A busy fawn season

These must be the same deer that are being feed  I was walking on the back trail at Chesnut Park and several deer walked right up to me  I took the above with my phone.

I didn’t find the twins again but there were 2 Moms with one baby each.

Mom taking care of the baby.

I walked down one of the side trails and found this big guy resting.

I’m not sure if this was a Mom and grown baby or siblings but they were so cute preening each other.

Not a deer but a female redstart. I guess fall migration had started with a small trickle of birds coming through.

Eagles, owls and deer, Oh my.

 

My first eagle sighting of the season. He was hanging out near the restrooms at Chesnut Park. He didn’t stay long, taking off towards the lake. It was mid-August. I didn’t realize they come back that early.

I had heard there was an owl sitting at the end of the boardwalk so I quickly walked down to the end thinking he would probably be gone by then or I wouldn’t be able to find him. There he was, sitting almost eye level. He sat there for a while as I snapped a ton of pictures. He was checking out critters on the ground and I was hoping he would swoop down and catch something but that didn’t happen.

I was walking on the back boardwalk and came across a Mom and her baby. As the Mom was feeding the baby was walking around and walked over to it’s sibling.

I had found the twins. It was interesting to see them both licking each other.

After walking around for a while I came back to the back boardwalk and one of the babies was still sitting there with the sun coming through the swamp. The other twin and Mom were feeding behind some trees.

Fawn season had begun.

Someone has been feeding the deer at Chesnut Park. More than usual anyway. This is the first time I’ve gotten out of my car and the deer walk right up to me looking for a handout. I took the above with my phone as she was too close to get with my camera. I held out my hands and showed her I didn’t have anything and she started grazing in front of me.

This cardinal had a mangled leg but could still fly. He looked a little rough but he could be molting. He was eating some of the seed someone had left on the boardwalk.

I can’t resist a chickadee.

It was mid-August and this was the first migrating bird I had seen. I have not seen prothonotary warblers here at this park before so this was a treat. I know we call this “fall” migration but it won’t feel like fall here for several more months.

I briefly saw a Mom with her baby. They were heading into the woods as more people were coming into the park.

Leaving the park, I took a detour through a nearby neighborhood. I saw some deer in someone’s front yard. They were staring at the door. I’m assuming they are being fed there.

Riding around the neighborhood.

Out for a bike ride this summer, I always stop at this small pond in the neighborhood. I’m sure it’s just a mosquito pit but I always hope to find some critters getting water. Maybe a deer or raccon but no, just mosquitos. I do hear pileated woodpeckers deep in the woods but I have yet to hike through there.

Just down from the pond the ditches are covered in these purple flowers. The frogs were really loud this morning since it had rained most of the night.

I need to get a bumper sticker for my bike that says “I brake for critters”.  I’m not sure what those black vultures were eating. They wouldn’t let me get too close.

Back at home a bad storm was coming so I took the almost empty bird feeder down and left it just outside the back door. Later that day I look out the window and realized the squirrel had knocked it down and was eating the scraps. When he was done he hopped up on the chair and was giving me the eye to come add more food.

 

Our backyard camera picked up this bobcat creeping around at 2:30am. This was our first bobcat sighting in the neighborhood.

Color on the trees in late July.

All was calm before sunset at the lake across the street.

I have to watch where I stand when I’m taking shots of the sunset. The alligator above was on the shore just below me. He’s relatively small but I see him here often.

Inspire Me Monday

Scenes from Fort Desoto

The dolphin show at Fort Desoto Park in mid-May. The water was clear so you could see them before they were coming up for air and they were swimming close to the fishing pier.

I found this calico crab on the beach early that morning. It was low tide but the water was starting to come up. At first I though maybe he was dead but then I saw bubbles coming out of his face. I was going to nudge him close to the deeper water but he stood up and started heading that way on his own. It looks like he has a critter in a shell living on top of him.

A juvenile little blue heron dunking for fish.

Scenes from the fishing pier.

I walked up to the top of the fort hoping to find some migrating birds up at the top but all I found was a cardinal on a dead snag. He had a great view.

View from the beach.

Standing near the northern end of the beach you can see the hotels on St. Pete beach, about a 20 minute drive north.

Inspire Me Monday

More from Myakka River State Park

While I was at Myakka River State Park in early May, I did see a little bit of wildlife. This young male deer was just off the road.

