It was the end of August and I kept missing all of the fawns this summer. I finally found one with Mom at Chesnut Park. The baby was getting pretty big but still had spots. I only saw them for a minute and they took off deep in the woods.
I found the osprey eating a fish right off the parking lot. I snapped a few pictures and she looked over at me like “I knew I was being watched.”
A scruffy looking female cardinal was eating seed that someone had left on the boardwalk rail.
Reflection of a green heron.
The eagles were back for the winter. I found one hanging out near the restrooms.
The sun was coming up over the trees.
As I was leaving I saw a couple hanging just outside the fence. I pulled over and watched them for a few minutes from the car.
Earlier in the summer I kept stopping by Chesnut Park to see if I could find the baby limpkins that had been spotted there. I kept missing them and I thought this trip would be a bust too. I first saw movement in the reeds along the boardwalk but it was just a green heron.
A little ways down the boardwalk I saw an adult limpkin.
I found them but they were almost fully grown at this point. There were 4 babies and they still had a little fuzz on their heads and were making that “baby is hungry” low screeching. They had just come out of the reeds and were looking around.
Mom headed into the water and found a yummy snail.
The youngest looking baby quickly swam over to her and got a bite.
I stood and watched for a while as they were busy preening and picking up empty snail shells, pretending to find a snack. They were acting like little toddlers, curiously getting into everything.
Mom continued to look for food and she ignored that little blue ball.
As I was watching the limpkins I saw movement from across the water. A least bittern came out from the other side of the reeds. He was still for a few minutes and then stood up several times as if to say “Here I am”. I thought that was a type of mating dance but I didn’t see another one anywhere. It could have been hiding deep in the reeds though.
All of a sudden it was almost noon and time to head home for lunch.
In late April I made a quick stop at Chesnut Park to see if there were any migrating birds hanging around. Over the years I’ve seen a lot of warblers come through here during migration but the only thing I found was the usual titmouse. They come really close because people feed them here. They come down close to the boardwalk to see if you have snacks. Once they realize you aren’t carrying they head back up to the tops of the trees.
The squirrels are also being fed here so they check you out as well.
I came home and it was still to early for lunch so I hopped on my bike and went for a quick pedal around the neighborhood. The first thing I saw was a bunny. A brown thrasher flew in front of me as I was taking a picture of the bunny. Was he posing for me?
I found a limpkin in the pond down the street from our house in the same spot the limpkin babies were last year. The water was much lower this year and at first I only saw the adult. He was calling to another limpkin that was farther down the creek.
I left my bike in the bushes and followed the creek along the golf course (no one was playing at the time) and saw another adult limpkin far in the woods. I could just barely make out a baby in the sticks. They stayed pretty hidden and eventually worked their way down behind the houses so I couldn’t follow them any farther. I’m assuming they were farther back since the water was a little higher there.
And, a random alligator that I saw in the neighborhood. This was taken with my 300mm lens and cropped so he was pretty far away.
The sun was just coming up over the trees at Chesnut Park in late October. I was out for a walk with just my phone and the weather was perfect. It was all blue sky out on Lake Tarpon.
The rest of the walk was through the swamp (although I was on a boardwalk for most of it). The back boardwalk area was flooding after all of the rain we got from Hurricane Nicole coming through.
There were also some dry areas along the trail as well. The sun was making weird shadows through the trees and my phone picked up some alien looking light forms in one of the shots. Was it just tricks with the lens or was I not alone???
It was a beautiful morning to be out.
You can always find alligators along the ponds and lakes here. This morning I only found this tiny one.
It wasn’t a four way stop but even if it was the deer was coming out without stopping. I paused as I was walking down a back dirt trail at Chesnut Park when I saw the deer stepping out on the trail. She wasn’t alone.
She had 4 friends and instead of crossing the trail like they usually do they kept on going down the trail. I followed them for a while. They would look back at me but kept going at a slow pace.
At the other side of the park I found a Mom and a young one.
Watching me as I sat in my car watching her.
More shots from deep in the swamp (taken from the boardwalk).
My first eagle sighting of the season. He was hanging out near the restrooms at Chesnut Park. He didn’t stay long, taking off towards the lake. It was mid-August. I didn’t realize they come back that early.
I had heard there was an owl sitting at the end of the boardwalk so I quickly walked down to the end thinking he would probably be gone by then or I wouldn’t be able to find him. There he was, sitting almost eye level. He sat there for a while as I snapped a ton of pictures. He was checking out critters on the ground and I was hoping he would swoop down and catch something but that didn’t happen.
I was walking on the back boardwalk and came across a Mom and her baby. As the Mom was feeding the baby was walking around and walked over to it’s sibling.
I had found the twins. It was interesting to see them both licking each other.
After walking around for a while I came back to the back boardwalk and one of the babies was still sitting there with the sun coming through the swamp. The other twin and Mom were feeding behind some trees.
Someone has been feeding the deer at Chesnut Park. More than usual anyway. This is the first time I’ve gotten out of my car and the deer walk right up to me looking for a handout. I took the above with my phone as she was too close to get with my camera. I held out my hands and showed her I didn’t have anything and she started grazing in front of me.
This cardinal had a mangled leg but could still fly. He looked a little rough but he could be molting. He was eating some of the seed someone had left on the boardwalk.
I can’t resist a chickadee.
It was mid-August and this was the first migrating bird I had seen. I have not seen prothonotary warblers here at this park before so this was a treat. I know we call this “fall” migration but it won’t feel like fall here for several more months.
I briefly saw a Mom with her baby. They were heading into the woods as more people were coming into the park.
Leaving the park, I took a detour through a nearby neighborhood. I saw some deer in someone’s front yard. They were staring at the door. I’m assuming they are being fed there.
I started the morning off at Chesnut Park, It was sunny and warm but the clouds starting moving in after I had been there a while. Not many birds out but I did find a pine warbler and cardinal fattening up for the winter on beauty berries. That cardinal seemed drunk after eating so many.
Looking over the lake, the sun seemed to have an angel glowing from it. Or is that just my imagination? I took this with my phone.
Later I headed over to the Dunedin causeway, after the clouds had moved in. I knew it would start raining soon but wasn’t quite ready to go home yet. The wind had picked up and no one had gone out in a kayak. That one small sailboat was braving the wind.