I was looking out the back door and saw the above great egret in the yard. He saw me standing there and walked up close to the door. Someone nearby has been feeding him because he was looking for a handout. I took the first shot with my phone through the door and then went and got my camera. I slowly cracked open the door and he perked up, probably thinking I was coming out with a snack. I shot the above with my camera and then closed the door. He eventually left.
In mid-April I saw a Carolina wren in the backyard with 2 young ones. The 2 juveniles were bouncing around the yard, following Mom and still being fed by her. They must have just left the nest because they were bouncing and hopping around more than flying. I ran out with my camera as they passed my yard and headed into my neighbor’s yard.
Butterflies are regular visitors on the lantana plant.
It was getting dark and I was watering the plants and I heard the above great crested flycatcher right above me. I ran in and got my camera but it was so dark.
I hadn’t seen any bluebirds for a while and was thinking they were nesting in my neighbor’s nest box but then I saw a few in the backyard and one was getting nesting material in front of my window so some of them may still be working on a nest.
I’m glad someone is using my nest box.
We were still in an extreme drought and the pond down the street was almost dry. There was just a tiny bit of water in the middle. Some type of piping was exposed (it might have been thrown in there by a neighbor years ago). I was heading out for a bike ride and saw the spoonbill in the pond so I had to stop and take some pictures.
A juvenile little blue heron and a great blue heron were looking for snacks as well.
We are starting to get those summer sky colors right before dark but still no rain.
Look who showed up in the backyard in early March. Last year they were here all winter but I hadn’t seen any parulas at all until March. I was sitting outside for a while enjoying the cool weather and the above got close enough for me to get some shots.
That lone robin was still hanging around in the backyard.
Bluebirds were stopping by.
A lone turkey was cruising by for a few days and one day I caught her taking a nap just outside our window.
We get tons of woodpeckers at the feeder and bird bath.
Butterflies on the hanging lantana.
Someone nearby is feeding these ibis. I saw them pecking around the tree and when I went outside to sit down one of them walked right up to me. I had to step back up against the house to fit him in the picture. He wandered off when he realized I wasn’t going to feed him.
I was so excited to see bluebirds checking out the nest box I put up over a year ago. We have a lot of bluebirds in the neighborhood but they only stop in my backyard for a second and are very skittish. My neighbor several homes down from us has 2 bluebird boxes in his backyard and he’s lived here a long time so I think they are pretty established over there. There were young ones bouncing around the yard this spring so I’m assuming they nested in his box. Finally, in early November I caught them going in and out of my box for several hours. There were at least 4 of them and they also stopped at the feeder and bird bath. The next day I went outside and took a peek in the box and there was a nest in there but no birds or eggs. Maybe they were building it early (like several months early)?
I keep seeing downy woodpeckers and chickadees on the feeder at the same time.
I think this chickadee was going to tell me to get better seed.
I’ve been seeing baby bluebirds bouncing around in the backyard. I’ve seen 4 at one time but it’s hard to get more than one through the window. They are very skittish and take off if I go out in the back.
The doves were napping under the bird bath.
I think this is the first time I’ve seen a lizard shedding his skin.
Sunset in the lake across the street.
I usually stop at the lake as I’m getting the mail and one night I saw a lone skimmer cruising around right before dark. This was taken with my phone, which I usually have in my pocket. I went out there the next 2 nights with my camera but didn’t see him again.
Tricolored herons and anhingas are usual in the lake, getting that last meal before dark.
I caught this tern flying overhead right at dark. I think it’s a Caspien tern.
Some of the birds in the yard in late January and early February. I’m always looking out the window when I’m at home. I noticed the great egret creeping around the tree but he went behind the bushes when he caught the lizard.
I’ve seen several random turkeys roaming around the neighbhorhood and was wondering if they were all the same turkey. These were across the fairway from our house. The top one had a gray head (maybe the juvenile from this past summer) and the bottom shot has a red head. These were taken the same week.
The usual bigger birds in the backyard include a cardinal, blue jay and a crow that’s been hanging around for a few weeks.
There’s always a Carolina wren in the backyard. Sometimes we have two.
Other occasional birds at the feeder are titmouse and woodpeckers.
We had several bluebirds bouncing around the backyard one afternoon. They would catch some caterpillars on the ground and fly up to the top of the bird feeder to eat them.
We’ve had parulas up in our trees for a while now. I hear their shrill all day long. I was able to catch the male (top shot) in a lower branch singing away one afternoon. The bottom shot is either a juvenile or maybe the female. She came down to the bird bath.
A few other things in the yard. That spider looks like he has a smiley face on his back. The gardenia bush outside our front door has been blooming and it smells so nice when you walk out the door. I went out and got these with my macro lens. All other pictures where taken through the windows.
The bluebirds must nest here at Chinsegut Wildlife Park since there were some very young ones here the morning I visited in mid-May. The 2nd one looks like a juvenile. There were several behind the ranger’s office so I’m thinking next year I need to go earlier and keep an eye out.
It must have also been chickadee day because there were tons of them along the trail. I counted 10 at one point. Not a wide variety of birds here but there were a lot of the few species that were.
This red headed woodpecker couple were following each other around. I think that top one has a snack so maybe the other one was just trying to get the snack. Or, maybe they were still flirting and would be starting a nest soon.
Butterflies were everywhere along the trail. They loved the thistle.
The weeds were getting high as the heat was setting in.
I love the trees here but if you walk on the lesser traveled trails, you might get a face full of spider web.
I checked out the other backroom before leaving (they have two unisex ones). This one had an eagle and a great blue heron painted on the wall.
I think this may be my new favortie park. It’s quiet and hardly anyone there early on a Saturday morning. It’s about an hour north from my house but a lot of the parks I visit are at least 45 minutes to an hour so it’s not a bad ride (and I don’t have to get on crazy I4). The park is relatively small (compared to Circle B Bar Reserve where you can walk for 6 or 7 miles) but I like the area. The original owners named it Chinsegut which is an Inuit word for “spirit of lost things”. I don’t think I’ll get too lost though since it’s easy to navigate and there are main roads around it if you walk too far.
The glossy ibis has been hanging around Possum Branch Preserve for a while now.
The green heron was creeping around under the bushes.
I found the bluebird family again. One of the young ones was popping his head out of the nest. He’s flying around now so I’m not sure if the parents are still feeding him.
Oh the faces we see in a Florida pond!
I stopped by the old Kapok Tree in mid-March. It still had a lot of blooms on the tree but most of them were on the ground. I keep forgetting to go by here and catch it in full bloom. Back when I was a toddler there was a famous restaurant here called the Kapok Tree Inn. It was an old ornate building with lots of different rooms. We would come here to eat when we came to Clearwater to visit my parents. It closed in 1991 but the building is still here and is a music store. It still looks the same inside.