even though, they are pretty in the sunlight.


Another green heron. I saw several that morning.


Even this pod is hot and crispy.


The butterfly was taking a break.


It was just too hot. After a 2 hour walk, I headed straight for the car and cranked up the AC. I wanted to get out and get a walk in on an early Sunday morning in late August before I had to head to the in-laws for lunch so I headed out to Chesnut Park. I drank so much water I felt bloated but still felt dizzy. I headed to the in-laws and jumped in their pool. I may have to hibernate until October. At least when it was raining most of the time in early August, it didn’t feel as hot out.

 Shine the Divine

Posted in bird photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Crazy ducks in downtown Lakeland


“Hey lady, can you turn out the light?” said the muscovy duck.


“I’m a happy duck.” said the some sort of mallard hybrid.


“Going for a swim.” said another mallard hybrid.


“I am not a mallard!” says the juvenile male wood duck.


“We are family.”


“I can swim.” says the American pekin duck.

“I can flap too.”


Hanging out with friends.


“Hey lady, what kind of brown duck is this?”


“This needs some hot sauce.” says the muscovy duck.


“For the hundredth time, I’m a goose, not a swan so go away.”


This mandarin duck couple looks sad. I’m not sure whether the males lose their bright feathers in the summer?


“Hey lady, get my good side.” says the shelduck.


“These bugs taste yummy.”

I walked around both lakes in downtown Lakeland, Lake Morton and Lake Mirror. All of the usual summer ducks were present but sadly, one of the shelducks has gone missing. A man who lives close by and feeds the ducks daily told me that he hasn’t seen the other one in a while. I didn’t see him while I was there. Sadly, now the shelduck is all alone.  Anyone want to take up a collection to buy another one for the lonely one at Lake Mirror? You can buy a pair for $275 on  It doesn’t say but maybe you could get a single one for half the price.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters

Posted in bird photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Another perfect morning at the fishing pier – Skywatch Friday


Snowy egrets getting a bait fish snack.


Flipping them into their mouths like popcorn shrimp.


They were having a feast since someone left a good portion of their bait fish catch on the pier. People tend to pull up their nets, empty as much as they can in the bucket and don’t bother to pick up all of the stragglers.


This juvenile laughing gull was having problems with his beak. At first, I thought his bottom beak was broken but it looked okay. But, he did have something wrong with his tongue.


Some alone time under the pier.


Beach bum lizard.


“Man, I’m thirsty and tired of drinking salt water.”


“Lady, can you come over here and turn this on?”


Dolphin at the pier.


Out in the gulf.


Passing a sand bar.

Speaking of sand bars, the one above is a fairly new one. I zoomed in on it and the picture is extremely cropped so it’s pretty far away from the beach. I have heard that there are hundreds of birds that hang out there now. Maybe that’s why there hasn’t been many shorebirds at the north beach marsh. That’s where I’d be if I was a bird, not on the crowded beach at the park.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday

Posted in bird photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Flying and swimming for food


Laughing gull flies by with a fish in his beak.


The skimmer is trying to get a fish.


This one got a fish.


“Hey lady, how’s my form?”


Cormorant coming up with an empty beak.

This pelican has a beak full.




Another mouthful of fish.


The fish were flopping in his pouch.

The fishing pier at Fort Desoto was busy with everyone trying to catch fish. The tiny bait fish was all around the pier creating this blanket of fish layering the top of the water. People were coming in close to the pier on their boats and throwing their nets to catch the fish. The birds were also there, filling their beaks. Gulls and skimmers were hovering over the water and scooping up the fish with their beaks. Pelicans weren’t even diving for the fish. They were just floating there and sticking their heads half way under water and filling their pouches with fish. I don’t know if the people fishing were catching any bigger fish. I didn’t see any that morning.

Posted in bird photography | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Baby skimmers are growing up


Taking a snoozer. Living on the beach can wear you out.




Practicing “Putting the brakes on”.


“When am I gonna be grown up?”


Showing off his profile. One of the oldest babies there.


Getting comfy in the sand.


Ready for bed.


Dinner from mom.




Practicing his wing flap.


“Lady, can you take this trash with you?”


“Yummy fish for dinner.”

My last trip to the skimmer colony was in late July. Most of the baby skimmers were growing up fast. A few were just barely getting lift off but not fully flying yet. Many were practicing and skipping over the sand. All were still being fed by their parents. They were all at different stages of growing up and most of the older ones had ventured outside the roped off area. I was hoping to catch them down by the water but all of them stayed close to the parents that night. A big storm was out in the gulf heading towards the beach so I’m not sure if that kept them close to dunes. They all had so much personality but soon they will be grumpy old grown ups.

Check out more pictures at Our World Tuesday  Our World Tuesday Graphic

Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention for 

Posted in bird photography | 13 Comments

Buds, Bees and Birds in Lakeland


“Hey lady, have you got a pass to be out here?” says the female anhinga.


Looking right into the sun, I saw these two wood storks on the top of a tree. At first I thought they were building a nest but I think they were just fighting for space.


A squirrel eating a leaf?


Fuzzy flowers on the lake.


A limpkin eating a snail.


A mockingbird landed right in front of my car.


A very tiny dragonfly.


Some type of bee on white flowers.


A green fly on pink.


Hanging from the palm trees in the parking lot.They look like orange grapes but I wasn’t going to try one.

Just some random things around downtown Lakeland on my walk around Lake Morton and Lake Mirror. I stopped by Hollis Gardens to see what was blooming but by that time it was too hot. Most of the spring blooms were gone. Replaced by summer bedding plants.

Shine the Divine

Posted in bird photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments