In the backyard

A house sparrow on our dock. They nest in the hole on the side of the dock.

A hawk sitting on our fence.

An anhinga getting a snack on our neighbor’s dock.

A woodpecker getting a snack on our palm tree.

A blue jay giving me a funny look while sitting on our neighbor’s boat.

Things on our muhly grass.

The moon in the backyard in the morning.

Just a few things in our backyard in the past couple of weeks.

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In the backyard

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I caught this anhinga about to take  gulp of fish down at the other end of the channel.

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The above were taken back in late October.  The wintering belted kingfisher made an appearance in our channel and was hanging out on my neighbor’s dock. These were all taken over the course of the weekend. and all were through the bedroom window.

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Then a few weeks later, I saw a different kingfisher on our dock.  The female kingfishers have a rust colored band across their chest so I knew it wasn’t the same one from late October. So, now we have both a male and female hanging around our channel this winter.  The female showed up on our dock late one day and was still there right before the sun went down. All taken through the bedroom window.

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Some of the plants and crittes in our yard.

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A great egret cruising through the backyard.

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Taken from our driveway back in November.

A few things from our yard in November.

SkyWatch Friday

Cool morning at Circle B Bar Reserve

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The very common palm warbler. They were falling from the sky. I’ll try not to take too many pictures of them this winter, even though they are the most accommodating birds.

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Even though you can’t see his legs in this shot, this is a yellowlegs. He’s a shorebird that should be at the beach. He was all alone in a small marsh.

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Another missed baby black bellied whistling duck opportunity. They were far out in the marsh and getting ready for a nap. They were probably going to stay in that spot for hours.

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I counted six but I think there were more hiding in the reeds.

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Phoebes where everywhere and you could hear that distinct call all over the reserve.

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This common yellowthroat sat still for 20 seconds. Long enough for me to get the above. Then he took off.

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A barred owl was sleeping close to the trail and everyone was stopping to watch him. He would not wake up and he was hidden behind a lot of branches. We kept going down trail and an hour later when we came back, he was still sleeping.

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“This is how I eat my dinner. Bang the fish on the branch so he won’t wiggle when he goes down my throat.”

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Yes, I have a ton of blue-gray gnatcatcher shots. But they are so cute and there were so many of them.

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The great blue heron doesn’t bang his fish before swallowing. He flips it over a few times and swallows it wiggling.

More of the usual stuff from Circle B Bar Reserve. The first weekend in November was perfect. Although we were a little cold starting out. 50 degrees at 8am. I didn’t even take my jacket off until we got in the car at noon.

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The usual birds – Skywatch Friday

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Early morning spoony flyover.

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American bittern hiding in the alligator flag plant.

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Here comes a sandhill crane couple.

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Anhinga with a fish.

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Typical Florida shot. Snowy egret in the trees.

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This is a juvenile something. I’m thinking an indigo bunting. There had been bunting sightings in the area but I didn’t see any adults. Any ideas?

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Phoebe high up in a tree with a snack.

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Bye, bye.

The usual stuff at Circle B Bar Reserve.

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Saturday morning drive around the bay

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My first stop was near work. There has been a male canvasback sighting. I saw him pretty quickly but he was far across the pond. This was my first canvasback sighting.

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He stayed pretty far away.

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My next stop was Kapok Park in Clearwater. I hadn’t been in a while and wanted to see what was going on with the owl couple. With all of the recent rain, mushrooms were everywhere.

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I found one owl high up in a tree.

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The other one was also high up in a tree close by. This is a sad sign. After sitting on the nest for two months, it looks like they were not successful this year with babies. The same thing happened last year. For 3 years they had babies, two years ago was twins.

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Across the lake, I saw this anhinga with a huge fish. He was banging it on the tree and did eventually swallow it.

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I left Kapok and then headed north to Possum Branch Preserve to look for the Nashville warbler that had been sighted there. No luck on the Nashville. Tons of palm warblers and yellow rumped warblers. This was all I kept snapping. The “I’m outta here” shot.

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I did have this house wren sit still for a few seconds.

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There were two hawks chasing each other high up in the sky. I only managed to catch one.

Out of three stops, only one was a success even though that canvasback was so far away. He was in a fenced off retention pond so I couldn’t get around to get closer. No owl babies at Kapok Park this year but I have been visiting the baby owls at Fort Desoto. Three weekends in a row. Those pictures will be coming up later.

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Late December walk at Circle B Bar Reserve

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Even surrounding a turkey vulture with yellow flowers cannot make him attractive.

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Black vulture convention.

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This is the first time I’ve seen a Wilson’s snipe at Circle B Bar Reserve. He was hiding in a small puddle out in the marsh.

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The usual limpkin with a snail shot.

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Tern. It’s weird to see seabirds hanging out in central Florida. Shouldn’t they be at the beach?

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The first great blue heron’s nest of the season at Circle B. The nest is several trees over and much higher than last year’s nest. I’ve since heard there is at least one baby poking his head up.

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This was all the way across the lake but that fish the anhinga had caught was too big to pass up and not at least try to take a shot.

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Look at those feet!

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Cool caterpillar on a weed.

It was right after Christmas on a Friday morning. I had just dropped my sister off at the airport for a 7am flight and headed out to Circle B Bar Reserve for a long hike. I had a few days before my hubby’s family came down for New Year’s week. The weather was cool. The first under 80 degree day we’d had in a week. But, the sun wasn’t out and it looked like it would rain any minute. The rain held off but I had to crank up my ISO to get any good light to take pictures. I’m starting to feel like a jinx on yucky weather there. Cloudy on the last 4 trips. Maybe January will be my month, sunny and 70.

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Little to big

DSC_9152The tiniest bird I saw that day. A blue-gray gnatcatcher looking up.

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Not too much bigger is the eastern phoebe. You can usually find them hanging out at the intersection of Marsh Rabbit Run and Heron Hideout.

DSC_9137A little bit bigger, there’s been a kingfisher hanging out in the same corner as the phoebe.

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This early fall, there’s been a purple gallinule family hanging out in the same corner as well.

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Getting bigger, I found these juvenile limpkins hiding in the marsh. They still have some baby fuzz on them.

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A parent was close by watching me.

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The American bitterns are back. This one was hiding in the marsh on Wading Bird Way. Another photog with a keen eye found him.

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Taken right into the sun, the anhinga was flipping his fish.

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“I’m the biggest one here.” says the turkey vulture showing off.

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“Bye, bye” says the ducks as they take off after an eagle flew over them.

Lots of the same ole thing at Circle B Bar Reserve in mid-November.

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