Critters at Bok Tower Gardens

A quiet day for birds in early September.  A woodpecker, a great horned owl and a quick peek at a hummingbird.

Lots of squirrels around. The one in the bottom shot had a big bot fly bite on his side.

I found the real “Peter Cottontail” on the trail.

Creepy spiders just in time for Halloween.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

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The big ones under water

You can get really close to the big swimmers under water at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. Turtles, sharks and sting rays swim right up to the glass. The sting rays look like they have happy faces when they swim up.

You can swim in the exhibit with the sharks. Not sure if that pole he’s holding would calm my fears. I’m sure they keep them well fed though.

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Visiting my favorite pier groupies.

A few of the regulars at the pier; the famous great blue heron/great egret hybrid, a ruddy turnstone, a reddish egret, lots of snowy egrets always looking for a handout and great blue heron and reddish egret fighting over space on the railing.

Skimmers were skimming the bait fish.

 

This reddish egret was bored with me.

Shots of a beautiful morning at the pier. These were taken in early September, before Irma.

SkyWatch Friday

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High up in the trees.

High up in the trees, I found a red shoulder hawk and a northern parula.

There were also lots of woodpeckers in the trees, a pileated and two downys.

Someone had left some seed on the boardwalk. The cardinal was feeding the baby.

A lone yellow throated warbler.

All taken in late July at Chesnut Park.

Linking to Wednesday Around The World

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Getting up close with Florida critters.

Up close with a ruddy duck.

And black bellied whistling ducks.  One was missing an eye

A pretty lady wood duck.

A very important sign.  Even the night heron standing in front of it should not be fed.

“Hooo’s there?” said the burrowing owl.

Crawling critters behind glass.

Growing inside the aquarium, the beauty berry can be see in the many of the parks around Tampa. The birds and critters eat the berries.

On the wall in the aquarium, this would make cool wallpaper.

A few things from a recent trip to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.  When it’s too hot to see the fishies from the beach, it’s time to head inside at the aquarium.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

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“Don’t play with your food.”

I was driving through the parking lot heading to the fishing pier and I saw this guy over by a new rain puddle. He’s the rare great egret/great blue heron hybrid that’s been hanging out at the park for a while now. I’ve only ever seen him at the fishing pier.  I’m glad I stopped and got out of the car since I saw the below when I did.

A great blue heron had a snack.  He kept flipping it over, dropped it a few times and finally swallowed it quickly. I know the bird’s gotta eat but I felt bad for the frog.

Other birds kept cruising by hoping they could try to steal it.  Another great blue heron started getting too close so he gulped it down.

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A walk around Crescent Lake

Moorhens were all around the lake. Lots of juveniles from early spring.

Other interesting ducks including the pied grebe in the last picture.

Other critters at the lake. The otter was a surprise. I’ve never seen one there before.

The water tower next to the lake and a hawk hanging underneath it. Probably looking for a slow flying monk parakeet. The parakeets nest under the water tower.

Looking across the lake near downtown St. Petersburg. I hadn’t been in a while so I stopped for a quick walk. There were people in the lake in kayaks doing a cleanup. I know there are alligators in there so you wouldn’t want to be in there without a kayak and a paddle to hit one over the head with.

SkyWatch Friday

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Up close with a spoony

It’s not often you can get this close to a roseate spoonbill. These were taken at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa recently. These spoonbills are residents at the aquarium and live in a big aviary that you walk through. They are acclimated to people coming through and watching them live their lives.  Feeding, fighting and napping all day long. It’s like the spoonbill version of “The Truman Show” movie. Most of these spoonbills have some type of injury. It was fun to watch people see them for the first time and gasp at how pretty they are.

Linking to Wednesday Around The World

 

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An overdue visit to Sunken Gardens.

Upclose with flamingos.

Butterflies buzzing around the pretty flowers.

Super sized fish.

A few of the plants at the gardens.

Sunken Gardens is a 4 acre 100-year-old botanical garden near downtown St. Petersburg and one of the oldest roadside tourist attractions in the country.  The gardens are located in what was a small lake 10 feet below sea level which is where it got the name. I hadn’t been in nearly 10 years and it’s so close so I thought I’d stopped in one morning for a quick walk.  Since it was the end of summer, there weren’t a lot of flowers blooming but the gardens was a tropical oasis once you got inside. A handful of flamingos live there as well. It was a great little walk but so hot.  My next trip will be in the winter.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

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Flashes of Orange


Lots of butterflies, bees and moths at the Botanical Gardens in Largo in late August.  Below is the only birds I saw, juvenile moorhens.

 

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