The usual visitors

Usual critters in the backyard in late October into early November. Bambi was still hanging around the backyard. Her spots were completely gone by this time.

Another visit from the usual winter visitors. A black and white warbler, bluebird, red bellied woodpecker and a house finch.

I saw this pine warbler hopping around our patio, mostly hiding under the chair.

Another visit from an immature indigo bunting. Maybe they like my backyard. It would be nice if they would come back in April when they are all blue.

Doves don’t get a lot of attention but they do have cool pink feet. And, they always pose so nicely for me.

Visitors at the feeder include a red bellied woodpecker, bluebirds, chickadees, a downy woodpecker and blue jays.

Sitting outside staring up in the trees, looking for birds. I don’t sit out here often because the birds disappear when I go outside. Only the titmouse and chickadees will come to the feeder if I’m out there. Also the mosquitoes will attack even with bug spray on so until this recent cold spell it’s been really buggy out there.

I’d rather be sailing.

I caught the Dunedin Ladies sailing club going out for a morning sail in early November. It was a little bit cool but the sun was out so it was a perfect day to be out on the water. It looked like they were having fun so I’m thinking maybe I’ll take some sailing lessons this summer.

The fire department was going out but they must have just been doing check ups or drills. They didn’t seem to be in a hurry.

This little snowy egret was checking out some bait fish that had spilled on the dock.

He jumped down and got several fish before the fisherman realized what he was doing. He had a nice little sushi breakfast.

I hope everyone had a nice day yesterday. Soon it will be back to the old grind.

Inspire Me Monday

The usual visitors in the backyard

More shots of the single young doe that’s been hanging around our yard for several weeks. She has lost her spots but still seems so tiny. Several times she takes a break under the big oak tree next door. I even caught her sleeping one afternoon. She usually lays there for about half an hour nibbling on the grass and then moves on.

All of the usual birds stopping by in early November.

This is the first time I’ve seen a bluebird at my feeder. They stop by the bird bath but I’ve never seen them on the feeder. They usually eat at my neighbor’s feeder. He uses mealworms.

Four of the seven turkey family walking across the golf course in the backyard (the other 3 were down in the bushes).

My neighbor’s muhly grass looks beautiful in early November. The native grass blooms pink in the fall. It made me miss the ones we had in our backyard in Tampa. We thought about planting some outside of our new (ish) townhome but there isn’t a good sunny spot to put it.

Sunset in the pond across the street. This was in late October. We haven’t seen orange skies since.

Inspire Me Monday

Fall migration in my backyard

I was bummed that I would miss fall migration due to my shoulder surgery but it seems that fall migration came to me one afternoon. I came home from physical therapy and looked out the back window and saw some birds hopping around near the bird bath. I was thinking it would be the same birds that visit (titmouse, chickadees, etc) so I barely looked but then I noticed a few that looked different. I still had my camera set up on my tripod so I started snapping. There were a few immature indigo buntings.

There were several flashes of yellow and one was a non-breeding male scarlet tanager that was taking a bath.

Above are female summer tanagers.

A red eyed vireo stopped for a quick drink.

Pine warblers are fairly common in the backyard during the winter.

Catbirds are also common in the winter. He was photobombed by a bluebird.

Chickadees come by almost every day but it’s always hard to get a decent shot. They are very skittish.

There were several house finches this afternoon.

Later in the day the neighborhood red shoulder hawk stopped by and that cleared out all of the birds. I always know when he’s here since Harley (my young cockatiel) has a certain high pitch scream when he sees him. I jumped off the couch when I heard that scream and there he was, low in the tree. I ran outside and shooed him away but not before snapping the above.

I made it home right before lunch and when I saw all of the birds in the backyard I started snapping (all through the window). An hour later I was starving but it was hard to pull myself away from the window. I eventually did but I kept peeking out. I looked up on the BirdCast Migration tool website for Pinellas County. It said that over 5 million birds had passed through that night so I think that explains the fall out on this day in mid-October. We normally get one million passing through on a big fall out day.

Blue in the box

I was so excited to see bluebirds checking out the nest box I put up over a year ago. We have a lot of bluebirds in the neighborhood but they only stop in my backyard for a second and are very skittish. My neighbor several homes down from us has 2 bluebird boxes in his backyard and he’s lived here a long time so I think they are pretty established over there. There were young ones bouncing around the yard this spring so I’m assuming they nested in his box. Finally, in early November I caught them going in and out of my box for several hours. There were at least 4 of them and they also stopped at the feeder and bird bath. The next day I went outside and took a peek in the box and there was a nest in there but no birds or eggs. Maybe they were building it early (like several months early)?

All taken through the window.

In the yard

In mid-October I had some migrating birds stop by the backyard. Black and white warblers were common here last winter but this was the first time seeing house finches in the backyard.

I saw my first ever worm eating warbler in the backyard. Over the years I had heard of one being reported twice in the Tampa Bay area but I could never find them. I was pretty excited to see him bouncing around near the bird bath. He stayed close under the big palm leaves on the ground and then later disappeared.

Common birds to the backyard are catbirds (I get a lot of them in the winter) and red bellied woodpeckers.

A house finch with just a little red on his head stopped by the feeder.

I’ve had an almost grown baby coming through the backyard alone. When I first saw her in mid October, you could still see the spots on her hind legs.She was all alone. I don’t know what happened to her Mom but I was thinking she was old enough to be on her own.

For several weeks she would come by every afternoon and hang out in the back, feeding and napping. I took all of these through the window because I was afraid I would spook her if I went outside. She saw me in the window though. She would take a quick nap up against my neighbor’s oak tree.

Our hibiscus bush in the front yard has been blooming for a few weeks. I took this with my phone.

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