A new bird in my backyard

My neighbors planted payaya trees on the side of the house and this little phoebe has been hanging out on the fence in front of the trees. I can see him when I’m working in the back bedroom (which for now is my “work from home” room). One day I got up and grabbed my camera and shot the above through the window. He’s gone for the summer now so I won’t see him again until September or October.

Even though cardinals are common, I don’t see them often at my feeder.

A red bellied woodpecker has been coming to the feeder every day. He’s picking out the peanuts. You can see his red belly in the first picture.

For several weeks we had a grumpy looking great blue heron on our dock or our neighbor’s dock.

This duck couple stops by every couple of days. They nap in our backyard.

A new bird to the backyard. I went outside to put food in the feeder early one morning in February and noticed a small bird sitting on my neighbor’s sailboat mast. Once in a while we get an osprey or red shoulder hawk sitting up there but this bird was much smaller. I realized it was a kestrel and ran inside and grabbed my camera and walked out on the dock and he was still sitting there while I took his picture. Then a crow came by and chased him off. I don’t see kestrels often, usually at Fort Desoto so I was surprised to see him here.

Starlings took over our tree right before dark.

Things in the backyard including some weird fungus growing in our mulch after a long rain. We often get small mushrooms in the grass after a rain but this orange thing was a first. Being the nerd that I am, I looked it up and it’s a columned stinkhorn.  It’s common in Florida in mulch beds and it’s suppose to smell horrible if you break it.  Luckily I left it there and it’s gone now. I wonder if an animal ate it.

Drab little birds in late December

There were a lot of non-breeding male indigo buntings at Felts Preserve the morning I was there in late December. It was cold that morning as I sat in the bushes waiting for them to come to the feeders (just under 40 degrees is cold for us central Florida folks).  They were all fighting over the best feeding spots. Occasionally a painting bunting would pop out of the bushes but most of the birds there that morning were indigo buntings.

Either a very young bunting or a female.

There were a few other birds as well including doves and a cardinal.

Splattered blue on the leaves. This guy had a little more blue on his head.

A non-breeding male goldfinch also made an appearance. I never see goldfinches in the parks near my house. The only time I’ve seen bright yellow breeding ones are during my visits to Atlanta in the spring.

Backyard visitors in October

Some of the birds visiting my feeder in the backyard. I usually only get house sparrows and blue jays but the woodpecker was fun to see.

The common ground dove was waiting his turn for the feeder. I’ve since redone that hanging plant with mums.

Once in a while I get a cardinal as well.

Other bigger birds cruising by were a little blue heron, a white ibis on my neighbor’s broken dock and a great blue heron. All of the above were taken through the bedroom window.

When I saw the osprey on my neighbor’s sailboat mast, I ran out and took the picture from the backyard. For years there was an osprey that slept on the mast every night but she hadn’t been doing do that for about 2 years. Just recently one has been stopping by for a while during the day. I wonder if it’s the same bird.

Things growing in the yard including the pink muhly grass in front of our screened porch.

Sunset in the back yard.

Just getting out of the house

Was I being watched?  I noticed all of the different art faces that are on on the trees at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

Pretty things blooming in July.

Little critters.

You can usually find alligators, bunnies and turtles at any park in the area.

It was a quiet morning for birds though. I’ve been working from home since mid-March so I’m still trying to get out of the house on Saturday mornings for a long walk even if the wildlife is scarce this time of year.

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Chesnut Park in early January

All the usual birds.

There were several small alligators hanging out close to the dock. I didn’t see any big ones but I’m sure the mom was close by.

This deer was right off the boardwalk and I snapped this with my phone.

After walking around Chesnut Park in early January, I stopped by a small park along the water on the way home to see if there were any wintering ducks in the bay. No ducks to be found but this gull had found a piece of a fish in the low tide and was snacking. It was weird that there were several live conch shells on the dead fish.

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A very quiet early September

Little titmouse looking for snacks. I get there at 8am and someone has already been there and left birdseed on the boardwalk. These guys are not shy.

I’ve never seen a prothonotary warbler at Chesnut park. Both were very skittish.

Other usual birds were parulas and cardinals. The cardinal was a juvenile that was just getting his red feathers. He looked rough.

It was very quiet at Chesnut Park so I left and stopped by Possum Branch Preserve before heading home. It was even more quiet at the preserve. I couldn’t even find a gator in all that muck.

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Too hot for the birds

Little critters at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

Not many birds in early July. A cardinal with a snack and a Loggerhead Shrike

As I was leaving the gardens, I saw this hawk up on a light post. I think this is juvenile Cooper’s Hawk.

I stopped for a quick walk around the boardwalk at Largo Nature Preserve but there wasn’t much there either. I think the smart birds went north for the summer.  I found this green heron creeping around the boardwalk.

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Flying things at Bok Tower Gardens

Little critters in the flowers.

Nothing new but not too common with the exception of the cardinal. The others are a prairie warbler, yellow bellied sapsucker (woodpecker) and the yellow throated warbler. I was hoping to find some other birds but I was a little too early for spring migration.

The best find of the morning was the bobwhite. I never see them where I live so this was a treat. He peaked out behind the bushes for a few minutes as I was walking down the trail and then ran back after a few seconds.

I drove over to Bok Tower Gardens in central Florida early in April for a long walk.

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The usual things at my usual park.

The deer where feeding at my usual parking spot.

The squirrels being their usual cute self.

The usual birds hanging around the boardwalks.

A usual big fat gator on the bank of the pond. He was well camouflaged at first.

The usual wintering belted kingfisher up in a tree.

A quiet morning at Chesnut Park.

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All the usual wildlife at Chesnut Park

I saw a hawk sitting on the pole holding up the volleyball net.  A few minutes later it started to rain. I ducked under cover but he just sat there through the quick shower.

All of the usual birds were at Chesnut Park in early November, including the female common yellowthroat warbler.

Two different female American redstarts came out of hiding for a few seconds.

I think this is a female painted bunting, which is fairly rare to see at this park.

Other critters at the park including that alligator in the top picture with a huge fish hanging out of his mouth.