A walk at Largo Nature Park

Northern shovelers aren’t extremely rare in the Tampa bay area but I haven’t seen any in a long time. There were 2 couples close the edge of the water at Largo Nature Preserve in late January and they didn’t seem to mind me watching them. They look a lot like mallards but have that goofy big square bill.

A snowy egret was looking for food.

A wood stork was taking a break.

A cattle egret with a bright orange bill.

Two ring billed ducks.

Linking to My Corner of the World.

 

Foggy start to the morning

Walking out on the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve, the fog was just starting to lift.

On the other side of the marsh, the sun was trying to break through.

Great blue herons in the fog.

A few critters along the trail. That big one always sleeps in that same spot across the ditch.

Lots of the usual birds along the trail.

A bright red flash of fall in the moss. It usually starts to look like fall around here in January.

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The calm deer.

Driving into Chesnut park on a recent Saturday morning, I was greeting by a few deer. Snapped this with my phone.

I stopped to take some pictures of them walking around on the baseball field.

A rare sighting of some close the picnic shelters at the lake. I rarely see them this close the lake.

Later, walking on the boardwalk, I saw these two deep in the woods. They appeared to be preening each other. I watched for a few minutes before they noticed me. They didn’t seem to mind me standing there.It’s always fun to see the deer at Chesnut Park. For some reason they seem to calm me down. You have to get there early in the morning to catch them. By 9am when the dog walkers and joggers are there, they retreat into the woods.

Fort Desoto in early January

Little birds along the shore at Fort Desoto Park.

Weird sea slugs that were on the sand at low tide. The muck was full of these.

The tide would be coming in soon to wash this guy back into the water.

A very large raft of ducks far out in the water near the Sunshine Skyway bridge. I think these were mostly ring neck ducks.

Scenes from the beach.

In early January I was walking the trails and noticed an owl sitting in an old osprey nest.

Not a bad way to be stuck in traffic. On my way home I got stuck on the bridge for a few minutes while the bridge was up waiting for some tall boats to pass underneath.

SkyWatch Friday

Flowers and critters at the botanical gardens

Even in January there is lots of color in central Florida. Found the above at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

The usual birds. Carolina wrens have been singing away for weeks now.

This little squirrel was too cute, chowing on these pink seed pods over my head.

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Wild parakeets

The wild monk parakeets in the Tampa bay area like to nest in utility poles, water towers and lights at ballparks. I’ve never seen or heard of them nesting in trees in the area.  I was at Largo Nature Park recently which is right next to a big utility complex and the parakeets were buzzing around. They were busy chasing each other and screaming. I could hear them all over the park. It was fun to watch those flashes of green flying in and out of the utility wires especially since it would be a lot harder to see them in the trees.