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.

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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.

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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

Blondie pays a visit

On June 1st, Blondie brought her 10 kids around in front of our dock. They were busy trying to pick bugs off the sea wall. I wondered if those lighter ones would also grow up to be light mallards but I didn’t get a chance to see.

Two weeks later she came back by but only had 3 babies with her. The three were scattered so I only got a shot of the one. They were all of the darker brown ones. It’s sad to think of all of those lost babies but there are a lot of hawks, owls and even an eagle hanging out in the neighborhood.

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