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.

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The usual dragonfly on a stick shot.

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Same as above but blue.

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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?

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

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A dove resting on the mulch.

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

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A young mockingbird looking for food.

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

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A young grackle screaming for mom to feed him.

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

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Bunny having a snack.

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Pretty things hanging off the plant.

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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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I think this was a female blackburnian warbler.

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Another “little yellow” bird.

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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

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Probably the parent, watching from the boat dock.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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

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Starlings resting on my dock.

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I always have doves on my feeder.

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

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This great egret was walking around the front yard.

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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.

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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.

Backyard critters

Dove sees me in the dining room window.

House finches getting a bite. The female is looking at me.

Now she’s chowing down.

I head outside to fill the bird feeder and see these two hooded mergansers swimming away from my neighbor’s dock. They do not hang around to be fed. They take off as soon as they see anybody in their yard. They’re still hanging around but soon they will head back up north.

 Spotted sandpiper sitting on my neighbor’s dock farther down.

When the tide is really low in our corner of the channel you can see the sand. It looks dark from the oyster beds. I have never seen fiddler crabs around our area before. The tiny corner of sand was full of these crabs. I took this from our dock when I was trying to get a picture of the sandpiper so it was a little far away. I didn’t want to get in the water and walk over to the spot.

Just a few things from our yard last weekend. I’m having trouble getting decent pictures of the birds on the bird feeder through the dining room window compared to when I had it in the tree farther away. Since the tree is now gone, I moved the feeder to a stake and put it closer to the bushes in front of the window. I wonder if it’s too close and I can’t seem to cut the glare. I didn’t want to move it too far back and leave it out in the middle of the yard not close to any bushes. I really miss that big old dead grapefruit tree. It housed so many birds. My hubby wants to put palm trees in it’s place. I’m not loving that idea but since he’s going to do all the work I said “Go for it.”