I was watering some hanging plants right before dark in the backyard when I noticed this face peeking out of my neighbor’s dead palm tree. The house next door had been empty for at least 2 years. I think the lady that lived there was now in a nursing home. This was the first time I had seen a screech owl in our neighborhood.
Over the next two weeks I was able to catch the above. He (or she) would stick his head out right before dark. In the last two shots, he woke up earlier during the late afternoon. I would sneak around the backyard and hide behind a short palm tree to get pictures. I didn’t want to scare him away.
After 3 weeks of peeking out the side window right before dark every night, I came home from work and saw that the dead palm tree was gone. I ran outside and realized my neighbor’s entire backyard had been gutted and cleaned up. I was heartbroken. After 2 years it gets cleaned up now??? Then I heard a peep and saw the owl sitting in a palm tree that was still standing next door. He was looking at me like “Where’d my bed go?” I would assume he was sleeping when someone came in and started to saw the tree down. He must have flown out in panic. I can only hope he didn’t have eggs in there yet. I had not heard any baby noises yet. I stood there in the backyard crushed that my new friend had lost it’s home. I never saw him again after these shots were taken. I’m sure he moved on. I don’t know if it’s too late to put up a nest box in our yard.
Other critters in the backyard.
I was able to catch the sunset in the backyard while I was trying to get shots of the owl. One night I caught this rainbow driving into my neighborhood.
This lady kingfisher has been a regular visitor this past winter. She’s either on the dock or on the boat lift poles.
Mr Grumpy (great blue heron) sometimes naps on our dock.
An anhinga paid a visit recently.
My resident osprey has been spending some time on our neighbor’s sailboat mast. I took this right before the sun went down. He usually comes in right before dark and sleeps there.
One day we had a hawk on the same mast.
We have a spotted sandpiper that hangs out in the channel in the winter. I went out on the dock to take this picture. He let me get pretty close. It was during an extreme low tide so he was walking around in the muck.
A couple of weeks ago we had a pelican on our dock. This is the first time I’ve ever seen one here. I rarely see them come into the channels. They usually stay out closer to the bay.
One night right before the sun went down I went outside to get something and saw a flock of robins hanging out in our tree on the side of the house. They stayed long enough for me to run back in the house to get my camera and come back out and snap a few shots.
We get a lot of squirrels in our yard.
Pretty flower on the fence.
A few of the critters passing through our yard in the last few months.
I caught this anhinga about to take gulp of fish down at the other end of the channel.
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.
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.