The backyard in early December

The turkeys were regular visitors to the backyard in early December. One afternoon I saw these 2 looking like they were having a spat. I’m pretty sure they are siblings. Maybe the red head is a male? They were born this spring so they are still pretty young.

Another day I caught them feeding. I think he saw me through the window.

The young doe was also coming by almost every day. She was alone every day until one day I think I saw her with some other females.

One day we had 2 females with a younger deer come by and feed. I was hoping our little Bambi had found some friends.

I heard Harley (our cockatiel) yell his “There’s a hawk in the backyard” scream and I ran over and saw this Cooper’s hawk sitting in the oak tree. I couldn’t get a clear shot of him through the window so I snuck out the back door and was able to get the above. He was not spooked when I walked right up to him. I’m assuming this is the same one that was in our front yard a few months ago.

House finches and pine warblers have been regulars at the feeder and bird bath this winter

I checked in on the neighborhood eagle nest the first week in December. I had been seeing a lone eagle around the neighborhood and this was the first time seeing them both on the nest. I went by right after this and saw a head peak up from the nest but I haven’t seen any other activity. I hope she’s sitting on eggs. I can’t see her from the street so I can’t tell

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The usual visitors

Usual critters in the backyard in late October into early November. Bambi was still hanging around the backyard. Her spots were completely gone by this time.

Another visit from the usual winter visitors. A black and white warbler, bluebird, red bellied woodpecker and a house finch.

I saw this pine warbler hopping around our patio, mostly hiding under the chair.

Another visit from an immature indigo bunting. Maybe they like my backyard. It would be nice if they would come back in April when they are all blue.

Doves don’t get a lot of attention but they do have cool pink feet. And, they always pose so nicely for me.

Visitors at the feeder include a red bellied woodpecker, bluebirds, chickadees, a downy woodpecker and blue jays.

Sitting outside staring up in the trees, looking for birds. I don’t sit out here often because the birds disappear when I go outside. Only the titmouse and chickadees will come to the feeder if I’m out there. Also the mosquitoes will attack even with bug spray on so until this recent cold spell it’s been really buggy out there.

The usual visitors in the backyard

More shots of the single young doe that’s been hanging around our yard for several weeks. She has lost her spots but still seems so tiny. Several times she takes a break under the big oak tree next door. I even caught her sleeping one afternoon. She usually lays there for about half an hour nibbling on the grass and then moves on.

All of the usual birds stopping by in early November.

This is the first time I’ve seen a bluebird at my feeder. They stop by the bird bath but I’ve never seen them on the feeder. They usually eat at my neighbor’s feeder. He uses mealworms.

Four of the seven turkey family walking across the golf course in the backyard (the other 3 were down in the bushes).

My neighbor’s muhly grass looks beautiful in early November. The native grass blooms pink in the fall. It made me miss the ones we had in our backyard in Tampa. We thought about planting some outside of our new (ish) townhome but there isn’t a good sunny spot to put it.

Sunset in the pond across the street. This was in late October. We haven’t seen orange skies since.

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Traffic jam on the trail

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).

Seeing a lot of spots

I had started keeping my camera in the car because you never know what you see driving through the neighborhood on the way home. I was coming home from a late appointment in early September and saw the twins with Mom. I pulled over and took the above from the car. I didn’t want to spook them by getting out. They started making their way towards the woods and that’s when I realized there was another set of twins just down the road.

They were on the other side of the road and these twins looked just a little younger than the first set. Now I know that are there are 2 sets in the neighborhood. Plus I’ve seen 2 Moms with one baby each.

One of the babies went to Mom to start nursing right when another doe came walking up. I was silently screaming “Move” but she didn’t so this is what I got. I still stayed in the car so they wouldn’t all scatter. It was such a treat to see all of these babies from the comfort of my car.

The other doe eventually moved but not without scratching herself first.

After a few minutes the babies went behind some hedges and sat down to rest. I could see them as I turned down the street and stopped to snap the above before heading home.

Deer in the neighborhood

These 2 bucks were grazing along the golf course in our back yard early one morning. I ran outside to shoot the above.

I was coming home from running errands in mid-August and saw these two along the road in my neighborhood. Luckily I had my camera with me so I pulled over and shot these from the car. At first I just saw the one fawn but then the other one came over quickly to see what was going on.

They were right along the golf course and spent some time running around playing. I was afraid I would spook them into the woods so I stayed in the car watching for a while. I’ve spent so many years looking for fawns in different parks around the area and it’s really cool to see them in my new neighborhood.

A busy fawn season

These must be the same deer that are being feed  I was walking on the back trail at Chesnut Park and several deer walked right up to me  I took the above with my phone.

I didn’t find the twins again but there were 2 Moms with one baby each.

Mom taking care of the baby.

I walked down one of the side trails and found this big guy resting.

I’m not sure if this was a Mom and grown baby or siblings but they were so cute preening each other.

Not a deer but a female redstart. I guess fall migration had started with a small trickle of birds coming through.

Eagles, owls and deer, Oh my.

 

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.

Fawn season had begun.

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.

Riding around the neighborhood.

Out for a bike ride this summer, I always stop at this small pond in the neighborhood. I’m sure it’s just a mosquito pit but I always hope to find some critters getting water. Maybe a deer or raccon but no, just mosquitos. I do hear pileated woodpeckers deep in the woods but I have yet to hike through there.

Just down from the pond the ditches are covered in these purple flowers. The frogs were really loud this morning since it had rained most of the night.

I need to get a bumper sticker for my bike that says “I brake for critters”.  I’m not sure what those black vultures were eating. They wouldn’t let me get too close.

Back at home a bad storm was coming so I took the almost empty bird feeder down and left it just outside the back door. Later that day I look out the window and realized the squirrel had knocked it down and was eating the scraps. When he was done he hopped up on the chair and was giving me the eye to come add more food.

 

Our backyard camera picked up this bobcat creeping around at 2:30am. This was our first bobcat sighting in the neighborhood.

Color on the trees in late July.

All was calm before sunset at the lake across the street.

I have to watch where I stand when I’m taking shots of the sunset. The alligator above was on the shore just below me. He’s relatively small but I see him here often.

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