Some of the ducks at Crescent Lake Park near downtown St. Pete. That grebe was here in June. He should have been up north for the summer. Maybe some of the grebes stay all year round. Normally they are only here in the winter.
The wild parakeets nest in the water tower near the park. I was able to catch them right along the lake in the trees and feeding right on the ground.
Other usually birds at the park.
Checking me out. No snacks for him.
A beautiful tree across the street.
Views from the park. I always love this view. Seeing the fish water tower in front of the few tall buildings in downtown St. Pete. As I’m coming around the corner at the far end of the park I always remember to turn around.
Anhingas are like clowns. They have the funniest personalities, that is when they are not half asleep drying their wings out. They sway their head back and forth and honk when you walk by. The males have a black neck and the females have a brown or beige neck. I think that last one was yawning.
Egrets along the trail. A snowy, cattle and a great egret in the last one above.
Other birds along the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve in early January were a limpkin looking for food, a grebe doing his yoga stretch, a glossy ibis glowing in the sun and a hawk looking out over his domain.
And one of the hundreds of blue-gray gnatcatchers.
This little moorhen was walking along the trail with someone.
Cormorants and anhingas drying off in the sun. The first bird in the top picture is an anhinga. The rest are cormorants. Anhingas have a straight beak and spear their fish. Cormorants have a curved beak and hook their fish.
Threes a crowd.
All taken at Lake Morton and Lake Mirror in downtown Lakeland. The small lakes are just a few minutes apart so it’s easy to do quick walks around both before heading home.
The barred owls have been hanging out next to the parking lot for a while now.
The reserve is full of green herons. They are now a usual suspect.
Along with male anhingas showing off.
And the glossy ibis sparkling in the sun are a dime a dozen.
The cute pied grebes aren’t as skittish as they use to be.
There’s always snowy egrets in a body of water.
Now I see purple gallinules every time I walk Alligator Alley trail.
Even a great blue heron baby in the nest during spring is common here.
Seeing a bald eagle somewhere in the park is pretty common, even if its way up high half hidden in a cypress tree.
But I still love walking the trails at Circle B Bar Reserve and seeing all of the above every time I’m here. Even when it gets crowded on the weekends. I just get there a little earlier and leave before lunch when the crowd starts coming in.
The lake was full of coots down from the north for the winter.
This guy was right over my car. I took this hanging out the window.
“Stop lady, don’t drive into the lake” said the great blue heron.
The black bellied whistlers near the end of the drive stayed far out in the marsh.
This lady anhinga had a big gulp.
These big guys were all along the drive. I stopped the car and got out to take these but they were actually across the water.
There’s a lake north of Orlando that has a driving trail along the north shore. I decided to take my sister up there when she was here over the holidays. It was a good way to get out with doing a lot of walking. She had foot surgery recently so she wasn’t up for a long walk. We drove an hour and a half on the Saturday after Christmas to get there early that morning. At first there wasn’t too many cars there but the closer to lunch it got, the more cars were on the drive. I did see a few more birds than the ones above but only got distant blurry shots of a northern harrier, several bald eagles, a merlin and lots of tiny birds far out in the marsh.
This guy has been hanging around this branch for a while now. Hoping for great blue herons this winter. Last year he built a nest but no luck with babies.
The usual Carolina wren.
What a cutie! The tufted titmouse was singing up a storm. Thanks to Vicki for the correct ID. I was writing this in a hurry and marked this as a gnatcatcher. Titmouse are common in this park. People feed them so they get close looking to see if you have some seed for them.
A grebe floating near the dock.
I saw this hawk right next to a picnic shelter. He had no intention of leaving just because I was there.
Not great lighting but I saw this very young bald eagle high up in a tree across the lake right as he was taking off.
My first common goldeneye from very far away. I had to stand on a picnic table to catch him when he swam away from the tall reeds in front of the lake. This was taken with my 300mm lens and extremely cropped up. Bad shot but at least I can add him to my list. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of one being in the area.
These little grebes were looking at me like I was crazy. Standing in the drizzle looking for a duck.
After a while, the clouds started to disappear. This kingfisher was watching me watching him.
Now watching me on a pole in the lake.
This spoonbill agreed with the grebes. I think he was laughing at me.
Moorhen with the big yellow feet.
The goldeneye had been reported for a few weeks at the lake that Boyd Hill Nature Preserve sits on. It was across the lake from the park at a boat ramp. I finally made it over there in late January. It had been raining and I almost didn’t go. Luckily it stopped raining and the sun came out. I’m glad I braved the weather since now I have a new duck for my list!