The usual suspects at Lettuce Lake Park


The parks are full of white eyed vireos and phoebes right now.

“Common” yellowthroats are pretty common as well.

Doves get no respect even though they have pretty pink feet.

Limpkin eating a snail.

These are actually pretty cool bees, although I wouldn’t want to disturb that nest.

Gators and lizards.

Muhly grass in bloom.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World

A walk after work.

DSC_1432

The usual dragonfly on a stick shot.

DSC_1424

Same as above but blue.

DSC_1435

Small alligator in the lake. I’m not sure what that cotton looking stuff is floating on the lake. I’m sure it’s some type of algae?

DSC_1410

This turtle was laying eggs in the bushes along the lake.

DSC_1437

A dove resting on the mulch.

DSC_1415

A juvenile tricolored heron near the boardwalk. He was actually panting from the heat, which makes him look funny straight on.

DSC_1406

A young mockingbird looking for food.

DSC_1387

Two young ducks sticking together while feeding.  Mom was further behind them watching.

DSC_1370

A young grackle screaming for mom to feed him.

DSC_1448

A really small alligator under the boardwalk. You can really see the algae here. It looks like someone threw cotton blankets in the lake.

DSC_1334

Bunny having a snack.

DSC_1401

Pretty things hanging off the plant.

DSC_1396

Iris in bloom. The courtyard at the bell tower was full of these.

DSC_1447

Could you do this?  I watched this guy climb the tree and then trim it with a saw while holding on.  He had a harness on but still, you have to be pretty confident of your footing to do this for a living.

An after work walk around the lake near the office. I was looking for baby black neck stilts but saw a lot of other things as well. I found the babies but will post those later.

Shine the Divine

Birds at the fountain

DSC_6339

DSC_6356

DSC_6367

DSC_6372

DSC_6376

DSC_6378

DSC_6380

A dove in the first picture, the rest is a yellow rumped warbler taking a bath. I was sitting on a bench in the wooded area at Fort Desoto watching the fountain with several other birders. It was a quiet morning and we were hoping something good was going to stop by the fountain for a drink. Meaning an indigo bunting or worm eating warbler. Something we rarely see. After half an hour, all that came by was a common ground dove and a yellow rumped warbler. The warbler did not seem to mind us all sitting there watching him take a bath. He stayed for a while until a crow ran him off. At that point it was time to go home for lunch.

Blurry birds at Sawgrass Lake

DSC_7018

As soon as I got out of my car I snapped this of a dove. He was sitting right in front of me. I thought this may be the only bird I see so I didn’t want to miss it.

DSC_7033

Gnatcatchters have the cutest personalities. I know it’s just a tiny bird but look how cute that face is. He seemed to be curious about me even though he was far away.

DSC_7039

Here’s another one hanging upside down while watching me.

DSC_7042

Another one peeking out between the branches. There were several of them buzzing around high up in the trees next to the parking lot.

DSC_7067

The other birders there told me this was a blackburnian warbler. It looks like from my Stokes Birding Guide. He was really high up in the trees.

DSC_7077

I think this was a female blackburnian warbler.

DSC_7087

Another “little yellow” bird.

DSC_7111

Another fuzzy “little yellow” bird. It has those stripe markings on the front chest.  I went there looking for the Canada warbler that had been sighted there but I don’t think this was it.

DSC_7105

I did get to see a cool snake along the boardwalk.

I headed out to Sawgrass Lake after work in late September to look for the Canada warbler that had been sighted there a few days early. Yes, I know, a needle in a big haystack. When I first got there I ran into two other birders. We looked around in the area it was last spotted. I started taking pictures of other little birds since we could not find the Canada one. The birds there were staying high up in the big trees. The sun was quickly going to down behind the trees and the light was terrible. I spend about 10 minutes taking pictures of the little blue-gray gnatcatchers and then turned around and saw another 10-15 birders had showed up. We were all looking for that one bird. No one saw it that night that we know of . It got dark quickly and I headed home with migrating bird neck pain from staring up in those tall trees.

Camera Critters

July visitors to the backyard

DSC_4799

I came home one Saturday afternoon and saw these juvenile house sparrows eating the weeds in front of the dining room window. The bird seed that has spilled out of the feeder had taken root and we left them to grow for now.

DSC_4809

They were having a feast. I went and grabbed my camera.

DSC_4811

He saw me taking the pictures through window. He flinched for a second but didn’t leave. They stripped the weed down to nothing.

DSC_1831

Probably the parent, watching from the boat dock.

DSC_1850

I noticed this dove on our new palm tree. It was eyeing that lizard climbing up behind him. Taken through the door and the screened porch.

DSC_4823

Looking out the window, I saw a black racer going across the backyard. I hadn’t seen one in a while.

snake

The next day I came home after work and went to get a package on the front porch and saw this snake with his head down a hole next to the sidewalk. It wasn’t moving so I wondered if it had gotten his head stuck earlier that day and died. I threw a piece of mulch at it and it didn’t move. Later I came back out and he was gone so I guess he was just focusing on whatever critter he was trying to get.

sky with birds photo

I went to take the garbage out and dark clouds were moving in. A big flock of crows started flying right over the house.

sky pix

I haven’t been too good with getting storm shots this summer. Things have been crazy at work and I keep forgetting to stop and pay attention to the sky.  One was moving towards our house the night I took this with my iphone in July.

Backyard visitors in January

DSC_7649

Starlings resting on my dock.

DSC_8023

I always have doves on my feeder.

DSC_9761

The hooded merganser couple hanging out in the channel behind our house.

DSC_8026

This great egret was walking around the front yard.

DSC_9772

Recently we’ve been seeing an otter swimming around the channel behind our house. We’ve lived here almost 9 years and this is the first time we’ve seen one here. I keep catching him leaving the channel so all I have are back of the head shots.

DSC_8416

I found this lone female lesser scaup swimming in a small pond at the entrance to our neighborhood. All we’ve ever had in that pond are mallards so it was weird to see her there alone.

Some of the visitors to my neighborhood recently. All shots except for the last one were taken through the windows.

Weekend visitors in the backyard

Every once in while the tide is so low that you can see the sand in the backyard. I walked out on the dock to see if there were any tiny crabs in the sand and I saw the above spotted sandpiper walking around.

Early that morning I looked out the bedroom window when I got out of bed and saw Mr. Grumpy Face sitting on our dock. Taken through the bedroom window.

Our feeder always has ground doves on them. Taken through the dining room window.

Later that morning, Mr. Grumpy Face moved to my neighbor’s sea wall.  Taken through the bedroom window.

A female anhinga was lounging on the dock.

Yea! Our first hooded merganser sighting in the backyard. This was taken Thanksgiving weekend and he’s been hanging around with a lady friend ever since. Last winter we had two couples stay all season. I snuck outside and took this from the side of the house. They are very skittish. They don’t come looking for handouts like the mallards do.

This guy was looking at me like “Lady, what are doing sneaking around in the bushes with that thing in your hand?”.

Check out more pictures at Our World Tuesday  Our World Tuesday Graphic

Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention for