I’ve had so many birds stopping by in the backyard for a quick bath or drink in early December. Titmouse are regulars. Mockingbirds, cardinals, catbirds and pine warblers have all stopped by. I’ve only had one chickadee stop by (that I’ve seen),
There’s always a lot of pine warblers coming through.
The Carolina wrens stay on the ground most of the time, digging around under the leaves.
I’ve seen a few downy woodpeckers in the big oak tree outside the window.
This is a dangerous place for a squirrel to take a break. I’ve seen a hawk sitting here twice.
Titmouse are coming to my backyard bird bath pretty regularly to take baths. I try and hide behind the curtains and take pictures through the window so I don’t spook them.
I’m also getting blue jays and catbirds but they just get a quick drink and leave.
Watching the birds fly around the trees, I saw a dash of yellow from across the yard but almost didn’t look twice because I thought it was a palm warlber. I was able to grab a shot of this hooded warbler with a bug in his beak through my dirty windows. (I have since spent some time cleaning them).
I took the shots of the pine wabler and yellow throated warbler outside early one morning, walking around the trees in the back of our home before work.
Twice I watched this red bellied woodpecker hide nuts in a palm tree. He was getting them from a feeder across the fairway and flying back over to our side and hiding them.
Usual morning birds in the back, a great egret and blue jay.
There’s a ton of squirrels in the yard. One climbed up on the outdoor chair and was watching me in the window. I changed out the bird feeder pole to a much higher one and now he can’t get to the food so he wasn’t happy (although at some point he’ll figure out a way to get up there).
Baby great egrets were screaming for Mom to feed them.
The sky over the Tampa rookery was busy in early April. It was like standing at the airport during the holidays watching the planes take off.
The cormarants and anhingas are usually high up in the trees but I saw this anhinga sitting on a nest low on the other side of the rookery.
There were many other birds at the rookery besides the usual egrets and herons. A night heron, a female red winged blackbird and a catbird were also sighted. I was excited to see the glossy ibis here in the bottom picture but it looked like the couple was working on a nest on the backside of the rookery so seeing little glossy babies is a slim chance.
Driving into Bok Tower Gardens you wind through orange groves and you can see the top of the carillon hovering over the trees. At this point the trees were heavy with ripe oranges in early April. I wish it was closer to my home. It’s an hour and a half away but worth the drive every once in a while. The worst part is putting your life on the line driving across crazy I4 for about 45 minutes but after that it’s a nice back road drive through small towns. I like seeing the cows as I pass by and I keep an eye out for eagles cruising in the skies.
This huge beautiful arrangement greats you at the entrance of the visitor’s center.
Lots of yellow and orange blooming when I was there. I love the orange sunflowers.
Little critters were flying around.
I found a lot of amaryllis blooming near the back exit by the parking lot. It made me think it was still Christmas but the heat reminded me it was not.
This was an interesting cactus. I don’t remember ever seeing these guys sprout like this. It looked like a big asparagus growing out of it.
I was hoping for a few spring migrates at the bird feeder by the pond but all I got was catbirds and cardinals.
While sitting on the bench waiting for birds at the feeder, this guy walked right up to me. Maybe people feed them here? He looked at me for a few seconds and then went to the ground under the feeder and started digging around for seeds. I think we had a connection!
Male rose breasted grosbeaks were all over Fort Desoto in mid-April. They were eating the mulberries while resting up before their migration up north. Most of them had mulberry juice all over their beaks.
A few females and juveniles were also munching on the berries.
Catbirds were eating as well.
I only got a brief glimpse of the Baltimore oriole before he took off.
I only saw one indigo bunting on this trip but more would pass through later in the month.
A small portion of the crowd at Fort Desoto during spring migration in mid-April. It felt like there were more people than birds that morning but at least there were a lot of eyes looking out for the birds. There wasn’t a lot of variety there but it was still early for migration.
True to its name, the Osprey Trail on Honeymoon Island is known for having a lot of Osprey along the trail. There are many nests along the trail and when I was there in late January, the osprey were working on refreshing the old ones.
Both eagles were sitting in a tree near the nest which was a bad sign. They were sitting on eggs earlier so something must have happened to cause them to abandon the nest. They might try again. It was still early.
Towhees, catbirds and yellow rumped warblers were all along the trail.
Lots of vultures here.
New growth in some of the prescribed burn areas.
This guy walked right in front of me on the trail.
I hadn’t been to Honeymoon Island since last spring. I wanted to see if the osprey were nesting yet. Honeymoon Island is a barrier island north of Clearwater Beach. In the 1940’s the island was a place known for people to spend their honeymoon in the cottages on the island. Once World War 2 started people stopped coming to the island and later the cottages were torn down.
Lots of squirrels but that bottom looks a little rough.
Lots of little birds but nothing new.
Red shoulder hawks hiding along the trails.
Eagles flying far away across the lake. Both an adult and a juvenile.
Found these two ducks at a quiet end of a pond. I’m thinking they are pets that got dumped here. Someone left food in a small plastic container. I just hope they know enough to stay away from the gators.