The welcoming committee

The welcoming committee at Chinsegut Wildlife Area. This is the 3rd time I’ve seen these sandhill cranes hanging around the nature center. One is a juvenile and didn’t quite have the red on his face this past summer. It’s great to see the family is still together. I’m assuming they nest somewhere  on the lake here.

Later when I was leaving they were hanging around the parking area and I snapped this with my phone.

I’m sure these are some type of weed but they were really pretty along the trail.

It was foggy when I first got there but wore off as the sun got higher.

SkyWatch Friday

A walk in the woods

The one that got away. I was walking down the back trail at Chinsegut Wildlife area and I hear a noise in the woods. Several deer were cutting across the trail way ahead of me and I just caught this buck peeking back at me before he took off into the woods.

I love coming here and seeing all of the red headed woodpeckers. They are everywhere here. And, this spring I AM going to get back up here to look for some woodpecker nests.

Another amazing thing about this place is that I was standing in one spot on the trail near the nature center and saw 4 different species of woodpeckers. Without moving I was able to get pictures of red heads and then I saw a downy, a red bellied and then a pileated. They were all hanging around the same area at the same time.

Of course I saw tons of pine warblers.

I did see an indigo bunting (either a female or immature male) at the feeder at the nature center.

My first common garter snake sighting. They are harmless and he was warming up in the sunny spot in the grass. I quickly shot this and kept going.

It was starting to look like fall in late December.

My Corner of the World

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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An early morning walk

I left the house in the dark in early October, heading north to Chinsegut Wildlife trail. It’s only an hour away but feels like a completely different place. I made some quick stops along the way, taking shots of the light coming up over the trees and through the fog.

Right before the trail I saw this old building. At first I thought it was a house but it might have been some type of small factory or type of barn. There were trees growing in the middle of the building. I had to stop and get a shot of it. As I was taking some pictures with my phone, some crows flew out of the building. I thought “Is it Halloween already?”

When I got to the conservation center to park the sun was just coming up. I hadn’t been out for a long walk in a while and it felt good to be out in the woods.

Due to a lot of recent rain, things were pretty swampy. I had on a lot of bug spray so I was able to linger a while and listen to the swamp sounds.

It looked a little like fall with a few red leaves but I would suspect that they are really from the trees being so flooded for a while.

I found a sandhill crane family near the parking area and junior was almost grown up. He didn’t quite have a full red head yet though. They walked around for a while, picking off some bird seed in the ground feeder and then eventually headed into the woods.

 

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A trip to Chinsegut.

The bluebirds must nest here at Chinsegut Wildlife Park since there were some very young ones here the morning I visited in mid-May. The 2nd one looks like a juvenile. There were several behind the ranger’s office so I’m thinking next year I need to go earlier and keep an eye out.

It must have also been chickadee day because there were tons of them along the trail. I counted 10 at one point. Not a wide variety of birds here but there were a lot of the few species that were.

This red headed woodpecker couple were following each other around. I think that top one has a snack so maybe the other one was just trying to get the snack. Or, maybe they were still flirting and would be starting a nest soon.

Butterflies were everywhere along the trail. They loved the thistle.

 

The weeds were getting high as the heat was setting in.

I love the trees here but if you walk on the lesser traveled trails, you might get a face full of spider web.

I checked out the other backroom before leaving (they have two unisex ones). This one had an eagle and a great blue heron painted on the wall.

I think this may be my new favortie park. It’s quiet and hardly anyone there early on a Saturday morning. It’s about an hour north from my house but a lot of the parks I visit are at least 45 minutes to an hour so it’s not a bad ride (and I don’t have to get on crazy I4). The park is relatively small (compared to Circle B Bar Reserve where you can walk for 6 or 7 miles) but I like the area. The original owners named it Chinsegut which is an Inuit word for “spirit of lost things”. I don’t think I’ll get too lost though since it’s easy to navigate and there are main roads around it if you walk too far.

SkyWatch Friday

Beautiful red heads

The view during my walk at Chinsegut Wildlife Area in April. Lots of shade walking along the trail.

I saw a couple of red headed woodpeckers go by. One landed in a tree right in front of me. I don’t see them in the Tampa bay area so it was a treat to see several here, only an hour north of Tampa.They have to be one of the prettiest birds around here.

I found one working on a hole. Maybe he’ll nest here.

Later sitting at the nature center I could see one across the field with a bug in his beak. I jumped up and walked over and he caught another bug.

I want to get back here to see if these guys nest. So many birds, so little time.

Hit the ladies room before heading home. The bathroom wall was really fun.

My Corner of the World

 

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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