A new bird in my backyard

My neighbors planted payaya trees on the side of the house and this little phoebe has been hanging out on the fence in front of the trees. I can see him when I’m working in the back bedroom (which for now is my “work from home” room). One day I got up and grabbed my camera and shot the above through the window. He’s gone for the summer now so I won’t see him again until September or October.

Even though cardinals are common, I don’t see them often at my feeder.

A red bellied woodpecker has been coming to the feeder every day. He’s picking out the peanuts. You can see his red belly in the first picture.

For several weeks we had a grumpy looking great blue heron on our dock or our neighbor’s dock.

This duck couple stops by every couple of days. They nap in our backyard.

A new bird to the backyard. I went outside to put food in the feeder early one morning in February and noticed a small bird sitting on my neighbor’s sailboat mast. Once in a while we get an osprey or red shoulder hawk sitting up there but this bird was much smaller. I realized it was a kestrel and ran inside and grabbed my camera and walked out on the dock and he was still sitting there while I took his picture. Then a crow came by and chased him off. I don’t see kestrels often, usually at Fort Desoto so I was surprised to see him here.

Starlings took over our tree right before dark.

Things in the backyard including some weird fungus growing in our mulch after a long rain. We often get small mushrooms in the grass after a rain but this orange thing was a first. Being the nerd that I am, I looked it up and it’s a columned stinkhorn.  It’s common in Florida in mulch beds and it’s suppose to smell horrible if you break it.  Luckily I left it there and it’s gone now. I wonder if an animal ate it.

No one around at Sawgrass Lake Park.

Green herons are everywhere.

This guy was too cute not to stop and snap a picture.

Wondering what this white fuzz is growing on the tree? Some kind of fungus?

I found some bushes that were covered in grasshoppers. The invasion has begun.

There are several endangered gopher tortoises living in the park.

More “just being outside” shots from a quiet corner of Sawgrass Lake Park in late April.

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Wildlife in “The Burg”

There’s always lots of fun critters at Crescent Lake park near downtown St. Pete.

I caught this ibis trying to eat a frog in the middle of the road.

The fungus on this old tree looks like icing on a cake.

I found a few white pelicans floating around the downtown St. Pete sea wall.

Things at the small beach area on the bay side of St. Petersburg (know as The Burg) in late December.

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Things that grow on trees and trees that grow on things.

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I recently started to notice all of the random things that grow on trees that I don’t think were originally part of the tree. Lots of moss, lichen, fungus and vines using them to survive on.  Some things are weird, like the white blob that looks like a big cotton ball. Does anyone know what that is?  These were all taken at Chesnut Park.

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Then there are trees that grow on things.  There are several trees right along the boardwalk that have molded themselves into the railing.

Fun things at Chesnut Park

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Showing off his snack.

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An eagle was sitting high up in a pine tree right over my head.

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It’s always fun to watch the birds swaying on the reeds.

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Other things I found growing around the park including the pink lichen on the tree.

DSC_3336One of the resident gators.

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Dark clouds started moving in as I was across the park. I was heading back to my car when it started sprinkling. Luckily, I had my little umbrella in my backpack so I pulled it out and headed back to the parking lot.  Halfway back to my car the bottom fell out. When I came out of the trail and into the parking lot, people were sitting in their cars watching me as I walked across with my tiny umbrella.  I completely soaked from the waist down. At least it cooled off.

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In the swamp

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Things I saw on a recent trip to Chesnut Park. The alligator picture was taken through the slats of the boardwalk rail so he wasn’t that close. The little bird in the bush is a great crested flycatcher.  He was across the pond so it was extremely zoomed in and cropped. I rarely see them so it was a decent find for the day.

Shine the Divine