Two parks in the morning.

Birds on a wire. Crazy black hooded parakeets staring down at me.

Although we have butterflies all year round here in central Florida, they are rare to find in the winter. Now more are showing up since it was warming up in late February.

Skimming the surface, looking for snacks on the water.

I rarely see Cooper’s hawks. This one was hiding off the trail.

Always fun to see the turtles. People feed them here so they are not shy.

A northern parula signing his heart out.

Limpkin with a snack.

Off the boardwalk, taken with my phone.

After leaving Largo Nature Preserve in late February I stopped by Kapok Park on the way home. It was quiet and not many birds around. I had not been here in a long time. The small lake here is lined with cypress trees which turn orange in the fall. I always forget to come here to get pictures of them. By now all of the cypress trees are fully green again but I won’t be seeing them for a while.

SkyWatch Friday

A warm walk in January at Circle B Bar Reserve

Birds flying high.

Black bellied whistling ducks hanging low in the grass, trying to avoid the haws and eagles flying overhead.

A blue headed vireo being cute.

An osprey was sitting on a branch that crossed over the trail. I was trying to make sure he didn’t poop on me while I was trying to take his picture. I’m  not sure what type of fish that was but it had a red tint to it.

 A cooper’s hawk hiding in the bushes across the canal.

Butterflies along the trail in January.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Our World Tuesday Graphic

Random birds and a big baby hawk

DSC_9656

A carolina wren working on a late nest.

DSC_9597

A young cardinal sitting on the boardwalk.

DSC_9592

This male cardinal was deep in the bushes. Not a good picture but it was funny to see him with that caterpillar squished in his beak.

DSC_9587

A grackle on the boardwalk.

DSC_9586

She came over a little closer, checking to see if I had a snack to give her.

DSC_9642

A very young cooper’s hawk. Just starting to leave the nest.

DSC_9643

The nest was a few trees back in the woods. For the last couple of weeks, we could hear the babies screaming for food but it wasn’t until the babies started hopping around and branching closer to the boardwalk that we could see them.

DSC_9636

A great egret flies by the boardwalk with a snack.

Besides all of the little critters and four-legged ones, there were a few birds at Chesnut Park in mid-July. Nothing unusual but it was great to the see the baby cooper’s hawk after hearing them scream for weeks and not being able to see them from the nest.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Critters at Chesnut Park.

DSC_8845 DSC_8862 DSC_8960

Some of the summer birds at Chesnut Park in mid-June.

DSC_8989

I don’t see Cooper’s hawks that often. This one was watching his nest, far into the woods. We couldn’t see the babies but we could hear them crying for food.

DSC_8973

DSC_9007

Not great shots but I couldn’t resist. The above two shots are of a blue-gray gnatcatcher nest high up in a tree. It looked like a golf ball from the naked eye. I think there were 3 babies on the nest. By the time you could see them, they were outgrowing the nest. These are extremely zoomed in and cropped. Thanks to Joe with his scope that knows every bird that is born at the park.

DSC_8958

DSC_8869

Even smaller critters have taken over. Grasshoppers and butterflies were everywhere.

DSC_8855

DSC_8861

This little beauty had deer flies on her face. They are worse than mosquitos.

IMG_3243

Taken with my phone, a shot of the swamp from the boardwalk.

Hawks, woodpeckers and a lubber

DSC_7760

A Cooper’s hawk sitting near his nest. The babies were too small to see them when I took this. The nest was pretty far back off the boardwalk.

DSC_7768

DSC_7774

Juvenile red shoulder hawks were finally big enough to move around off the nest.

DSC_7745

DSC_7684

A pileated woodpecker and a downy woodpecker were both looking for bugs. The downy already had a snack.

DSC_7667

DSC_7731

Tufted titmouse live in the park all year round.

DSC_7713

Grasshoppers were starting to invade the park. This one is a baby lubber. He’ll turn all yellow when he grows up.

DSC_7707

DSC_7697

Bunnies at the park.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

A hawk watching a baseball game.

DSC_2831

I stopped by the baseball park by my house on the way home from hiking one morning to see if I could see any monk parakeets hanging around. I hear them screaming when I’m driving by in the morning. They were there but up and hiding in the nests they have on the lights. I think they were trying to stay warm. As I was getting in my car I saw this strapping young hawk sitting on the fence in the outfield. There were people on the field practicing but he didn’t seem to mind. I guess he was watching the game.

DSC_2834

He was checking something out on the grass.

DSC_2835

All of a sudden, he swoops down to the ground and starts pecking at something.

DSC_2838

He’s got a snack in the middle of those weeds he pulled up but I couldn’t tell what it was.

DSC_2841

He took his snack back up on the fence. I guess he didn’t want to miss a play.

DSC_2840

A few crows flew close by checking out his snack. He turned his head when he swallowed it quickly so I missed that shot.

DSC_2845

Back to watching the ball game. I wonder if this is the same cooper’s hawk that had the squirrel in my neighbor’s tree recently. I don’t see many cooper’s hawks around our neighborhood. He’s a beautiful young one.

Camera Critters

Backyard dinner – Skywatch Friday

DSC_0655

I saw the above eastern phoebe sitting on my neighbor’s fence and went out the side door to see if I could get a shot from the side of the house. They are usually pretty skittish but this one let me get the above shot.

DSC_0672

I walked out on the dock and a laughing gull flew over my head.

DSC_0664

I was about to go back in the house when I saw the above standing in my neighbor’s yard.

DSC_0699

All of a sudden the cooper’s hawk flew into a low branch with a squirrel in his foot.

DSC_0687

A crow flew close by and hawk was yelling at him to stay away.

DSC_0702

Then he started to chow down. Poor squirrel.

DSC_0706

He would take a bite and then look around. He started staring at me so I went inside. I didn’t want to watch him finish off that poor squirrel.

DSC_0966

Later that night the sky had beautiful pink and orange clouds so I went outside and took the above in the backyard.

This was the first time I have seen a cooper’s hawk in our neighborhood. We have a lot of red shoulder hawks flying around. I probably wouldn’t have seen him if I hadn’t gone out to take a picture of the phoebe.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday