And he’s off, flying like the eagle that he is. 48 days from the first time I saw the baby eagle sitting up in the nest to the day I saw him flying. He was probably flying a few days before and I just missed it but it was great to see him taking those first flights.
He flew down the field to the next set of utility towers. One of the parents was sitting in the tower next to him. He landed on a the tower briefly and then flew over to the parent.
I could hear him screaming and I think he was telling his parent to go get him some food. The parent may have been trying to get him to follow him to hunt but I don’t think Junior was ready at this point. When the parent took off Junior flew back to the nest tower.
He came back and landed on the top of the tower.
I saw one of the parents flying by through the trees.
Junior landed back on the nest and waiting for his breakfast. He must have been hungry because it looked like he was chewing on a stick or maybe playing with it.
Someone was watching me from the field.
There are always a lot of red bellied woodpeckers in the trees at the eagle’s nest and this morning I got a brief glimpse of a great crested flycatcher.
I was looking for little critters while I waited for the eagle parent to bring Junior his breakfast but it got late and I had to run some errands so I left.
I was looking out the back door and saw the above great egret in the yard. He saw me standing there and walked up close to the door. Someone nearby has been feeding him because he was looking for a handout. I took the first shot with my phone through the door and then went and got my camera. I slowly cracked open the door and he perked up, probably thinking I was coming out with a snack. I shot the above with my camera and then closed the door. He eventually left.
In mid-April I saw a Carolina wren in the backyard with 2 young ones. The 2 juveniles were bouncing around the yard, following Mom and still being fed by her. They must have just left the nest because they were bouncing and hopping around more than flying. I ran out with my camera as they passed my yard and headed into my neighbor’s yard.
Butterflies are regular visitors on the lantana plant.
It was getting dark and I was watering the plants and I heard the above great crested flycatcher right above me. I ran in and got my camera but it was so dark.
I hadn’t seen any bluebirds for a while and was thinking they were nesting in my neighbor’s nest box but then I saw a few in the backyard and one was getting nesting material in front of my window so some of them may still be working on a nest.
I’m glad someone is using my nest box.
We were still in an extreme drought and the pond down the street was almost dry. There was just a tiny bit of water in the middle. Some type of piping was exposed (it might have been thrown in there by a neighbor years ago). I was heading out for a bike ride and saw the spoonbill in the pond so I had to stop and take some pictures.
A juvenile little blue heron and a great blue heron were looking for snacks as well.
We are starting to get those summer sky colors right before dark but still no rain.
It was the end of March and the late baby eagles in my neighborhood were still not flying yet.
I heard Mom screaming and realized that another juvenile (from the nest at the other end of the neighborhood) was cruising over the nest and trying to land. Mom chased off the intruder and landed back on the nest tower. The nest far over on the other end of the neighborhood was several weeks ahead of this nest. Those babies were already flying and this one came looking for an extra meal.
After the intruder left Mom sat there and screamed for a while. I guess she was calling for her mate. The mate flew in and they both sat there for a few minutes. They were on the other end of the tower and it’s was tough to see both of them together.
All of a sudden they started mating. I’ve read that they stress mate even while they still have babies.
After the eagles calmed down I started looking around and saw this woodpecker with a snack on the fence.
A great crested flycatcher and a palm warbler landed in the trees I was sitting under.
I heard some screaming and realized some monk parakeets had flown into the bottle brush trees next to the fence. They were eating the seed off the brushes.
Across the field a squirrel was eating what looked like a big mushroom.
Usual visitors to the backyard including a Carolina wren, a titmouse, a chickadee and a very young bluebird.
I caught a great crested flycatcher getting a drink at the bird bath. You can see a little bit of orange in her tail feathers in the bottom picture.
Brett yelled from upstairs (I was in the kitchen) “Look out the back window.” I grabbed my camera and ran outside to get a shot of this guy on the fairway. Even though my camera was in my backpack in the closet, as soon as I ran outside the lens fogged up. I stood there for a few minutes and then this was the only shot I got before some golfers came through and he took off.
Caution – beetle porn. I saw these 2 on the window sill and had to go out and get a shot. The green beetles are native to Florida and are harmless.
My jaw dropped when I saw this out of the back window. I took this shot from inside as they cruised across our little backyard.
As they were leaving the yard I ran outside and got the above. They made their way down the back of our townhomes, towards the woods at the end. What a treat to have 5 baby turkeys in your backyard
We’ve had some beautiful skies in June. This was looking across the fairway before the storm hit.
