A quick stop in the backyard

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.

Backyard birds

A bluebird blending in at my neighbor’s bird bath.

This hawk keeps hanging around our yard. I know he can see my cockatiels through the window. I ran outside and chased him off the tree in front of the window but he’s not easily scared. He just flew one tree over to a pine tree. He stayed there for a while watching me take his picture.

As I was taking pictures of the hawk, this red bellied woodpecker landed right above him.

A palm warbler looking for bugs in my hanging plant.

A chickadee close to the window.

Pine warblers are regulars at the feeder.

I’m not sure what this is. Still trying to figure this out. I found it high up in my neighbor’s tree. I first thought a black throated green warbler with that black on his throat but a it wouldn’t have so much yellow on it’s chest. Any ideas?

Watching a squirrel taking a nap through the window.

All in early November.

Critters from my yard.

More shots of the little titmouse around my bird bath. I have taken around a gazillion pictures but it’s hard to stop when I’m out walking around. They love to pose for me.

A few other visitors in early November. There are a ton of downy and red bellied woodpeckers in the neighborhood. I’ve seen a few pileated woodpeckers go flying by but I have yet to get pictures of them.

I’ve seen several black and white warblers in my big oak tree.

A yellow throated warbler in the palm tree up against our townhome.

A chickadee looking around under the patio chairs.

This juvenile little blue heron was creeping around the grass. All of the above were taken through the window.

If I stand on the end of my patio, I can see my neighbor’s bird feeder a few houses down from ours. He’s always got birds on his feeder (although mostly blue birds and pine warblers). After taking these and zooming in, I realize he had dried mealworms in his feeder. I only have mixed seed and I’m only getting titmouse at my feeder although I have gotten a few pine warblers as well. I may have to step up my feeder game.

A pine warbler on my feeder (through the window).

I was walking back from getting my mail and this hawk was in the short palm tree next to my driveway. He watched me walk right by him and didn’t move. I ran in and got my camera and he was flying off as I walked out. He flew down to the grass and looked like he was stalking something but eventually he flew to a lightpost empty handed.

After the hawk flew off I realized there was a bluebird on the power line right over my head. It was almost dark at this point but he sat there for a while.

A few more critters in the backyard. The squirrels like to sit on this low palm  tree up against our house while snacking.

All of the different colors of birds

In early October I went to see my favorite red heads. You can always find several redheaded woodpeckers flying around the short trail by the nature center at Chinsegut Wildlife center.

I missed the summer nesting season but I did see several young ones that didn’t have their red heads in yet.

You can usually find a red bellied woodpecker around the suet at the nature center.

This year I’m seeing pine warblers all over the place.

A prairie wabler that would not look at me.

I’m thinking this is a palm warbler?

I found some very young bluebirds.

And, there’s always a lot of chickadees here.

Nature in early October

Is it fall yet?  It was cool on the morning I was at Chinsegut Wildlife area in early October. Only 75 degrees at 8am. It warmed up quick but was a nice change from the summer heat.

It actually felt a little like fall even though it was warm.

Color along the trail.

Heading down to the lake, I thought these fallen logs covered in moss were interesting. Nature’s artwork?  Out at the lake it was quiet.

A few little critters. The first is a cicada which are usually hard to spot although you can easily hear them. This one landed in the tree right in front of me.

There wasn’t many birds at the feeders. Only a lone chickadee. I think there’s more food for them out in the wild at this point in the season.

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A hot morning in August

A quiet (swampy) place to reflect. Just ignore the Beware of Alligators sign on the right.

This one was watching me as he cruised in front of the dock.

I found a few wood ducks in front of the dock at Chesnut Park.

Young cardinals were all over the park. They were all pretty scruffy looking, not having gotten their adults feathers in all the way yet.

A limpkin trying to hide behind some weeks.

The little chickadees were so cute. There were a lot of them here in early August. I saw my first one here at this park more than 10 years ago and then didn’t see any for a long time. Now I’ve seen a few around on most of my visits in the past few years.

After leaving Chesnut Park and heading home, I stopped at a small park nearby on the bay to see if anything was around the fishing pier. I had fun watching this dog romp around in the low tide. He stuck his tongue in the water for a drink but he did not like that salty water.

The one that got away. After taking a bunch of pictures of the dog in the water, I look up and see the back of an eagle heading the other way. I’ll have to keep an eye out here during the winter to see if there’s a nest nearby.

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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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