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

A new park for me

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I found a sleepy yellow crowned night heron snoozing in a tree along the boardwalk. He was sleeping right next to an empty nest. Hopefully, he’s planning to use it soon. He was looking pretty grumpy.

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Yes, another blue-gray gnatcatcher.

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Female red-winged blackbird in the bush.

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Another one on the ground along the boardwalk.

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Yellow rumped warbler posing for me. Why are these the only ones that like to show off?

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Pretty green feathers on the male mallard. Mating season has begun.

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I found this lone female hooded merganser hanging out with a mallard couple. She was asleep on my first lap around the park. She was just floating along the creek.

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On my 2nd lap around the park, she was awake and watching me.

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She started to dive for food and did not seem to care if I was around.

I’ve been by the golf driving range in Largo a million times. I did not realize there was a park behind it. It’s a small park but has a nice layout. On one side is the driving range. Another side has a small creek with a golf course across from it. The third side is the same creek around the bend with houses across from it. There are several paved paths and a nice boardwalk around a very small pond. It was cold the morning I headed over. Practically freezing here at a chilly 48 degrees! But, the sun was out and it warmed up fast. I had heard there were cedar waxwings hanging around the park. I saw them there but they were far away on the other side of the creek into the sun. I walked two laps around the park and saw them later fly overhead. Off into the yonder. Oh well, I’ll try to head over there again before they leave for spring.