My annual trip to Gatorland to see the babies.

These are all great egret babies at various ages. I took a road trip over to Orlando for my annual visit to see the birds nesting in the bird rookery at Gatorland. The big lake at the park has a boardwalk full of nesting wild birds in the bushes. I got there early in the morning and the babies were all screaming for food. It was very loud. The older babies were flapping their wings and testing them out. I took tons of pictures so there will be more posts on this trip.

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An afternoon walk on the fishing pier

There were not many birds on the beach near the pier.  A few laughing gulls and this lone black bellied plover.

Looks like this is a couple of laughing gulls flirting.

The rare hybrid great blue heron/great egret made an appearance at the pier.

This osprey was eating some yummy fish on the light post on the pier.

Another osprey was also eating.  These osprey have been hanging out on the pier a lot lately. They are not skittish and don’t fly away as tons of people are walking by just below them.

It’s been a beautiful afternoon but I was hungry and had a 45 minute drive home so I left to get some dinner.

SkyWatch Friday

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Hoo’s in the park in the spring?

A baby great horned owl growing up in a park near where I live. The baby has such curious expressions. He was hiding high up in a tree.

At some point he woke up and moved over to the shade.

A screech owl was hiding close by.

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White and bright

There’s a small flock of white pelicans that spend their winters at Lake Morton in central Florida. I think they may stay there all year round now. They have become acclimated to having a lot of people around since this is a busy park. In mid April I stopped by to take their picture and they ignored me. Kids were running around and they slept through it. I guess it’s good that they feel comfortable here.

Bright flowers were blooming everywhere.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

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Beautiful “ugly ducklings”

Sometimes things just work out. I was heading home after a long walk at Circle B Bar Reserve and decided to stop by Lake Morton near downtown Lakeland for a quick walk around the small lake. I was hoping to find some baby wood duck families since there have been a lot of wood duck couples hanging around the lake.  I got even luckier. This was the first time I’ve seen baby swans that young swimming with the parents.  The little twins were very curious pecking at everything but they stayed close to the parents. I sat down on the grass and took a ton of pictures. All of these were taken in late April with my 300mm lens and were extremely cropped.

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“Fly like an eagle”

Boy, those baby eagles grow up fast.  I didn’t get to see them for a few weeks and now they are sitting up looking like a grown up.

The oldest one was flapping his wings pretty hard but wasn’t getting too much height yet. I’m sure it won’t be long. I don’t know if I’ll make it back before they fly away.

One of the proud parents in a snag close by.

SkyWatch Friday

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Love is in the air.

It’s that time of the year. The laughing gulls are all pairing up and flirting. There’s a lot of squabbling going on and 3’s a crowd when it comes to the gulls. I walked out to a quiet section of the beach and all of gulls were in twos. No real hanky panky going on that morning but they were flirting pretty hard.

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A cute baby goat!

Some very young chickens were out running around feeding on the main path.

A peacock was showing off.

Strutting around.

Creepy but pretty lizard.

I got to pet the “not quite week old” baby goat. Me and the other kids. He was so cute and friendly. I took this with my phone and was sitting on the ground watching him play.

Fun distractions on the weekend at Horsepower for Kids.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

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Happy Mother’s Day

This mom had only one baby to feed.

This mom had 3 little screaming mouths to feed. The baby great egrets were very loud. Both parents were busy flying in with fish to feed the babies. The adult swallows the fish and then regurgitates it back up into the babies beak. I’m surprised she doesn’t get an eye poked out. The babies are almost as big as the parents but they still have a little fuzz on top of their heads.   These were taken at Gatorland in Orlando in mid-April.

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Those crazy green clowns at Fort Desoto

I recently spent some time watching the wild Nanday parakeets at Fort Desoto. Not on purpose of course, I was looking for little song birds that were migrating through. You can’t miss these guys. They fly in screaming. They landed in some trees right where I was standing and hung out there for a while. They were bouncing from branch to branch, hanging upside down and poking their head in holes all while screaming. After about 10 minutes they took off and all was quiet again.

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