Quackers in the backyard.

My favorite neighborhood duck, Blondie, came cruising by our dock with her babies in late April. A form of mallard, I’ve been seeing her in the neighborhood for several years now and every year she has a big family.

I always run out to the dock to see her family. The babies stopped for a break a few houses down in front of the sea wall.

The next day we had another mallard family come by.  Lots of families coming by the dock right now. I can’t resist taking their pictures.

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Riding the “rails”.

The Sora rail was the talk of the reserve back in early April. I’ve only seen a few rails and they were all at Circle B Bar Reserve. This was a rare sighting for this area so a handful of people were coming to the park to find him. There were actually 3 there and they stayed for a few weeks. They stayed close to the reeds and were digging around in mud looking for food. Since then we’ve had some rain so the ponds are filled back up. Maybe that’s why they eventually left.

The Virginia rail on the left was a nice surprise. I had heard one was there but didn’t see it.  I saw the sora on the right far out in the marsh heading towards the reeds and snapped a shot of him and when I cropped this up I realized the Virginia rail was behind him.

Lately there’s been a glossy ibis hanging around the pond. This is another bird that I usually only see in central Florida so it was weird to see him here.

You can always see gators and bunnies here.

It was nice just being outside.

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Watching the board show

Kiteboarders at the Safety Harbor fishing pier in mid-April. These guys were doing the safe distance exercising thing.

Out in the bay.

I went out for a walk late one Sunday in mid-April and stopped by the fishing pier to see if there were any manatees hanging around. The fishing pier was roped off and it was going to be hard to spot them from the park. The park next to the pier was full of people although there wasn’t any big groups and everyone was spread out. The wind was gusting so there were several kiteboarders flying across the bay. It was fun to stand and watch them cruise by for a while.

SkyWatch Friday

Critters in the backyard in early April.

Taken through the bedroom window, the doves were eating seed on the ground and taking baths.

The house sparrows are back in the yard, eating from the feeder.

That squirrel thinks I can’t see him through the window.

I grabbed my camera and ran outside for the above green heron that was on our dock.

A rare spotted oleander moth was on our side fence and then flew to the plant. In 16 years of living in our house this is only the 2nd one I’ve seen.

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Pretty things in early April

Blooming things at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

Critters at the gardens.

Baby moorhens are popping up everywhere now.

Yes, the botanical gardens were open during the “Stay At Home” phase. Lucky for me most people must have thought they were closed because there was only a few other people there. Lots of space to move around in.

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This could be any park

Usual birds at Largo Nature Preserve.

The usual critters as well.

All of the small city parks in Pinellas county were open (playgrounds and bathrooms were closed) in early April so I was going to the same ones just to get out and walk. The parks were quiet and spring migration hadn’t really started yet. Working from home has made me crave long walks in the parks even more. I would usually stop on the way home once or twice a week to walk after work in the spring before it got to hot but now that I”m home it’s hard to get out after work.

Flowers and bugs

Color coming out in early April at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. Yes, the gardens were open during the big shut down. I went around 8am and there were very few people there. Most probably thought it was closed. It was nice to walk around in the quiet garden.

Watching these crazy parakeets getting sticks for their nests.

Not many birds in early April. The usual blue jays and wood duck couples. The wood ducks usually have babies here in the summer but they go into hiding and it’s hit or miss seeing them here.

Caterpillars were on the milkweed but those pesky milkweed bugs were taking over.

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