Almost grown duckies

I went out for a quick walk around the neighborhood pond early one morning before work in July. There wasn’t many ducks in the pond and I was thinking “Where did they go?” when I turned around and saw Blondie walking across the street with her babies and heading for the pond.

I was excited to see all 6 of her babies were doing well and were almost grown up. They hopped in the pond and swam around looking for food and preening.

I also saw another creme colored duck that was a little darker. I have to wonder if she’s one of Blondie’s babies from previous years.

My Corner of the World

Grabbing my camera

I was peeking out the bedroom window to see if it was raining and saw this green heron hop up on the dock with a fish. I ran and grabbed my camera and snapped these through the window. I knew if I walked outside he would get spooked and fly off.

A few days later I saw a butt sticking up and was able to catch this little blue heron eating a crab off the dock.It seems like there’s lots of good seafood in our channel. I should be charging them a la carte.

Of course when I see baby ducks heading down the channel I grab my camera and run outside. This family was in front of our dock in late July. The babies were trying to eat the mangrove leaf.

As I was sitting at my desk in the bedroom working, I was watching this slug cruising across the pane. I grabbed my camera and took this wih my macro lens. Cool to see the other side.

More little quackers

I’m a sucker for baby ducks, even annoying muscovy ducks. I came home from running errands in late July and saw a family in the neighborhood pond so I ran home and got my camera. They were hanging around the sidewalk when I got back so I plopped down and watched them running around for a few minutes.

They eventually wandered over to the bushes so I said goodbye and left.

This one is an older juvenile. He was following me around. He has what is called “angel wings” from poor nutrition. Some of his wings grew outwards. Even too many carbs is bad for the ducks.  He probably grew up with one of the neighbors feeding him only bread. He should be eating bugs and getting protein. One other duck had it on one side. They can’t fly with their wings like this and it can’t be fixed at their age. It will be interesting to see how long he’s at our pond, although he could move on to other ponds in the area as well.

Blondie and her babies

My favorite neighborhood duck came by our dock for a visit in mid-June. I call her Blondie (thinking she is a light colored hybrid mallard) and she been hanging around the neighborhood for several years. I saw her with the babies one afternoon and ran out to the dock with my camera.

Her babies were so cute, swimming around our dock. I wonder if the lighter color ones will keep their creme color or turn dark brown once they grow up. The all yellow muscovy babies turn black once they grow up but I’m not sure if these mallard will. There’s a light brown colored duck that hangs out in a neighborhood pond that could be one of Blondie’s grown babies.

I know they were looking for a handout since some of the neighbors feed them but I wasn’t going to start that.

It was fun watching the babies swim around with Mom.

Come back soon!

Spring migration was a bust

McGough Park in Largo is another spring migration hot spot so I stopped there in late April but all I got was turtles. After walking around for an hour and seeing very few birds I left and headed to Largo Nature Preserve.

Not many migrating birds here either but lots of other stuff. I thought the bottom shot was just a weird looking butterfly but then realized it was two butterflies. Not sure if they were mating or feeding on something but they stayed there for a while.

I caught this osprey cruising by me with a really big stick heading to a nest. What is that saying? “Speak softely and carry a big stick”. This is more like “Fly high and carry a big stick”.

A tricolored heron creeping around in the muck.

A big family and almost grown babies in the bottom shot.

This was the first time I’ve seen black bellied whistiling ducks here, much less any where in Pinellas county so I was surprised. They were on the golf course across the canal.

This lone spoonbill was busy feeding and wandering around looking for the best spot.

As I was walking the path something blue whizzed by. Wait, what was that? Finally, a migrating bird. It was a blue grosbeak and when I cropped this shot up I realized there was an immature orchard oriole with him (the yellow one on the right). The oriole took off and I wasn’t able to find him again.

The blue grosbeak had a lady friend with him (the brown one on the top) and they stayed in the area for a few minutes before taking off across the park.

This guy sleeps under the boardwalk. I took this with my phone but I was on the boardwalk at the time.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Our World Tuesday Graphic

The annual trip to the Tampa rookery

As soon as I got to the bird rookery in north Tampa in late April I look over and see a muscovy duck family resting in the shade. I snapped a couple of pictures and then realized they see me. They all popped up and came running over to me.  “Not going to happen guys” I said. I’m not feeding them although I’m sure people who live in the nearby neighborhood do. After they realized I wasn’t going to feed them they got in the water and took off for a swim.

The wood storks were flying into the pond right near where I was standing and while getting a sip of water this one found a good stick to take back to the nest. He’s looking at me like “What do you think of my stick?”. I’m thinking “She’s going to kick you off the nest if you come back with that tiny stick.”

Wood storks were constantly flying over to surrounding trees and grabbing sticks to bring back to the nest.

True love is hard to find.

This guy was being lazy. Just watching all of the busy birds go by.

SkyWatch Friday

Flying flashes of green

There are now so many wild parakeets in the St. Pete area that I can hear them screaming as they fly overhead at just about any park in the area. We have a small flock of monk parakeets living in Tampa near our neighborhood. I hear them screaming when I’m sitting at the red light before getting on the highway. On a recent Saturday I was at Crescent Lake Park walking around (hoping to see the otters there) when they came flying in right into the trees in front of me. They nest near the baseball field at the park so you can almost always see them here. It looked like they were chewing on sticks up in the tree. Many of them were eating the acorns on the ground as well. They spent quite a while feeding before all taking off.

I looked down at the lake and the baby ducks on the drain cover were looking at me like “why are you watching those crazy loud birds?”

Baby boom at the lake

On my walk around Crescent Lake park in mid-August, I saw the above muscovy duck with babies. One was all yellow. It’s not uncommon for them to have all yellow ducks but usually as they grow up they start to get a lot of brown feathers in.  This one was old enough to have brown feathers. He was really pretty.

The babies were resting in the grass.

Later on the other side of the lake I saw a family all sleeping huddled together under a tree. They were close to the sidewalk but the foot traffic was not disturbing them.

Another section of the lake had babies trying to cross the road. It was funny to watch them jump off the curb one by one. That seemed like such a big jump to them.

Of course they got right in the middle of the street and the babies plopped down on the road. Someone walked over and shooed them to the sidewalk since cars tend to go fast around this curve.

They all made it over to the sidewalk. Even in late summer, it’s a baby boom at the lake.

Crescent Lake Park

The usual birds at Crescent Lake Park in downtown St. Pete.

Monk parakeet hiding in a tree.

There’s a tree across the lake in someone’s yard that was full of these blooms. Now I wished I had taken a picture with my phone of the entire tree. It was beautiful.

My favorite water tower.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkupOur World Tuesday Graphic

 

Neighborhood walk and a rainbow.

The above were from an early morning walk in the neighborhood. The baby ducks at the pond down the street were getting big. My neighbor’s royal poinciana tree was still blooming in July.

Typical Florida weather.  Raining over our house but I could see the sun down the channel.  After the rain stopped, I ran outside and got the rainbow from the backyard and the front yard. The skies here have their own personality.

SkyWatch Friday