A rare hybrid at Fort Desoto

Not this normal cormorant, but I was wondering what those guts were next to his wing. Someone’s unfinished lunch.

The above beautiful bird is a hybrid of a great blue heron and a great egret. A great bird indeed. He has the body of a great blue heron and legs and face of a great egret. He’s been hanging around the fishing pier for at least 2 years. He’s famous with the locals and I call him “Harry, the Hybrid”. Although now, he’s been spotted at 2 places at the same time so people are now thinking there are more than one. He must have a sibling.

A regular ole great egret with green breeding feathers around his beak.

Out at east beach, the sun had long come up over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

SkyWatch Friday

A rare green winged teal

I saw the famous green winged teal from the street as he was floating along the shoreline with his girlfriend.

He climbed out of the water and seemed comfortable with several people standing there watching him. It’s pretty rare to see a green winged teal in central Florida, even in the winter. This couple must have stopped by for a rest on their way back north for the summer. Word got out quickly that they were there and I was able to get over to Lake Morton several days later. There’s a lot of foot traffic around this lake since so many people come to feed the ducks, geese and swans. Feeding stations line the lake so you can buy food for them but I think most people bring their own which is usually not good for them.

As in most ducks, the female is not as striking as the male.

They eventually headed under a tree and settled down for nap.

Photographing New Zealand

Cute, fuzzy and fun at Lake Morton

It’s that fun time of the year when there are baby ducks everywhere. This one Blondie in the family was so cute. It’s amazing they grow up to look like mom.

The three stooges standing on a pipe.

Beautiful swans at  Lake Morton.

It felt like spring in late March.

A wood duck couple.

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Watching owls grow up.

The young great horned owls are very curious at this age. They were making faces at other birds that would fly by the nest.

Mom flew in for a few minutes and then took off.

They started yawning and looked like they were settling in for a long nap.

The view of the nest taken with my phone where we were standing. The nest sits right on a main trail and is very visible when people are walking along the beach.

Scenes from south Florida

On the road to south Florida, this famous eyesore sits at the Yeehaw Junction right before the Florida turnpike exit.

Sitting poolside at Brett’s aunt and uncle’s winter condo, we had a nice dinner with the family, watching the dinner boats go by.

Construction cranes are everywhere here, including next to our hotel.

On the road to Hallendale Beach sits a big statue in the parking lot at the horse race track. After the statue, we turn right to head over the bridge to the beach.

We stopped by Hard Rock Hotel to see the new guitar shaped hotel going up. The last 2 are shots from the top of the parking deck. You can barely make out the skyline of the beach.

The road back to Tampa, we headed across Alligator Alley (I75). We never see alligators on this road though. Just miles of the above view.

SkyWatch Friday

 

The hotel window

Brett and I spend a long weekend near Hollywood Beach visiting relatives. When we got back to the hotel to change before dinner I looked out the window and noticed this palm tree had bloomed. I realized there were tons of bees buzzing around it and grabbed my camera to try to get some shots of them.

As I was trying to focus on the bees through the window, I noticed several green lizards also on the tree. It looked like they were drinking the sap. We were on the 4th floor so they had climbed up pretty high.

I stood there for a while watching the bees and the lizards buzzing all over this palm tree, right on a busy street.  It was hard to get clear shots through the dirty window but it was fun trying.

Photographing New Zealand

Flamingo Gardens

Pretty flowers.

Things in the water.

Peacocks had free run of the gardens. They were everywhere. One lady was even taking a dirt bath.

Yes, there were flamingos at Flamingo Gardens.

Egyptian geese also had the run of the gardens. They are also pretty common out in the wild in the south Florida area.

A wild hawk was building a nest near the aviary.

Brett and I stopped in the old Florida attraction while we were in the Fort Lauderdale area visiting some of his relatives.

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