Happy 4th of July!

Brett and I were leaving the house to go out for a drive on Memorial Day. We were heading to the Bay Pines Veterans National Cemetery where my parents are buried for a walk and then to pick up lunch to bring home. Driving out the back way and past some apartments we saw a juvenile eagle sitting on utility box. Of course I yelled for Brett to stop. I had my camera in the car so he pulled over and I was able to get a few shots before the eagle took off. It’s not every day that you have an eagle pooping in your neighborhood.

He circled around over my head and then took off over the tree.

These babies were swimming around below him so he must have been hoping to get one but ended up leaving empty handed. Unless he came back later. There are a lot less babies in this family now.

Every Memorial Day Boy Scout troops put flags on the graves at the cemetery. It’s really impressive (but sad) to drive through and see all of the flags.

A “quicky” before lunch.

I was standing on the edge of the lake at Chesnut Park looking around for ducks when an eagle started circling around me. It landed high in the cypress trees along the lake.

Not a great view but I could still see it through the branches. A juvenile eagle flew by and the adult eagle started screaming.

The young eagle landed in the tree right in front of me, several trees away from where the adult eagle was sitting.

A few minutes later another adult eagle landed into the tree and in a quick moment, mated. I was bummed that I couldn’t get a clear view with so many branches in the way. I would have had to go swimming in the lake to get a better view and there’s a lot of gators in that lake. A few minutes later all of the eagles took off in the other direction and I was standing there like “What just happened?” I’m not sure where they nest at this lake but I had heard over the years that it’s not in a visible location.

Birds at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

Nested season had already started for the great blue herons at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. Some were just starting to work on nests, some were still showing off for their mate and some were already sitting on eggs.

Resident pelicans.

The permanently injured resident white morph great blue heron was showing his breeding colors in his beak.  The colors were really pretty against his white neck.

A caracara yelling at something. It’s rare to see a caracara in the Tampa bay area so this is a new bird for a lot of people They can usually be found more inland in central Florida. unfortunately this bird is here because he was injured out in the wild and lost a wing.

An eagle with a missing wing.

A wild phoebe flew right in front of me and posed so I had to take his picture.

Linking to My Corner of the World.

A turtle convention at the Botanical Gardens

Turtles of all sizes were out basking in the sun in early March.

A beautiful swallowtail posing for me on a blade of grass.

A snowy egret was shuffling his feet trying to scare up a snack while anhingas, both male and females,  were posing all of the gardens.

A young juvenile eagle was flying high up over my head.

Lots of critters at the Florida Botanical Gardens in early March.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Two parks in one morning.

I headed out to Chesnut Park first and saw the usual critters above before heading to Philippe Park nearby.

While waiting for the baby owl to wake up I walked up the small hill that sits on the water. The small hill is a Tocabaga Indian mound and is the largest remaining mound in the Tampa Bay region. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Landmarks. The view is beautiful at the top. While standing there a juvenile eagle flew right over my head.

SkyWatch Friday

Here blurry kitty – Skywatch Friday


“I want to fly like an eagle, to the sea.”


“Fly like an eagle, let my spirit carry me” (by Steve Miller band).


“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.” The only way that will happen is if these guys poop on me as they fly over my head.


“Mellow Yellow.”


“Pretty in pink.”


“When you wish upon a star.”


“Just me … and my shadow.”


I’m thinking this is a red tailed hawk instead of a red shoulder hawk. The red shoulder hawk would have stripes on his tail. Any ideas?


My first real bobcat sighting and I blew it. I was taking pictures of something else, I can’t even remember what it was now, when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. My camera settings were all wrong so all I got is this blurry shot.


By the time I fixed my settings, this was all I got. My first bobcat butt shot!


It was all over in seconds. He headed down into the ditch and I lost sight of him. I looked for him for at least a half hour softly saying “Here kitty.” but no sign of him again.

Eagles and a bobcat in one day. It was a good morning even though my bobcat pictures turned out blurry. The weather was perfect and not many people out on the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve in early November. I’m going to keep going back this winter and looking for that bobcat again.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday

Birds of prey at Fort Desoto – Skywatch Friday


I was in the woods looking for little yellow birds and looked up and saw this kestrel watching me.


Walking down the east beach trail, I interrupted this osprey eating his breakfast.


I said “Relax, I’m not going to steal your stinky fish.”


He still yelled at me. I don’t know why he picked a low branch on a busy trail during a busy spring migration weekend.


He took off and flew around in a circle with his half eaten fish and landed on a higher up branch.


Later that morning I was standing at the north beach roped area and was talking to some other photogs about the shorebirds all flying off and someone yelled “Look over your heads.” Duh, the shorebirds had flushed because the above juvenile bald eagle had just circled the area.


Upclose. We think this is the new baby that was born earlier this year at the park. The eagles nest high up in a utility tower in the park. He circled around the roped off area a few times and then flew over the trees and was gone. I guess he figured those shorebirds were harder to get than he originally thought.

Just a few birds I saw on my morning walk at Fort Desoto in early April.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday

Breakfast with an eagle

I’m sitting on a busy road at a red light when I look over and see a brown thing on a utility pole right on the road. At first glance I thought it was an osprey. I did a double take and realized it was an eagle. Right in front of a fast food restaurant. I pulled into the parking lot. No other cars were there since it was early Saturday morning.

He’s yelling at something. I noticed he had something furry under his foot.

The screaming gets louder. At first I thought he was yelling at me. I was standing back in the parking lot beside my car. Someone had just walked down the sidewalk underneath him but that didn’t seem to bother him. Then I notice what it was.

Another eagle is circling around him. Not sure if it’s his mate or the competition.

Continuing to yell, he makes his stand on his pole.

Then I see a juvenile eagle flying by.

After a few minutes he goes back to his meal. I couldn’t tell what it was. It didn’t look feathery but furry. Maybe a rabbit?

I stand there for a few minutes while he is enjoying his meal. I wonder how many other people are sitting at that red light and don’t even notice there was a bald eagle sitting right there chowing down. Am I the only one that gets so excited seeing an eagle so close? This is a busy intersection with a lot of road construction going on.

Grackles and blackbirds were getting close to the eagle. Are they brave or just stupid to think they could steal the eagle’s meal?

I noticed behind the fast food place was a tall cell phone tower with a big nest in it. I wonder if this was his nest from last winter?

I was on my way to the small botanical gardens in Pinellas County early on a recent Saturday morning when I saw the eagle. When I got to the gardens, a fall festival was just starting and there were already tons of people piling in. I knew I should have checked the event calendar before I left. I didn’t want to fight the crowd so I headed off to a small park close by. Not many birds out but the eagle sighting was totally worth making the 40 minute drive across town. I’ll be heading back there this winter to keep an eye on that nest.

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Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention for