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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Rainbow of birds

I finally got some shots of the painted buntings that have hanging around the nature center at Circle B Bar Reserve.

A lady painted bunting was also present.

A juvenile indigo bunting was eating on the ground.

Other usual birds were the gnatcatcher and the yellow rumped warbler.

Sandhill cranes were around, digging in the dirt for bugs.

Lots of birds flying around.

Across the lake, an eagle sits in a bald cypress tree.

Just a few pretty things at Circle B Bar Reserve in mid-March.

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Pretty things at Lake Morton

Flowers were blooming in early March.

One great blue heron wagging his tongue. The other had his pretty breeding colors on his face. You can see the color difference in the one above that’s not ready for a girlfriend yet.

After a bath.

There’s several fully grown gray swans. Might be a hybrid of the white mute swan and the black swan? They are really pretty.

Baby swan up close.  The original “ugly duckling”.

Looking at the feet of a wood stork. It looks like his toenails are painted.

A quick walk around Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland before lunch. I only found one baby swan and not many swans nesting. Maybe they are nesting late this year.

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Pink cotton candy and marshmellow fluff in the marsh.

Lots of spoonbills in the marsh mixed in with the ibis.

Must have been some good snacks in the marsh this morning I was at Circle B Bar Reserve in late January.

Lots of white pelicans flying overhead but none were landing.

A great blue heron taking off.

I’ve only seen 2 blue wing teals this winter.

This sandhill crane was standing on a nest out in the marsh. I have since heard that this nest did not work but there are other crane couples out there nesting. It would be fun to have crane babies this spring.

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In the backyard in January

Birds in our backyard, They are all regular visitor’s. A great blue heron, an anhinga drying his wings with some seaweed on his beak and a red bellied woodpecker.

Arriving home one day I saw a Cooper’s hawk eating something in my neighbor’s yard. Then later we had a red shoulder hawk on my neighbor’s sailboat mast.

We have a hooded merganser couple that hangs our in our channel during the winter. Every so often he comes close to our dock.

Plants in  the backyard.

The sea fog had rolled in one Sunday morning.

One of the big moon events recently. Taken in the driveway.

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