Baby black necked stilts in the ditch.

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Black necked stilt couple in the muck.

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What are they looking at?

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A baby black neck stilt.

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Baby was wandering around in the puddles.

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“Mom???”

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A little bit older baby. Almost as big as the parent but his legs aren’t pink yet.

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He was walking around looking for food.

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Reflection in the water.

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The water was really low in the ditch by work. This was early July before the rainy season had started. I had seen a black neck stilt family on my way to lunch one day and brought my camera to work the next day. After work I stopped at the ditch and realized there were several black neck stilt families. I think this was a record number of stilts in this ditch. All of these were taken from the car window and cropped. If I opened the door they would freak out and the parents would fly away. They are very skittish birds so I just sat in the car, took a few pictures and left.

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A walk after work in early July.

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Green heron on the shoreline of the lake.

DSC_1467I’m assuming this cardinal can see himself in the window?  He kept banging on it. Maybe he could see food inside.

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Tricolored heron posing for me.

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A very young grackle.

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A red winged blackbird.

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The black neck stilt couple were still there.

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So were the babies. All three were there and just a little bit bigger than the few weeks before I saw them. They were pretty far out in the reeds.

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Baby duck taking a bath.

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Drying off with his siblings close by.

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I saw 4 baby ducks all together without any parent around. They stayed pretty close to each other. They climbed up on the bank and settled in for the night. Hopefully, a parent found them later.

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Cattails in the water.

An after work walk around the lake near the office.

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

Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention for 

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Disappointing visit to Medard Park

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Some type of moth on the leaves.

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Leftovers.

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Some animal lost his meal on the boardwalk. There was a pile of half digested berries. The moths were chowing down.

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Up close.

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A black bellied whistling duck in Florida in July! This is a first for me. I usually only see them at Circle B Bar Reserve in the winter. I guess this one was staying for the summer. He wasn’t alone. Another one was hiding in the reeds.

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Tiny flowers in the grass.

It was hot. I had not been to Medard Park in east Tampa in a long time. I had heard the park sprayed to get rid of the apple snails (which I know is invasive) but now the limpkins don’t have as much to eat. I didn’t see a single limpkin which was very disappointing. I also heard the snail kites which have nested there for a couple of summers were gone.  The lake was full from all of the rain. The area around the boardwalk looked different. Almost barren of any wildlife. Maybe it’s just the time of year (although other parks are still pretty busy). Last year I got some of my favorite snail kite pictures at this park. I might have to scratch this park off my list. It’s just too far to drive.

Shine the Divine

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Extreme cuteness in my neighborhood

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I was driving home recently from a morning hike and as I drove around the little pond in my neighborhood, I noticed a few baby ducks walking around on the sidewalk. I parked my car and got out with my camera. There were two muscovy ducks with 3 babies.  The adult with the white feathers on her head and chest seemed to be the Mom. She stayed close to the babies. They all walked right towards me. I’m sure the neighbors are feeding them. I sat down on the grass and started taking pictures. When they realized I wasn’t going to feed them, they just started wandering around, going about their business.  After doing a little research, it’s not uncommon for muscovy ducks to have different babies. Some are all yellow, some all look just like mallard babies and some are mostly brown like the one above. I’m going to try to keep an eye out for them to see what they look like as they get older.

Linking up to Saturday’s Critters

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Fun morning at Fort Desoto – Skywatch Friday

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An oystercatcher couple were feeding along the shoreline right when I walked out on the beach.

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Upclose. He was digging pretty deep.

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A dowitcher also digging for food.

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It was dig deep day at the beach. Even the ibis were doing it.

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A snowy egret cruising for tiny fish.

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Turtle nests were everywhere at the park. I’ve never seen so many nests there before. The rangers keep them roped off and has even relocated a nest if the turtle lays the eggs right in the middle of a main tourist area. Taken with my Iphone. Update – on 7/20, the park reported having 86 turtle nests there. This is a record!

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A busy day for some photographers. I think they were shooting a great blue heron. When you fly down from across the country, you’re out there concentrating and getting the most for your day. Kind of like what I did when I was in Arizona for vacation. Every day was packed. It’s nice to know I can stop by here for a leisure stroll and get pictures if I happen to see something fun. The guy in the bright blue shirt is the famous photographer, Moose Peterson. I have his book Captured and love it. I stayed away from his group since I knew they were busy but I have chatted with him before in the parking lot a few years ago.

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Before I left the park, I stopped by the fishing pier to see if anything interesting was going on. There’s always snowy egrets chasing after dropped bait fish.

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A great blue heron staring down at me from the shelter.

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Someone had asked me how I had gotten the close up pictures of the bird’s face looking down at me. I took the above with my Iphone. There are several rain shelters on the pier and the birds hang out on the roof. You can walk right up to the edge of the roof and they stare down at you. They want to know if you’re going to throw them some food or fish.

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Crazy cormorant on the light post was giving me a big yawn.

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Overhead, a frigatebird flies by.

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“Sailing takes me away…”

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Off into the wild blue yonder! The view from the end of the pier.

Another perfect hot sunny morning at Fort Desoto park.

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Rainy stop on Gandy beach

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Royal terns coming in for a landing.

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A least tern on the beach.

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A banded royal tern. I think this is a juvenile.

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“Make room for me!”

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Taking a bath.

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A juvenile least tern. Probably born a few months earlier.

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Another one screaming at the parent to be fed. Even though they are flying now, they are still being fed by the parents.

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A least tern taking a bath.

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Flapping hard.

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Getting the underarms.

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Oystercatcher flying right over my head.

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Laughing gull coming in for a landing.

It had just stopped raining when I left for work in late June but still drizzling just a little. Since traffic was bad I decided to stop on the Gandy beach and see if there were any new shorebirds around. I figured the rain would have kept the people off the beach. There were a few cars on the beach but none were at the end near the walled off sanctuary. Nothing unusual there but there were a few of the baby royal terns and least terns. They were just starting to fly and will hang out on that beach for a while before they are gone for good. All grown up and somewhere to go.

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Pink at the end of the day.

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I haven’t seen a lot of spoonbills lately. In late June, I was heading to lunch and saw a few spoonbills hanging out in the ditches along the back road. The next day I brought my camera and stopped by after work. The ones with the pale pink on their body and no color on their faces are juveniles, probably born early this spring. They look so pretty and clean. I stayed for a few minutes and headed home. I didn’t want to freak out the black necked stilts that were close by.

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