I lost count of the vultures and alligators I saw. I was there early in the morning before the majority of the alligators had started to lay out on the banks but I still saw a ton.

I saw this little bird walking around near the big alligator’s tail. Zooming in I saw that it was a spotted sandpiper. I hope he has good reflexes and can get away fast if that alligator whips around.

Far down the river I could see limplins looking for food. It looks like one of them has a snack.

I got out of the car and was walking across the parking lot to head to the boardwalk and this guy came out of the bushes and ran across the parking lot.

A swallow tail kite flies low overhead.

Just down the road from the park, this old barn must have some pretty good stories to tell. I couldn’t tell if it’s still being used but the ivy is started to take over the roof.

A mellow yellow morning

I headed down to Myakka River State Park in mid-May. It’s about an hour and a half from my home near Tampa. I knew I probably wouldn’t see a lot of birds since the water was low in the lake and spring migration was mostly over but that was okay. I really came to see the fields of yellow. Tickseed (formal name is coreopsis) was named the state wildflower in 1991 and you can see plenty of it here. I got to the open field and got out of the car and used my phone to take the above pano. Yellow as far as the eye can see.

There was also some thistle blooming along the road which added some pink.

I was hoping to see some deer or turkey crossing the field but after waiting an hour all I got was a crow.

The sun coming through the tree.

Along a path near the lake, the thistle was growing so high I couldn’t see over it.

Besides the yellow tickseed in May, this park is known for having a lot of alligators. Looking across a river there were several sunning themselves and one swimming by from the left. The pink buds in front of the tickseed is swamp milkweed.

Before heading out I stopped at this pond and snapped the above with my phone.

SkyWatch Friday

Friendship Friday

Lots of critters at Fort Desoto

Another trip to Fort Desoto Park to look for migrating birds. The first thing I found was a squirrel being cute on the agave plant. I was hoping there would be birds on those plants but no, I find a squirrel.

Cape May warblers were still around. I found both females and males.

I also found a northern parula and a blackpoll warbler (I hadn’t seen one of those in several years).

An osprey was checking me out making sure I wasn’t going to steal his fish.

Cormorants were diving for fish around the fishing pier.

It was a slow dolphin morning but I did manage to find one.

The starlings and nanday parakeets were fighting over wire space in the parking lot.

Frisky manatees

It was late April and after walking the trails at Fort Desoto one morning looking for migrating birds with no luck, I headed to the fishing pier. It was just too nice to go home yet.

As usual pelicans were flying by.

I started looking out in the water to see if there were any dolphins swimming around the pier and found a pair of manatees instead. They were fairly far out in the shallow area so they were easy to spot. At one point it looked like they were mating. I could see one of the manatee’s flipper on top of the other manatee. After a few minutes they started swimming towards the pier.

They swam right up to the pier and luckily I had my zoom lens so these were at 80mm.

They mated several times right along the pier. At this point there was a huge crowd of people watching. Several people said they had never seen one before.

These above were taken with my phone. They eventually swam under the pier and then hung out on the other side before slowly swimming away. What a great thing to see! I had planned to do a quick walk and snap a few shots of dolphins but I stood there for an hour since they were so close to the pier and moving so slowly.

Late April in the backyard.

I looked outside the back window one morning in late April and saw these beauties walking around so I had to run out and get some shots. They were heading off the golf course and into the woods before the golfers come through.

Early one morning I saw this guy and went outside to take this. His face was all muddy. He was in the shade and didn’t stay still so it was hard to get a good shot of him.

I took these outside as well. He was napping on the hanging basket.

Squirrels being cute in the backyard. Taken through the window.

A wasp on  the bird bath when I was cleaning it out.

A swallow tail kite cruising along the golf course. I took this through the window as well. I knew he’d be gone by the time I got outside and on the course.

We always have white ibis feeding through.

Several brown thrashers were feeding on the ground for several days.  They must be nesting somewhere nearby.

These crows are very annoying. There are several that hang out in the backyard. They usually stay high up in the oak trees but recently they have been coming to the bird bath. They must have found some trash or someone was leaving food out because they were bringing food to the bird bath to soak before eating it. It looked like mostly bread but one day I ran out and chased one off the bath and he had an open pack of cheese crackers that he left as he flew off. I finally dumped the water out for a few days until they left.

We’ve been getting a lot of woodpeckers at the feeder lately. They grab a sunflower seed and take off. The other little birds usually leave when they are on it.

Inspire Me Monday