All of the critters were feasting.

The usual things to see at Possum Branch Preserve.

Alligators are also usual things there. That alligator in the first one thinks that grass is hiding him. That alligator coming up behind him knew he was there.

There were no spring migrating birds feeding in the mulberry tree but the woodpecker was getting his fill.

This female red winged blackbird had 2 snacks, a caterpillar and a dragonfly.

Another usual suspect here is a brown thrasher.

Not a usual suspect in the mulberry trees right before I left.  A small flock of cedar waxwings landed on the back side of the tree. I’ve seen them here once before several years ago. It was hard to get shots of them on the back side of the tree that backs up to the pond full of gators. Standing under the tree I could see several at the top with their faces covered in berry juice. They are such an elegant bird, always so clean. I felt like I should have offered them a napkin but I left them to their mulberry buffet.

My Corner of the World

The bird rookery

Catching a little blue heron lift off.

Snowy egrets were showing off.

Baby great egrets were screaming for Mom to feed them.

The sky over the Tampa rookery was busy in early April. It was like standing at the airport during the holidays watching the planes take off.

The cormarants and anhingas are usually high up in the trees but I saw this anhinga sitting on a nest low on the other side of the rookery.

There were many other birds at the rookery besides the usual egrets and herons. A night heron, a female red winged blackbird and a catbird were also sighted. I was excited to see the glossy ibis here in the bottom picture but it looked like the couple was working on a nest on the backside of the rookery so seeing little glossy babies is a slim chance.

More from my drive along Lake Apopka.

I rarely see baby purple gallinules. They are very skittish. I caught this little one running in between the reeds. Look at those big yellow feet!

The parents were close by.

Two juvenile common gallinules (or moorhens) hanging out.

The only birds I saw along the drive were common ones.

Turkey vultures are also common along the drive but it’s not often you get to see one up close and with a snack.

Young tree swallows perching on the utility wire. It’s rare to see these guys resting.

Another common site along the drive, an anhinga with a fish.

A beautiful morning to be out.

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Rare birds and common ones

I hadn’t seen cedar waxwings in years. They are somewhat rare here and only a few come through during spring migration. I saw one hiding deep in the bushes and was a little bummed he was not visible. Later in my walk a flock of them quickly flew by and one stopped for a few second right in front of me. They are beautiful birds.

A rare western kingbird. I’ve only seen these once before in the area in the last 9 years. At first I thought it was a great crested flycatcher which are more common but realized later it was a kingbird.

All of the usual birds that are at Possum Branch Preserve.

Not sure what this little yellow bird it. I’m thinking it’s an immature palm warbler.

Other little critters along the lake (besides alligators).

These were all taken at Possum Branch Preserve, a small watershed, near my home in mid-April.

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Two parks in one morning.

A starling peeking out of what was probably a former woodpecker nest.

Thanks to Ken at Rosyfinch Ramblings for the ID on the above Orange crowned warbler. A first for me.

Little birds at Hammock Park.

A small wood stork party at Possum Branch Preserve.

Typical great egret shot but I noticed after I cropped it up that he’s missing part of his upper beak.

I started out at Hammock Park, a small park in Dunedin that I had not been before. After walking around for an hour and seeing very little, I left there and stopped at Possum Branch Preserve for a walk before heading home.

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My favorite little birds.

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My favorite little titmouse coming to check me out.

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My next favorite blue-gray gnatcatchers. They would be my favorite but they are so annoying the way they don’t sit still for a second.

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Other usual birds at the park: white eyed vireo, cardinal, eastern phoebe, female red winged blackbird and the always present red bellied woodpecker.

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It’s hard to ignore the cute squirrels.

Stuff at Chesnut Park in early January.

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Lots of little birds and a few big ones

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Black and white warblers are hard to get. They stay close to the trunk in the shade.

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Downy woodpeckers usually let you get pretty close.

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Yellow throated warblers always stay up high. This one was hiding under a palm leaf.

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I’m not sure what this one is just from this picture. Looks a little light underneath to be a palm warbler but too pale to be a pine warbler (which was reported in this area).

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A female black and white warbler. She was curious, checking me out (or probably looking for a handout).

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Blue-gray gnatcatcher with a tiny bug.

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Female red-winged blackbirds are pretty. They have just a little bit of peach around the face.

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A little blue heron in the middle of a pond.

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You could just barely see the great blue heron sitting on the nest high up in the pine tree. So far the last 2 years they haven’t had babies here.

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All the way across the lake, I could see the eagle couple up in a tree.

An early January walk at Chesnut Park.

Saturday's Critters