Later I was peeking out the window and caught this lightning with my phone.
Sunset across the street.
These were all blooming on my neighbor’s wall. We share a courtyard.
I was coming back from the mailbox and this bunny was in our yard. I couldn’t believe he was still there when I went in and got my camera and came back out. I’ve been seeing one every couple of days. I wonder if it’s the same one. I call him Peter.
The usual visitors in the backyard. All taken through the window.
I finally got a shot of a great crested flycatcher. I’ve been hearing them calling for months but they always stay high up in the trees. One morning I was sitting outside and had my camera with me and was able to catch him.
Baby bluebird was yelling at Mom to feed him (or her). Taken through the window, they were far out on the golf course.
A bluebird greated me when I got to Felts Preserve in late April. I was still on my quest to look for migrating birds so I thought I would make the drive down south of St. Pete to see if any were here. There are bluebird nesting boxes around the preserve so I wasn’t surprised to see one but I didn’t see any young ones.
There were several great crested flycatchers hanging out on the blue martin bird houses. I wonder if the flycatchers use them. I didn’t see them going in the houses.
There were a lot of indigo buntings hanging around the feeders. Other than the buntings, this spring migration was turning into a bust.
After I left Felts Preserve, I stopped by Sawgrass Lake Park on the way to see if there were any migrating birds there. None there as well but I did catch some tiny flying critters around the small butterfly garden.
One late day after work in July I hopped in the car and headed to Chesnut Park to see if there were any baby deer in the park. It had been drizzling late that day which usually means the park is quiet and the deer come out of the woods with their babies. Of course the sun came out right when I got to there so it was hot and steamy. I noticed this soft shell turtle walking around by a parking lot.
When I got out of the car to take the picture of the turtle, these two downy woodpeckers flew right into the tree in front of my car.
I originally wasn’t going to walk around if I didn’t see any deer since it was so hot but I saw some birds flying around the bridge over the pond so I walked over for a few minutes and caught the above yellow throated warbler.
This young parula was also on the bridge.
As well as the above young great crested flycatcher. I know they nest somewhere around this area of the park but I’ve never been able to find a nest.
In the back of the park I found a lady feeding the deer some apples and carrots. She was telling me how skinny she thought they looked. She said the deer up north where she lives in the winter were much bigger and hefty. I’m assuming she’s looking at mule deer in the winter which probably are bigger than our white tailed deer here in Florida. She had seen a baby deer earlier in the week so there was at least one there but I couldn’t find him on this night. I’ll keep looking.
Birds at Chesnut Park in early May. A young great crested flycatcher, a rare bluebird (I’ve heard they nest here but I hardly ever see them), the usual titmouse and a Carolina Wren (this was one a a juvenile).
Plants around the butterfly garden.
No butterflies but a dragonfly in the garden.
A blue gray gnatchatcher sitting on a nest high up in a tree. The nest was smaller than a baseball. I didn’t see it on my own. Joe, who’s usually there on Saturday mornings with a scope, pointed him out to me.
Animal footprints in the muck under the boardwalk.
The view from the dock. This use to be all water under the dock and now the vegetation has grown all around this corner of the lake so there aren’t any ducks here anymore. There use to be wood ducks, storks and limpkins here, Now I only see moorhens hiding in the leaves.
Cardinal families were all over the park. Lots of very young ones born this spring. The young ones look scruffy with their adult feathers coming in.
There were also Carolina wrens everywhere.
The best find was the great crested flycatcher families. I saw two different ones at opposite ends of the park. Both had juveniles that didn’t quite have their adult feathers in. I don’t see these often. They stayed high up in the trees and don’t get close to look for a handout like the resident birds do.
I don’t think this eastern towhee liked me watching him eat. He was eating bird seed that had fallen to the ground from the feeder.
The blue jays were hogging the feeder.
The carolina wren was checking things out.
The cardinal came and sat down beside me on the bench, waiting for his turn at the feeder.
A bird I don’t see very often, the Great Crested Flycatcher was high up in a tree and of course, I had to take this picture right into the sun.
Squirrels were also eating the fallen seed under the feeder.
The northern flickers had taken over an old pileated woodpecker nest. It was too early for babies when I was here in mid April.
Just a few of the birds I saw at Bok Tower Gardens in central Florida. Last year I had seen a lot of hummingbirds around the fire bushes by the old historic house. This year I headed straight for those bushes and all of this construction was going on in the gardens so no hummingbirds this year.