Visions of flowers in Arizona

Dreaming of Arizona.  All taken in Flagstaff.  Happy 4th July!

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

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Party in the marsh

 

This spring we had a drought here in central Florida. The marshes at Circle B Bar Reserve had all dried up except for a tiny few spots. This one marsh still had some water in it so all of the birds were feeding in the same spot. I guess the bugs were plentiful in this spot. I’m not sure how long they stayed there feeding but the morning I was there in late April they were packed in and fighting over space. The crowd was mostly great egrets, snowy egrets and spoonbills but there were a few tricolored herons, little blue herons, great blue herons and green herons.  Oh, also glossy ibis, white ibis and wood storks. It’s been years since we’ve seen that many water birds congregate like that so everyone was taking tons of pictures including me.

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Heartbreak in the backyard

I was watering some hanging plants right before dark in the backyard when I noticed this face peeking out of my neighbor’s dead palm tree.  The house next door had been empty for at least 2 years.  I think the lady that lived there was now in a nursing home. This was the first time I had seen a screech owl in our neighborhood.


Over the next two weeks I was able to catch the above.  He (or she) would stick his head out right before dark. In the last two shots, he woke up earlier during the late afternoon. I would sneak around the backyard and hide behind a short palm tree to get pictures. I didn’t want to scare him away.

After 3 weeks of peeking out the side window right before dark every night, I came home from work and saw that the dead palm tree was gone.  I ran outside and realized my neighbor’s entire backyard had been gutted and cleaned up.  I was heartbroken. After 2 years it gets cleaned up now???  Then I heard a peep and saw the owl sitting in a palm tree that was still standing next door. He was looking at me like “Where’d my bed go?” I would assume he was sleeping when someone came in and started to saw the tree down. He must have flown out in panic. I can only hope he didn’t have eggs in there yet. I had not heard any baby noises yet. I stood there in the backyard crushed that my new friend had lost it’s home. I never saw him again after these shots were taken. I’m sure he moved on. I don’t know if it’s too late to put up a nest box  in our yard.

Other critters in the backyard.

I was able to catch the sunset in the backyard while I was trying to get shots of the owl.  One night I caught this rainbow driving into my neighborhood.

SkyWatch Friday

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Another episode of Beauty and the Beasts.


Fun critters at Circle B Bar Reserve. The gators were out grinning this morning.

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More pretty birds at Gatorland

A snowy egret was showing off.

The snowy egrets and tricolored herons were sitting on eggs.

Getting a stick for the nest.

The never ending chore of grooming for great egrets. The last one still had his pretty green spring face on.

A tricolored heron and snowy egret were having a fight over a fishing spot.

Flamingo ready for a nap.

More wild birds at Gatorland coming in to nest at the bird rookery (the flamingo is a resident).  These were all taken in April.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

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A walk after work

I saw this lone spoonbill at the office park lake near my work. I noticed that his eye looked a little funny and he was banded. It seemed okay, just sleepy.

Not sure what these baby mallards were trying to eat. Just like a baby, everything goes in the mouth.

A moorhen Mom with a few new babies.

Some very young grackles waiting for Mom to come back with food.

A male grackle shining in the sun.

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Blue Grosbeaks and a few other birds

Blue grosbeaks were all over Fort Desoto during spring migration back in late April.  The all blue ones are males and the blue and brown one is a juvenile male that will eventually be all blue.

Hanging out on the fence. The light brown ones are females.

I think this is a very young male rose breasted grosbeak.

A laughing gull playing with his food.

A cardinal checking himself out in the mirror in the parking lot.

Osprey are everywhere at the park.

SkyWatch Friday

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Pretty cattle egrets at Gatorland

The wild cattle egrets at Gatorland were already nesting when I visited in mid-April.  I didn’t see any babies  yet but they were flirting. Their feathers and beaks were in all stages of mating from just a little tan on the top of their feathers to full-blown candy cone beaks in pink and orange. They are so pretty in the spring.

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Lettuce Lake Park

The usual suspects at the lake.

There wasn’t many little birds there but I did catch the above northern parula and carolina wren.

A few wood ducks floating around.

Teeny tiny critters along the boardwalk.

Just a few things from a recent walk at Lettuce Lake Park in north Tampa.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

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Duck, Duck, Ibis

People come to this lake to feed the ducks and swans but it’s mostly the ibis that get fed. They fly in by the hundreds and attack the person holding the food.

A few random ducks.

You can always find wood ducks at this lake.

There was a pair of coscoroba swans (smaller swan with the bright pink beak) but I think there is now only 1.  I think the mute swan has become friends with the coscoroba.  They were hanging out together and flirting.

It’s mating and nesting season for the mute swans at Lake Morton.

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