Out in the neighborhood

I caught this squirrel sitting on a small palm tree outside our window. He had his cheeks full of fuzz from the tree and I was able to snap the top shot. When he took his paws and folded the fuzz up I was happy to get more shots. He was so cute. He jumped from the palm tree over to the oak tree and took off up the tree. I can see a half built nest up there but it’s really not nesting season since it’s getting colder (I know they nest all year round here in central Florida but it’s rare to see them starting a family in early November.)

In early October I caught one of my neighborhood eagles eating something on top of the light pole. I’ve been seeing the couple often cruising around the neighborhood but I haven’t seen them hanging on the nest that they used last year yet.

Birds near the eagles nest include several loggerhead shrikes and some young starlings.

Looking out the window during Hurrincane Nicole, I could see a lot of ibis feeding in the newly formed pond.

Some of the regulars (wood stork and spoonbill) that hang out in the ditch along the golf course.

Inspire Me Monday

 

All of the birds were eating breakfast

I was out for a walk at the end of September and the tide was super low. I could see the gulls eating some type of puffer fish that was stranded in the grass beds. Although I never did actually see the gulls eating them, they just kept picking them up and playing with them. Maybe they were waiting for them to deflate.

An osprey cruises by with a tiny fish in his feet.

The little blue heron was busy eating.

There were several snowy egrets looking for food.They look so pretty against the blue water.

This boat must have lost anchor during Hurrincane Ian. It’s still there, stranded near the Dunedin causeway. It’s in pretty bad shape at this point.

Happy Thanksgiving!

There’s something very strange about having wild turkeys sleeping in your backyard. This family has been cruising through our backyard for months now. I see them almost every day. Sometimes they walk through pretty quickly and sometimes they hang out and feed, scratching in the dirt under the big oak trees. Sometimes they take a nap, either in the trees or on the ground. I don’t know if this flock will stay together or split up. I can’t tell if any of them are males yet. They are pretty skittish and will quickly move on down the neighborhood if I go outside so all of these are taken through the window.

Our ring camera picking up the turkeys walking around the patio when I was gone one morning.

The sun coming through the trees in the front yard as it sets.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

SkyWatch Friday

In the neighborhood

It was late August and I was coming home from the grocery store and saw 2 eagles sitting in the utility tower in my neighborhood. I quickly put the groceries up and grabbed my camera and ran out the door thinking they would be gone but they were still sitting there. They were sitting in different towers that are next to each other. I was glad to see my neighborhood eagles back for the winter (at least I was hoping it was them).

A few of the regulars in the backyard. Bluebirds have been checking out the nest box I put up last year. Hopefully they will nest in it this year. The turkeys come cruising through the backyard every couple of days.

Blooming in the front courtyard.

Fungi in the backyard from all of the rain we had in September.

Inspire Me Monday

Too early for fall migration

It was mid-September and I headed out for a quick walk around Roosevelt Wetlands. I didn’t expect to find too much since fall migration was still just a trickle but anything is possible this time of year. The wetlands was packed with dragonflies.

A female red-winged blackbird isn’t very exciting but she posed so nicely for me that I had to take a shot.

The same with this female anhinga, sitting high up in a tree.

I was starting to see palm warblers. That’s a sure sign winter is coming.

I was surprised to see black bellied whistling ducks here. There was an adult with three juveniles. I wonder if they grew up here or just stopped over on their way somewhere else.

“Make room for me” said the great egret to the moorhens. They scooted out of his way.

It was a quiet morning and the only sign of fall was the single palm warlber. It was still a little early for migration though.

Pink on a cloudy day

It was a cloudy day in late September and I stopped by the Oldsmar pier to look for the eagles. I didn’t find any eagles but I did see something almost as good. Two spoonbills were feeding along the grass next to the pier. The white ibis are almost always feeding here but this was the first time I had seen spoonies at this pier.

They fed for a while, stopping a few times to keep an eye on me.

Someone walked up behind me and off they went.

A yellow crowned night heron was also walking around. I think he was looking for lost mangrove crabs.

So glad to see the eagles again

I finally caught the bald eagle in the tree at the Oldsmar pier. I had stopped by several times with my camera before finding him sitting high up there. He didn’t stay long, taking off not long after I had arrived.

As he left, he flew by so close that I couldn’t fit his wings in. I still haven’t figured out if this is one of the eagles that has a nest in my neighborhood or somewhere else. There is a another nest nearby but that couple did not use it this past year. He always flies north towards my neighborhood when he leaves which is why I’m thinking it’s him.

Walking on the pier I noticed another eagle sitting in a tree at the far end of the park. He was facing the water and wasn’t very visable from the sidewalk but I caught the above from the pier.

A few of the other birds at the pier. I think that tricolored heron was keeping his eye on the sky in case the eagle was heading towards him.

A cormorant cruises by the pier.

The black terns were still there.

The next day I was heading up to Tarpon Springs for a walk and I saw 2 eagles on a tower. I pulled over into a parking lot and shot the above. It wasn’t until later when I cropped up the picture that I realized the eagle on the right is a dummy. I don’t know if they put the fake up there to attract or repel other birds. The real eagle on the left didn’t seem to mind. Now I laugh when I drive by there and see that fake sitting up there.

SkyWatch Friday

Is it Thanksgiving yet?

I saw a hummingbird buzzing by the window in late August so I put the feeder back out. A few hours later there she was, getting a snack. She came to the feeder several times the next day and that was the last I’ve seen of her so far.

Walking by the window I saw the turkeys roaming around the backyard. A few minutes later they had disappeared. Where did they go that fast? Was that one in the tree? I snuck out the back door with my camera and found them all over the big oak tree. They were settling down for an afternoon nap so I quickly snapped these and went back inside.

About an hour later I peeked out the window and they were back on the ground feeding. I took all of these through the window. Some golfers had come by, causing them all to stand at attention for a few seconds but they went back to feeding as the golfers kept going on the cart.

Getting a drink on a hot afternoon.

That’s not a bird sticking his head out of the bird house. I hope this frog doesn’t plan on living in it. Although the birds aren’t using anyway.

Inspire Me Monday

Sunrise and beach birds

I found the whimbril on another trip to Fort Desoto Park in late August. He was right when you walk out on the beach so he wasn’t hard to find.

An oystercatcher was taking a bath.
A snowy egret with a fish for breakfast.

A ring bill gull was posing for me.

I found another whimbrel far up on Outback Key.

The sun was just coming up over the trees when I headed out for a long walk on the beach.

I’ve slowed down a little on my blog posts for a while. I had shoulder surgery on the 6th and can’t pick up anything heavier than a pound for 6-7 weeks so I won’t be out with my camera for a while. I’ll probably be caught up with previous outings by the end of October. I still plan to get in my walks with my phone starting later this week though. I do have my camera set up on a tripod in front of the back window hoping to catch some migrating birds coming through our backyard so I don’t miss out on fall migration completely this fall.

Inspire Me Monday

Dancing for breakfast

I didn’t just stumble upon the beautiful white morph reddish egret. He’s been spending a lot of time at the north end of Outback Key at Fort Desoto. He’s quite famous with the bird photographers there. I found him dancing around in front of a ton of sleeping shorebirds.

He was running back and forth in the water catching bait fish. This went on for quite a while. He was such a show off for the photographers out in the water watching him (I was not alone, there were at least 6 other photographers there early on this weekday morning). White morph reddish egrets are rare and he’s the only one I’ve heard of being in the Tampa Bay area. I’ve been taking pictures of one here since early 2012 but I’m not sure if it’s the same one. I hadn’t seen him in several years so I was excited to find him again.