Year round residents at Kapok Park

Kapok Park is a good place to see hawks.  They nest there in the summer and you can usually see several all year round. On this recent visit I saw 3. One landed on a branch in front of me and then flew down to the ground and got a bug.

You can always see limpkins here as well. They are very loud at this park. The one above was busy eating a hearty breakfast.

At first I thought this one was a juvenile due to his light color but I think he might be an adult with lighter feathers. Young limpkins stay pretty dark brown as they grow up.

Blue jay looking for a handout.

Great egret flyby.

SkyWatch Friday

My once a year walk around Kapok Park

I had not been to Kapok Park in over a year.  Not much had changed at this tiny park in the middle of a neighborhood. There wasn’t many birds there.  Every once in a while something fairly rare turns up here but not in a while.  Just a bunch of herons there on my visit (Little blue, great blue and night).

The small lake is full of turtles and they always hang out at the boardwalk since people feed them.

I rarely see alligators there but they ARE there.  Any lake in central Florida is going to have a gator hiding somewhere.

Tiny lizard I saw through the boardwalk.

Pretty plants near the lake.

Yes, these dogs are supposed to be on leashes but they were having so much fun and no one else was around early that morning. I wanted to run and play with them.

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A walk after work

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The lake at Kapok Park are full of turtles. People feed them and they come close to the boardwalk.  Look at those fingernails!


A cute grebe shying away.



The red-winged blackbirds come close the boardwalk as well. Both a male and a female were posing for me.




Moorhens were taking a bath.



A rare sighting at this park. I found a lone purple gallinule under the boardwalk. I have never seen one here or even heard of one near the area.


Great blue heron flyby.




The big old trees at the park. It looks like one got blown over during a big storm. It looks like such a big strong tree. It’s hard to believe wind would knock that over.


On the way home I stopped by downtown Safety Harbor and could just barely make out a juvenile eagle on the cell tower.



Another tower close by had two babies (you can see only one in the picture). One of the parents was feeding them and the other parent was on a utility tower across the street.  I’ve been keeping an eye on these nests for a while, swinging by there on the way home from work. It’s great to see these eagles raising families in this busy neighborhood.

I stopped by Kapok Park on the way home from work recently and did a quick walk around the park. I was hoping to see signs of the great horned owls but they either didn’t nest there this year or already nested and left.

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If at first you don’t succeed.


One of the parents was sitting in a tree across from the babies.


I turned around to see what the parent was looking at and saw this.


Two fuzzballs were in the old owl’s nest.


“What are you looking at big brother?”


They were both watching the parent.


“Dad, when are you gonna feed us?”


The littlest one stayed in the same spot while the bigger one was moving around a little.


I found the other parent high up in the same tree as the babies.


As the sun was going down, big brother climbed over the other side of the big branch.


I think most people had given up on the owl’s nest this year. For two months back in December they sat on the nest. I knew that was way too long. I stopped by in late January and both owls were off the nest. I think everyone thought they wouldn’t be successful this year and something must have happened. Did the eggs not hatch? No one knew for sure. I hadn’t been back to the park since then. Then I got a message from Judy about baby owls there and finally was able to make it over after work. I guess at some point the parents tried again. Better late than never. Thanks to Judy for the head’s up on them.

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After work walk at Kapok Park


I found a limpkin family under the boardwalk.


Two babies were hanging out along the edge of the lake with the parents.


One of the parents found a snack.


Mom was pulling the meat out of the shell while baby watches.


They stayed under the boardwalk most of the time I was there.


One of the babies started to wander off away from the parents but they quickly went after him.


The area under the boardwalk is full of turtles. People feed them so they come looking for a handout when someone is on the boardwalk.


The sun was going down on my quick after work walk at Kapok Park. I hadn’t been in months so I stopped by to see the owls.  There’s usually a limpkin family or two there in the spring. The park was pretty quiet otherwise.

Shine the Divine

Saturday morning drive around the bay


My first stop was near work. There has been a male canvasback sighting. I saw him pretty quickly but he was far across the pond. This was my first canvasback sighting.


He stayed pretty far away.


My next stop was Kapok Park in Clearwater. I hadn’t been in a while and wanted to see what was going on with the owl couple. With all of the recent rain, mushrooms were everywhere.


I found one owl high up in a tree.


The other one was also high up in a tree close by. This is a sad sign. After sitting on the nest for two months, it looks like they were not successful this year with babies. The same thing happened last year. For 3 years they had babies, two years ago was twins.


Across the lake, I saw this anhinga with a huge fish. He was banging it on the tree and did eventually swallow it.


I left Kapok and then headed north to Possum Branch Preserve to look for the Nashville warbler that had been sighted there. No luck on the Nashville. Tons of palm warblers and yellow rumped warblers. This was all I kept snapping. The “I’m outta here” shot.


I did have this house wren sit still for a few seconds.


There were two hawks chasing each other high up in the sky. I only managed to catch one.

Out of three stops, only one was a success even though that canvasback was so far away. He was in a fenced off retention pond so I couldn’t get around to get closer. No owl babies at Kapok Park this year but I have been visiting the baby owls at Fort Desoto. Three weekends in a row. Those pictures will be coming up later.

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No babies owls at my local park


Almost two months later and Mom owl is still sitting on the nest.  A week after I took this I stopped by again and she had abandoned the nest. No owl babies at this park this year. Last year there were twins. We don’t know what happened. Did she not actually lay any eggs? Were the eggs bad? I’ll check back again next spring.


The other owl was sitting a few branches away. What was he thinking?  1)”I’m so glad I don’t have to spend all night hunting for screaming baby brats”. 2)”Now I can go back up north early this year.” 3)”Sorry photogs, no baby owl pictures this year. You can all go home now.” 4)”Maybe I’m too old to be raising kids.”


I haven’t seen a lot of kingfishers this winter. The one that usually hangs out behind my house has only stopped by once for a few seconds. This one was flying in between the short bald cypress trees.


Mockingbird posing nicely.


A limpkin was walking through the reeds. This lake is full of limpkins.


He was dragging a clam shell over to the side to eat.


Osprey were flying overhead looking for a fish to snatch.


On my way home, I stopped by the baseball park near my neighborhood. As I drive by I kept hearing parakeets so I decided to drive through the park. Several of the lights had nests in them. Two of the nests had parakeet couples looking back at me. I guess that’s why these birds just keep multiplying here.


Butterfly under the parakeet nest.


Practicing my “bee on flower” shots.

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