Better than birds

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I had heard there were buntings down at Felts Preserve, almost an hour south of my home.  I don’t know whether I was too early or too late. After walking around for over an hour, the only birds I saw were doves and grackles. I decided to make a loop around the outer trail and heard something splashing along the little creek. I sat down in the grass and watched the otter family play for a while before they dove under water and headed down the creek. They were so cute. They kept their eye on me but they seemed okay that I was sitting farther down the trail.  All of the above are extremely cropped.

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A beautiful view from the nest.

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Napping on the nest.

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The great horned owl mom and baby were not very active the morning I stopped by. There’s a younger baby behind the mom but I only saw a tiny bit of fuzz pop up.

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The osprey in the area didn’t have eggs yet.

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Yellow bellied sapsucker has stopped for a rest during spring migration.

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He was trying to nap on the tree.

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Pelicans diving for fish out in the bay.

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This is the view from the owl’s nest. It would be pretty amazing to wake up to this every morning, even on a cloudy day.

Perfect morning at Fort Desoto in early April.

Skywatch Friday

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White fuzz balls everywhere.

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The main reason to go to Gatorland in Orlando is the babies. In the spring, wild birds come to raise their babies in the mangroves along the lake full of gators. The gators keep the raccoons and snakes away. I wonder if there is safety in numbers there. With all of the babies, I’ve never seen a hawk cruising around looking for a snack. I guess because there are so many adult birds in a concentrated area to fight off attackers. All of the above are great egret babies. The last picture above is probably the oldest ones. Maybe a month old.

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The above 3 are of a snowy egret family.These babies are just a few days old.

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Thrown in to the mix of all of the different white birds was a baby grackle.

I took a ga-zillion pictures on this trip. So many fun things to see. I’ll be posting a lot about this trip.

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Fun at Fort Desoto in April

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Black and white warblers don’t sit still for a minute. They like to hang upside down on the tree and usually stay close to the trunk.

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The one Ruby throated hummingbird I’ve seen so far this spring.

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I think this is a female black and white warbler. The black is not as pronounced in the female as the male.

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Another white eyed vireo. The most common bird at the park this spring.

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Birds of a feather….

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I caught Jim chimping. Making sure he got a good shot of that pigeon.

The park was packed in early April with birders coming to see the birds that had flown in for spring migration. It was nice of them all to stop over for a rest so we could all spend a full Saturday morning waiting for them to stand still for a second. It’s always fun running into people you see once a year and catch up with what’s been going on in the bird world.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

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Waiting around

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What do you do waiting for baby owls to wake up? You start taking pictures of the flowers bugs and weeds around you. There’s plenty of that at Fort Desoto. Eventually, the baby owls woke up and I snapped a few pictures of them as well and then headed home.

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Fun stuff at the lake

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A white ibis with a blue tint on the end of his feathers.

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Dirty beak

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Splish splash

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Pretty lady

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Cool dude.

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Needs butter.

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Funny feet

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Pink beak

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The three stooges

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Cottonball head

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A puppy that thinks he’s a duck.

A perfect walk around the lake on a perfect Saturday morning.

Weekly Top Shot #174

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Right before spring break at the beach.

 

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The laughing gulls were pairing up. Chasing each other and fighting over the ladies.

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Young herring gull with a snack.

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Blurry picture of a barn swallow. These guys rarely sit still. I saw him from across the lagoon.

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The dolphins were active this Saturday morning.

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Heading towards the pier.

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One of the bird steward volunteers at the park. He was checking out the roped off area for nesting birds. They work on keeping the tourist out of the nesting area and answer questions about the birds.

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Rush hour  traffic in the bay.

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Having fun on a boat ride.

A few things at Fort Desoto Park in mid-March.

 Skywatch Friday

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Everybody loves hippos.

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I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen the pygmy hippos out of the water at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. The baby  was born in October last year. It was a fairly cool morning in last March and the baby was moving around, rubbing his back on the tree trunk and checking everything out. I’m not sure if he was really eating the hay or just imitating Mom. A big crowd was forming and the kids were going crazy over the baby. It’s always fun to watch the kids react.

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Yellow birds at Fort Desoto

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All above are white eyed vireos. Fairly common during migration.

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All of these are of a hooded warbler. The park was filled with these bright yellow birds with black hoods. They were not shy and would not freak out and fly into the bushes. They remained on the trail as long as no one got too close.

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I saw one prairie warbler at the park.

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A single yellow throated warbler. I don’t see these too often.

It poured the last Friday in March. I never get that lucky. Usually, it pours early in the week and by the time I get out to the parks, the birds are gone. This time I got up early on Saturday and headed down to Fort Desoto. Not a big fall out but still enough birds to keep everyone entertained. I think there was possibly more people than birds though.  I’m hoping this is only the first fall out for spring migration this year. It’s still early.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

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Flowers in the house

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Spent a weekend afternoon playing with the macro lens.

Shine the Divine

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