Summer with the deer

Driving into Chesnut Park in late September, the deer were right at the front gate. When I drove around to the back there were more in the parking area. No babies though.

When I got out of the car and headed to the back boardwalk I saw the babies. The twins were growing up quickly. I stood and watched for a few minutes as they grazed by. For some reason I love seeing deer out in the woods.  Deer and dolphins seem to calm me not sure why.

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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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A Bambi convention

After several stops by Chesnut Park on the way home from work, I finally saw a few fawns in late August. The rain had just stopped so the park was empty of people. The deer were all at the front of the park.

This one was taking a break while Mom kept eating.

These two were very curious about the lady hiding in the trees with the big black box in front of her face. They were hanging out with Mom near the ranger station. I was pretty far back so I could fit them in with my 300mm lens but they kept an eye on me.

Hot morning walk in August

I could barely make out this barred owl high above me in a tree. A few seconds later he flew off farther into the woods, chasing after Mom.

Later I was walking the back boardwalk and heard a weird howl. I was looking high up in the trees thinking it was an injured squirrel but couldn’t find anything. Then I looked straight out into the swamp and the juvenile owl was sitting right in front of me. He’s still got baby fuzz around his head. I couldn’t find Mom but I’m sure she was somewhere close by.

Nearby was a squirrel with a snack.

Not many birds around in early August.

I had heard there were twin fawns at the park. After looking all morning I saw them for a second deep in woods.

A doe resting near the boardwalk.

Pink and green on the trees after the rain.

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Seeing the big boys

I stopped by Chesnut Park on the way home from work in late July just after it had stopped raining. I was hoping to see baby deer. It’s rare to see them on a Saturday morning when the park is busy but they usually come out from hiding and play in the rain during the week. I didn’t see any babies on this trip.

A very young buck with some pine straw hanging out of his mouth.

I did get to see 2 bucks with  bigger antlers which is a rare thing to see at the park. A park ranger once told me the park is mostly full of does and the bucks come down from Brooker Creek Preserve in the spring and summer to mate but don’t hang around Chesnut Park long. These 2 were hanging out on the baseball field by themselves. When I walked up to the edge of the field they stopped and glanced at me for a few seconds then ignored me. This guy was trying to be cool but little did he know that he had some grass stuck between his ear and antler.

I saw this red shoulder hawk on the ground with a lizard. He was still soaked from the rain. He took off after he saw me.

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In the swamp in July.

The usual birds at Chesnut park in July including that titmouse hanging upside down trying to get a bug.

I was hoping to see some baby deer in mid July but I think it was too early. Only adults and young bucks.

The usual critter in the swamp.

A usual summer storm was moving in.

The boardwalk swamp was full of water after days of rain. It was weird to be walking around with so much water. Even in the early morning it was hot, muggy and buggy.  The last one is a quick video oft he sounds in the swamp.

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Random things at Chesnut Park.

Birds at Chesnut Park in early May.  A young great crested flycatcher, a rare bluebird (I’ve heard they nest here but I hardly ever see them), the usual titmouse and a Carolina Wren (this was one a a juvenile).

Plants around the butterfly garden.

No butterflies but a dragonfly in the garden.

A blue gray gnatchatcher sitting on a nest high up in a tree. The nest was smaller than a baseball.  I didn’t see it on my own. Joe, who’s usually there on Saturday mornings with a scope, pointed him out to me.

Animal footprints in the muck under the boardwalk.

The view from the dock. This use to be all water under the dock and now the vegetation has grown all around this corner of the lake so there aren’t any ducks here anymore. There use to be wood ducks, storks and limpkins here, Now I only see moorhens hiding in the leaves.

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