Everyone was eating this morning

A chickadee hanging on the moss. He was picking the bugs off the moss.

I found these two woodpeckers that were eating peanuts from the ground at the bottom of a cypress tree near the main trail at Chesnut Park. I don’t know if someone left them there for the birds or if the woodpeckers stashed them there before. They both kept coming down, grabbing a peanut and then going up the tree and eating it. They did this several times.

Heading home, I was driving down the road in the right lane when this swallow tail kite cruised really low right in front of me. I turned into a neighborhood and pulled over and got out as the kite was cruising around. He was circling low all over the neighborhood and then took a dive behind some trees.

When he was visible again he had a lizard in his talons. At this point he started heading out of the neighborhood and across the busy road. It was fun seeing him cruising so low.

A new park for me

For years I have heard about Chinsegut Wildlife Area about an hour north of Tampa but had never made the drive until recently. In mid-April I wanted to go somewhere different so I finally made the trip up north. I got there right when the nature center opened the gates at 8am and was the only person there. For the first hour I had the whole place to myself. I walked over to the dock first and realized that the lake was choking with vegetation. There was only a little water across the lake. The only bird I saw was a hawk cruising around and then landing in the middle on the other side.I had read this small lake was full of water birds this time of year but that must have been old information. Even the little bit of water I could see across the lake didn’t have birds there.

After a quick walk around one of the short trails, I headed over to the nature center to see what birds where hanging around the feeders behind it. The first one I saw was a chipping sparrow.

The usual birds were at the feeder. House finches, doves and cardinals were the only ones. They usually get a lot of migrating birds through here but maybe I picked an off day.

Several red bellied woodpeckers came to the suet.

A lone chickadee.

Looking behind the feeders, I saw a bluebird peeking out at me.

It was a really nice park with tons of trails but I didn’t walk to much since my hip was bothering me. I sat on a bench behind the center for a while and just enjoyed the morning out. I will definately get back in the winter when I can walk a little farther.

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Baby bluebirds

I was lucky to catch these two juvenile bluebirds hanging around the playground area at Chesnut Park in early September. I know they nest there every year but I never see bluebirds at this park. They were flying around from the tree to the ground. They’re really pretty with those bright blue feathers.

Chickadees are usual birds at this park. Yellow throated warblers are as well during migration season but the pine warbler on the bottom is a little more rare to see.

After a quiet morning at Chesnut Park I stopped by Philippe Park on the way home. The park was busy with dog walkers and joggers and lots of families hanging out but I found a quiet spot along the water and hung out for a while.

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Bright colors and cool metals

Flowers blooming at the end of February. Spring was already here.

There were a lot of inchworms at the botanical gardens as well so they seem to have invaded the Tampa Bay area. I don’t ever remember seeing so many at one time.

I found this chickadee gathering nest material.

New metal sculptures made from recycled materials. The fish was my favorite.

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It’s starting to look like fall in mid- December.

The usual birds atĀ  Chesnut Park in mid-December.

A sleepy alligator.

Color from across the lake. It finally looks like fall as the cypress trees start to turn.

The sun peaking through along the trail. These were taken with my phone.

It’s not often I see two pileated woodpeckers on the same tree. I took this with my phone since I couldn’t fit both of them in with my 300mm lens and I couldn’t back up into the swamp.

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Little birds at the boardwalk.

I’m thinking this is a pine warbler. Fairly common but confusing. Looks like a lot of other female yellow birds.

A very common but pretty white-eyed vireo.

I think this is an immature pine warbler in the 2 above.

Blue headed vireos are becoming common this time of year.

This little chickadee was being too cute. He came down close to the boardwalk looking to see if I had a handout. All of the above were taken at Chesnut Park on a Saturday morningĀ  in early January. Someone had left seed on the boardwalk before I had gotten there and the birds were very active.

On the way home I stopped by another park to see if the owls were nesting again this year. She was up in the nest still on eggs, taking a nap. This couple gets a little later start than most owls in the area.

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The usual suspects at Chesnut Park.

Lots of different birds at Chesnut Park in early January but nothing new.

Bigger birds flying overhead.

I was trying to get some shots of the deer on the baseball field, She looked at me for a second and then took off to join her friends who were heading into the woods. Oh wait, that’s why they call them “white-tailed deer”.

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