Happy 4th of July!

Brett and I were leaving the house to go out for a drive on Memorial Day. We were heading to the Bay Pines Veterans National Cemetery where my parents are buried for a walk and then to pick up lunch to bring home. Driving out the back way and past some apartments we saw a juvenile eagle sitting on utility box. Of course I yelled for Brett to stop. I had my camera in the car so he pulled over and I was able to get a few shots before the eagle took off. It’s not every day that you have an eagle pooping in your neighborhood.

He circled around over my head and then took off over the tree.

These babies were swimming around below him so he must have been hoping to get one but ended up leaving empty handed. Unless he came back later. There are a lot less babies in this family now.

Every Memorial Day Boy Scout troops put flags on the graves at the cemetery. It’s really impressive (but sad) to drive through and see all of the flags.

Quackers in my neighborhood.

Beautiful Blondie came by with her babies in early May. Swimming right by our dock.

A mallard family in one of our neighborhood ponds. They came running up to me to see if I had something to give them. I didn’t but someone has been feeding them.

A muscovy mom with her 8 babies in another pond. She started with 13. I’ve been keeping track of her on my walks and she’s now down to 5 babies but they are pretty big so they just might make it.

Colors on my neighborhood walk.

More things growing on my walk around the neighborhood in the mornings before work.

Taking tons of pictures of the hibiscus plant in our yard.

Lots of baby ducks on the walk as well.  I realized there are two different creme colored mallards in the neighborhood. Perhaps they are related?  This one had one baby with her and has a little more brown in her feathers.  She was at a small pond at one end of our neighborhood. There is also one with 9 babies floating around our dock the same day. She’s a little more lighter and we all call her Blondie.

A white pigeon in the pond.

The moon coming out at night. All of the above were taken with my phone.

My Corner of the World

Just being outside

In late April, I went out for a walk at Crescent Lake Park. It would be hard to close this park down since it’s really just a small lake with a sidewalk around it in a neighborhood. Although the baseball field was empty and the fenced in dog park area was closed. There were several fitness classes going on in the open grass under the trees. The groups were small and everyone was spread out. Looks like people just moved the gym outdoors.

A female grackle in the reeds.

At first I thought this grackle was just standing on one leg but when he flew up into the tree I realized he was missing a leg.

I cannot seem to get a good shot of the otter there. This time he was coming right at me and I would be shooting right into the sun. He was chewing something in the middle of the lake and then disappeared across the other side of the lake. He’s always so quick and doesn’t stay still for a second. I’ve heard there are several here but I’ve only seen one.

Blooming things along the lake.

This was my “just being outside” shot of the day.

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Quackers in the backyard.

My favorite neighborhood duck, Blondie, came cruising by our dock with her babies in late April. A form of mallard, I’ve been seeing her in the neighborhood for several years now and every year she has a big family.

I always run out to the dock to see her family. The babies stopped for a break a few houses down in front of the sea wall.

The next day we had another mallard family come by.  Lots of families coming by the dock right now. I can’t resist taking their pictures.

My Corner of the World

Along the sidewalk

Now that I’m working from home, I’ve been taking a short walk in my neighborhood early in the morning before starting work. The weather has been cool in the mornings so I wanted to take advantage of that before the heat and humidity sets in. I’ve been taking pictures of the flowers along my walk with my phone. It sure beats sitting in traffic.

On a cloudy morning, an osprey was eating breakfast on a light pole on my street.

This cute mallard mom started with 7 babies but she is now down to 6.

This muscovy mom started with 20 babies and now has 2.

The sun was just coming up as I headed out.

My Corner of the World

Duck controversy in the neighborhood.

There are several muscovy duck families in the neighborhood. Many young babies were running around in May and June. The above was too sad. I was driving home from work and saw these babies eating something in the middle of the street. They were eating another baby that had been hit by a car. Muscovy ducks are an invasive species and are not native to Florida. Yet they are everywhere. They can be mean and aggressive and leave big messy poop piles in driveways and on sidewalks. They try to drive out the mallards. Many of the neighbors want to call in a trapper to remove them (they can’t be relocated and would be euthanized). For years people were feeding them which led to the increase in numbers in the neighborhood. There is now a huge campaign to stop feeding them. Recently ducks crossing the road were driven over on 6 different occasions. Someone caught a glimpse of it on their front door camera but all you can see is a blurry SUV so we’re not sure who was doing it. Might not have been a resident. The neighborhood is divided. Those who don’t mind a little duck poop want them to stay and those who want them all gone (more will just move in anyway).

Several families with different ages of babies came running when I stopped my car to snap the above with my phone.

In my neighbor’s yard, these guys came running as well.

On a Saturday afternoon I went outside to get the mail and these mallard were napping in our driveway. They jumped up when they saw me but I’m not even going to feed the mallards.

Photographing New Zealand

In the backyard in June.

Starlings took over our backyard a long time ago but this is the first time I noticed them nesting. My neighbor has a dead palm tree that sits up against our fence and for weeks I kept seeing this starling popping her head out of a hole in the side facing our kitchen window. There was also one sitting on the top of the stump most of the time. I never saw any babies poking out but weeks later I saw an adult feeding several young ones in our neighbor’s yard.

It’s that time of the year when mama ducks are cruising the channels with babies.

One morning I saw the above woodpecker in a hole higher up in the dead tree. The woodpecker spent all morning cleaning out this hole so I thought we’d have babies at some point but I think she ended up not staying. A few days later I saw a starling going in the same hole and I haven’t seen the woodpecker since.

We have 2 Bismark palms in our backyard that are about 5 years old and this is the first time I’ve seen something blooming inside of them. It’s weird that they are suppose to be the same tree but the blooms look completely different.

Hibiscus on the side of the yard.

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Lots of babies

It’s always fun to see baby swans. Both mute swans and black swans had babies at Lake Morton in early May.

A tiny limpkin baby hiding in the reeds while mom looks for food.

Baby mallards looking for bugs.

An older baby mallard.

Pretty ducks and swans.

White pelicans were still hanging around the lake.

Pretty weeds growing along the bank of the lake.

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A walk after work

Baby ducks were everywhere on my walk around Carillon Park after work in late April. It looks like those baby moorhens were sitting on cotton in the first picture but that is some kind of algae growing in the lake.

There was also a limpkin trying to feed 2 little babies.

A few of the other birds on my walk. A yellowlegs, a parrot eating something high in a tree and an anhinga with a snack.

Other critters at the lake.

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