Luckily not many people thought the Botanical Gardens in Largo were still open. There was almost no one there in late April. I could sit quietly in the butterfly garden without people walking in front of me scaring away the butterflies.
I sat for a while hoping to see a hummingbird but there was no sight of any. I got the next best thing. A clearwing hummingbird moth buzzing around right next to me. This is the only place I’ve seen them before. They hover and feed like hummingbirds, not landing on the flower and then zip away to rest.
Still working on getting that perfect magnolia picture.
Some type of hawk was flying high up in the sky. This is extremely cropped. I couldn’t make out what it was but I don’t think it was a red shoulder. Might be a cooper’s hawk with that dark head.
Birds flying high.
Black bellied whistling ducks hanging low in the grass, trying to avoid the haws and eagles flying overhead.
A blue headed vireo being cute.
An osprey was sitting on a branch that crossed over the trail. I was trying to make sure he didn’t poop on me while I was trying to take his picture. I’m not sure what type of fish that was but it had a red tint to it.
A cooper’s hawk hiding in the bushes across the canal.
Butterflies along the trail in January.
A female wood duck up above and her 4 juvenile babies hanging out on a rock.
It’s always fun to see the baby swans.
Across the street from the lake, in front of the library in Lakeland, there were still 2 swans sitting on nests. At least they had a good shady spot away from the crowds and a nice view of the lake.
Two butterflies together on the street. Where they mating? I’ve never seen this before.
The trail around the ponds at Possom Branch Preserve were covered in these purple flowers. The bees seemed to love them.
I noticed a swallow tail kite cruising high over the busy road next to the preserve.
Lots of parulas and palm warblers but not many other birds. Spring migration was pretty much over by early May.
On the way home I stopped by a small park near Possum Branch Preserve to take a peek on the boardwalk. Nothing there but I saw the above yellow billed cuckoo in the parking lot. I saw it fly into a tree and at first glance I thought it was a dove. I’m glad I stopped and paid attention. These are fairly rare here.
I also stopped by the fishing pier in Safety Harbor to see if there were any manatees. No manatees this morning but a school of sting rays swam under the pier.
Spring was already in full swing at the Largo Botanical Gardens in late March.
The butterfly garden was full of monarchs.
A few of the critters at the gardens.
More monarchs to come. The milkweed was full of caterpillars.
It was late March in Birmingham so things were just starting to bloom in my sister’s backyard. Lots of buds just starting to come out.
The little critters were busy.
This squirrel was trying hard to get a free snack.
A starling peeking out of what was probably a former woodpecker nest.
Thanks to Ken at Rosyfinch Ramblings for the ID on the above Orange crowned warbler. A first for me.
Little birds at Hammock Park.
A small wood stork party at Possum Branch Preserve.
Typical great egret shot but I noticed after I cropped it up that he’s missing part of his upper beak.
I started out at Hammock Park, a small park in Dunedin that I had not been before. After walking around for an hour and seeing very little, I left there and stopped at Possum Branch Preserve for a walk before heading home.