Pretty things at a quiet place

Pretty things at Bok Tower Gardens in June.

Boring birds at the feeder but not lacking in color!

A quiet place to reflect.

Heading home from Bok Tower Gardens in June, I stopped on a dirt road to get some shots of the swallow tail kite that was cruising over a cow pasture. I’m sure those cows were thinking “What is that girl doing?”.

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The “Show off” birds

There’s a lot of peacocks out roaming around Horsepower for Kids animal sanctuary.

These young ladies were having a dirt bath out in the cow pasture. I use the term bath loosely since they are rolling around in years of dried cow poop dirt. They do this to keep the bugs off.

There were several young males showing off near the ladies but I think they are all siblings. The young males don’t have the longer feathers like the grown up males do yet.

After their dirt bath, the young females wandered over to the chicken coup. I think they were trying to find a way to get in so they can get the feed.

Later I saw some lady peacocks hanging around the tortoise pens. They were also looking for food sitting around. They had babies with them and the babies couldn’t figure out how to get in the pens.

One of the babies made it over the fence but the others kept running along the boards like “Where’s Mom going?” Eventually the babies figured out if they went around to the back Mom was meeting them back there. They were looking at me like “Lady help us over”. It was tempting but I wanted to see what they would do. After they met back up with Mom they headed to the bushes behind the pens for a nap.

“You’re in my spot”

It was fun watching the snowy egrets running around trying to catch the little bait fish along the shoreline at Fort Desoto.

At some point they started fighting over the best fishing spots.These two chased each other for a while. Or, maybe they were flirting. Nesting season is almost over so I’m sticking with fighting for the best spot.

Not only was it the best spot to catch the little fish, it was a great spot to watch the clouds roll in, even from the sandbar. Early in the morning in June it was quiet for a while.

SkyWatch Friday

A walk down Marsh Rabbit Run

Different herons down the trail, A great blue, tricolored, a night heron and then another tricolored almost swimming.

Turtle on the trail.

Why do always get the butt shot pose?  I almost never see these guys walking around and when I do they have their back to me. Usually I just see the below, snoozing and cruising.

All along the trail.

Trees and flowers along the trail.

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Color on the trail

Spoonbills were everywhere on my last trip to Circle B Bar Reserve but they were each alone. Dotting the way down the trail. There’s something magical about these pink fluff balls and even seeing one occasionally is always a treat.

One went flying by me in the rain. Yes I got caught on the trail in the rain but more on that later.

The usual clowns on the trail.

Before I headed down Marsh Rabbit Run, I stopped to take a few pictures of the above sandhill cranes. They were just standing in the middle of the trail intersection preening themselves. One was picking at the dirt on the ground and spreading the dirt on his feathers. Assuming to keep the bugs off? I had heard they do this but had not seen it before.

I got down to the end of Marsh Rabbit Run and it started to pour so I hung out in the rain shelter for almost an hour. When the rain stopped I headed back to my car and these guys were still standing at the same intersection. Now they were all wet and looked like they had enjoyed the rain.

Looking for chickens

I wanted to get out of the house for a walk on a Sunday morning in early June so I headed over to Ybor City near downtown Tampa. I got there well before 8am thinking I would be the only one there but there were a few joggers as well as some people cleaning up the streets. The bars and restaurants had just recently opened up and everyone was hanging out in the streets the night before. I brought my camera along to see if I saw any baby chicks. The first outdoor bar I passed, wedged between two buildings, had chickens running around.

Key West has their roosters running wild around town. Well so does Tampa in Ybor City. They were cruising the parking lots looking for dropped food.

There was lots of baby chicks over at the small park in Ybor. They are so cute when they are that tiny and they were sticking close to Mom.

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A surprise limpkin family

Little critters in the flower beds.

Pretty things around the botanical gardens in Largo including some type of fruit.

In the butterfly garden, the flowers were starting to over-grow in late May.

A Carolina wren watching me take pictures of the bees.

I found a limpkin family across one of the ponds. I haven’t seen baby limpkins in a long time and there were two with this parent. They were still pretty small and stayed close to Mom.

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The last of the baby egrets

One of the last nests with young ones. Driving Mom crazy begging for food.

One last trip to the bird rookery in north Tampa in June and there were still a lot of babies. Most of the great egrets babies were almost fully grown but there were still a few smaller ones getting fed by the parents. They look so clean and white against the green bushes, almost like marshmallows with legs. It’s amazing none of the eyes get poked out when the parents are trying to feed them.

 

In these last two shots, you can see fish parts coming down the parent’s beak and into the baby’s beak. Yummy regurgitated fish for lunch!

Out on the beach

Lots of shorebirds at Fort Desoto in early June. It felt good to be out stretching my legs  along the shoreline. Even though it was hot there was a good breeze coming off the gulf.

It’s always fun to see marbled godwits with those pink toothpick beaks.

The crow was mistaking the trash for food.

A crab coming up on shore when the tide went out. He made it back in though.

Jump! A great blue heron taking off from the roof of the pier cover.

A nice morning to be outside.

I heard this cicada screaming from the mangroves near the pier. I found him pretty quickly. Such a weird loud critter.

SkyWatch Friday

One last visit to the turtle pond.

The squirrels were getting frisky in late May at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

Not many birds at the gardens. A pileated woodpecker and a young moorhen.

Grasshoppers are everywhere right now. They can wipe out a plant in no time. You can see them eating the leaves in both of these shots.

It was a quiet morning at the gardens but I wasn’t quite ready to go home yet so I went for a quick walk at nearby McGough Park and to visit the turtles there. Most of the trails here are very narrow so I stayed off those to keep away from having to pass people. I probably won’t make it back to this park until next spring.

The wooden owl in the parking lot.

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