A very quiet morning out

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Two pictures of the same bird in different lighting.

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A downy woodpecker being cute.

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A young northern thrasher with a tiny bug in his beak.

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A blue jay with something in his beak.

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Climbing the fern ladder.

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Hiding behind a big frog.

Not much out in early August. I hit the butterfly garden at MOSI and then the USF Botanical Gardens. Other than a few butterflies out, the above was all I could find.

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Behind the Taco Bell and next to the wine store.

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One of the “I get no respect” birds. Blue jays are pretty even though they are annoying.

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That lunch looks yummy.

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Female house sparrow getting a bite.

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Keeping an eye on me.

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The couple.

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 I don’t see woodpeckers at feeders often. They like what ever is in this feeder.

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Red bellied woodpeckers were everywhere.

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And the usual titmouse.

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I’m still figuring this one out.  I first thought it was a prairie warbler or a white eyed vireo. I was hoping it was the female summer tanager that had been spotted there recently but they don’t have the white underneath.  Any ideas?

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I thought I was catching him in the act.

DSC_1930Later, I was told this was the squirrel feeder.

I didn’t want to give away the secret but these guys have done a great job. In a strip mall that backs up to some woods with a creek running through it, there’s a Wild Birds Unlimited store. They have deck out back and they have  put up bird feeders and nest boxes all around. They have built this great little oasis near one of the busiest intersections in town.They must have only been getting the most common birds at first.  Then someone spotted a summer tanager recently. The store owner told me people have been lining up to get pictures.  He couldn’t believe people were coming all the way from Orlando to see this bird. He was very friendly and we talked for a few minutes about the different birds he was seeing.  I hope all of this birding traffic has helped his business. I’ll be back to visit him (especially since there’s a great little cafe with amazing deserts a few doors down).

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I’m going to look for a duck.

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“I’m eating over here.” said the spoonbill.

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I realized as he flew off he was banded. I could not make out the numbers on either picture.

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Another palm warbler.

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Yellow rumped warblers are starting to show up.

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Turtle face.

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Stretching out on the floating pad in the pond.

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The cormorants rule the boardwalk.

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A tiny turtle soaking up some sun.

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Another one on a log.

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Blue jay with a nut from a palm tree.

This was the first time I have walked around the trail and boardwalk at Carillon park on a Saturday morning. Since it’s so close to work I usually only go after work in the summer. It’s usually packed with joggers and walkers. It was quiet this morning and weird to be there on a Saturday since it’s surrounded by office buildings. I went looking for an albino coot that had been reported there everyday for a week. Of course, by the time I get there, he’s gone. Maybe he was just close by and will come back over before winter is over.

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Tweeters and croakers at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

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Not a tweeter or croaker but still cute. I think he thought I couldn’t see him behind that branch.

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Blue jay in the winter.

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Sparrows landing on the feeder at the gardens.

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The feeders were busy but mostly sparrows and blue jays.

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Inside one of the buildings was a tropical frog exhibit. These were all in indoor enclosures.

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Blue frog posing.

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This was an exotic frog inside. We did not see any of the outside frogs in the frog pond that morning. I think the air was too cold for them and they were hiding in the water until the sun came out.

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Mockingbird posing on an empty rose bush.

Just a few of the animals we saw on our pre-Christmas walk around the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

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A morning in a cemetery – Skywatch Friday

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It wouldn’t be a day out in nature without seeing some squirrels.

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Blue jay keeping an eye on me.

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I think this is a chipping sparrow?  They were all over the cemetery.

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Getting a drink from an empty planter.

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Robins were everywhere.

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Mockingbird on a cross.

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A warbler in the bushes.

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I could hear this carolina wren singing all over the cemetery.

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Flowers were still blooming.

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You can see the capital from across the cemetery.

Even though it was a little cold, it was a beautiful morning. The sun came in and out all morning. Nothing like spending a little time in a cemetery right before Christmas. I’m sure the people there thought I was crazy with my long lens taking pictures of birds. I’ve always said “Cemeteries have good birds.” Even in downtown Atlanta. I was surprised to see so many birds there. I didn’t see the red-headed woodpeckers that I had seen on my last 2 trips there. They may have been hiding. I thought I’d only be there an hour and then go somewhere else, maybe the zoo close by but ended up staying 3 hours.

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Debby in my backyard

A wet green heron was sitting on the dock. It was dark and gloomy all weekend.

Wet blue jay on my feeder.

Wet house sparrow eating.

Looking down the channel, you can’t see our neighbor’s dock. Everything was under water. The water was just starting to creep up into his yard.

Now our dock is under water and water was everywhere.

On Tuesday morning, I looked out the window while I was getting ready for work. This duck family had just climbed on the dock and was taking a nap. They looked tired. The water was just at the top of the dock and by the time I left the water had crept up onto the dock. I don’t know if the family had moved to higher ground yet.

We were all very lucky in our neighborhood. Other than the tide bringing the water levels up, we didn’t really have any damage. A tornado hit in south St. Petersburg and there was significant damage there. It was really just an inconvenience to most people. It rained most of the weekend and on Monday night the tide got so high that several of the bridges were closed. Hubby had to drive the long way around to get home and it took him almost 2 hours since everyone had to go that way. The big Sunshine Skyway Bridge broke a record and was closed for more than 3 days due to high winds. Now it’s August and the summer rains are here so it rains almost every day.

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The Usual Suspects in the backyard

There are always blue jays at the feeder. They try to run off the smaller birds.

Sparrow looking for seed that has fallen in the grass. The blue jay was probably keeping him off the feeder.

Male cardinal getting a bite.

Common ground dove staring at me in the window.

I walked out into the backyard and the dove took off and landed on the roof.

One of the shutter frogs coming out for the night.

Just a few birds and frog that paid a visit over a recent weekend. Nothing special now that it’s summer.

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