Baby birds growing up

I made it to the rookery in north Tampa in early June for my last trip of the nesting season. I wasn’t sure if there would still be any babies at this point or would they all be grown up by now. The first thing I saw at the edge of the pond was this tiny gator trying to hide in the vegetation. Even though he was small I still kept my eye on him while I was there.

This cattle egret looks like he has a boo boo on his face.  Hopefully it’s just superficial and heals. Maybe he got it in a fight with another egret?

The baby anhingas were already fully grown.

There were still a few little blue herons flirting so there may still be some babies later.

A baby night heron emerged from deep in the bushes.

These flowers were growing all over the rookery as well as along the woods next to street. The ants seemed to be enjoying them.

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Pretty colors in the spring

Luckily not many people thought the Botanical Gardens in Largo were still open.  There was almost no one there in late April. I could sit quietly in the butterfly garden without people walking in front of me scaring away the butterflies.

I sat for a while hoping to see a hummingbird but there was no sight of any. I got the next best thing. A clearwing hummingbird moth buzzing around right next to me. This is the only place I’ve seen them before. They hover and feed like hummingbirds, not landing on the flower and then zip away to rest.

Still working on getting that perfect magnolia picture.

Some type of hawk was flying high up in the sky. This is extremely cropped. I couldn’t make out what it was but I don’t think it was a red shoulder. Might be a cooper’s hawk with that dark head.

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Lunchtime in the backyard

My internet was down and I had just finished lunch,  The weather was cool and I knew there wouldn’t be many more days like this so I grabbed by camera and macro lens and went outside for a quick walk around the yard. All of the shots were taken in my yard including the purple flower which I realized as I got up close that it was covered in little green bugs. The red spider is a spiny orb weaver and is harmless.

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Pretty things in early April

Blooming things at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

Critters at the gardens.

Baby moorhens are popping up everywhere now.

Yes, the botanical gardens were open during the “Stay At Home” phase. Lucky for me most people must have thought they were closed because there was only a few other people there. Lots of space to move around in.

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Flowers and bugs

Color coming out in early April at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. Yes, the gardens were open during the big shut down. I went around 8am and there were very few people there. Most probably thought it was closed. It was nice to walk around in the quiet garden.

Watching these crazy parakeets getting sticks for their nests.

Not many birds in early April. The usual blue jays and wood duck couples. The wood ducks usually have babies here in the summer but they go into hiding and it’s hit or miss seeing them here.

Caterpillars were on the milkweed but those pesky milkweed bugs were taking over.

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Along the sidewalk

Now that I’m working from home, I’ve been taking a short walk in my neighborhood early in the morning before starting work. The weather has been cool in the mornings so I wanted to take advantage of that before the heat and humidity sets in. I’ve been taking pictures of the flowers along my walk with my phone. It sure beats sitting in traffic.

On a cloudy morning, an osprey was eating breakfast on a light pole on my street.

This cute mallard mom started with 7 babies but she is now down to 6.

This muscovy mom started with 20 babies and now has 2.

The sun was just coming up as I headed out.

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Bright colors and cool metals

Flowers blooming at the end of February. Spring was already here.

There were a lot of inchworms at the botanical gardens as well so they seem to have invaded the Tampa Bay area. I don’t ever remember seeing so many at one time.

I found this chickadee gathering nest material.

New metal sculptures made from recycled materials. The fish was my favorite.

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Owls and inchworms

I got to the park right before dark and saw Papa owl flying over to a tall tree along the water. He hung out there for a while, preening and stretching. I guess he had just gotten up from a long afternoon nap. Soon he would be taking off to go get dinner for the nest.

Mom stayed on the tree near the nest. The baby was big enough at this point to sit alone on the nest but Mom always stays close by.

There seemed to be an inchworm infestation at the park. They were dripping from the trees. We were walking around the shelters near the trees and realized that we were covered in them. Although they are harmless it was a little creepy having them in my hair and on my shirt. We were pulling them off each other and then learned to walk around the trees and to keep an eye out for them. This was in February back when we could stand close together.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters.

Up close on a rainy day.

Playing around with my macro lens in the house on a rainy morning in February.

We have hibiscus bushes growing on the side of our house but I rarely bring them inside. I need to do that more often. They only last a day though.

Up close with some new shells. Our glass stove top gives off a nice reflection.

Turning the lens on my own birds.  Buddy on top (he’s 27 years old) and Harley in the bottom 2 (he’s 5). Harley used to be terrified of the camera so I would only take pictures of Buddy up close but now he sings for it.

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