In the parking lot at work

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Last year, an osprey couple built a nest in one of the lights in the parking lot at work. They did not have any babies that year. The nest did not seem well built and people are walking by all day long. This spring they started working on the nest and I didn’t get my hopes up. My doubts were not necessary this year. One night I walked out to my car and saw a little head sticking up. The next night I brought my camera to work and got the above shots.

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It gets better. A week later I realized there were two babies.

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After a heavy rain had filled the grassy area next to the parking lot, one of the parents flew down and was drinking some of the water. The ducks seemed baffled by their new friend.

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Also in the parking lot was a night heron nest. High up in a pine tree, two babies were looking down at me.

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One night while I was taking pictures of the osprey, this crow flew past me and landed in a nearby pine tree. I hate to think it but it looks like he has a small duck in his beak. This was the only shot I got before he flew off.

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A kildeer was watching me from the side of the parking lot.

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Last week the babies were fully grown. They were flying from light pole to light pole but still getting their food from the parents. Soon they will be gone for good. It looks like he’s got some fish guts on the nest.

Since it’s rare these days that I can get to a park after work, it’s nice to have the wildlife come to work.

Our World Tuesday Graphic

A walk after work

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A baby grackle getting his footing.

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“Ha, Ha, I got weeds stuck on my beak.”

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A kildeer couple at the back pond. This is the first time I’ve seen kildeer here.

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Mossy turtle drying off.

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Tons of bunnies along the running path.

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The bell tower in the middle of an office park.

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When I got closer to the bell tower, I realized there was an osprey nest on top of it.

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Taking off.

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Heading over the lake.

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Must be looking for dinner.

I stopped by Carillon Park after work for a walk around the lakes (or just really big ponds). Tons of people jogging and dog walking. I don’t get out before dark much anymore after work so this was a treat to get out.

Skywatch Friday

The eagles are back – Skywatch Friday

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I think most of the eagles are back in Florida for the winter and the famous couple down at Fort Myers already have eggs. You can see the web came here. I finally saw one of the eagles not too far from my house on the horse farm. He was sitting in a tree across the street from the nest. I didn’t see anyone on the nest but the mate could have been sleeping on it and I just couldn’t see her from the street.

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I spotted the peacocks wandering around the neighborhood where the eagle’s nest is located. There are now a ton of them all over the place. They were pretty quiet when I stopped by but I bet they can wake up the whole neighborhood when they start screaming.

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They were all over the neighborhood.

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I stopped to take a picture of the eagle in the tree and a horse came over to check me out.

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At a nearby pond, I found a kildeer couple.

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One of them was wandering down the sidewalk in front of the houses. His friend was across the street in front of the pond.

I was excited to see the eagle back at the horse farm. I’m hoping for another successful eagle family again this year.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday

Birds and bees at Chesnut Park

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Some type of warbler. My first fall migration bird and I can’t tell what this is. I didn’t get a good shot of his back feathers. Any ideas?

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Another view. This was the only tiny bird I saw that morning in early September.

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A red shoulder hawk eyeing something in the grass.

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A few butterflies are still around.

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Anhinga posing for me.

 

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Typical bee on flower.

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I was driving home from the park and took the long way through a neighborhood near too far from my house to see if the eagles had come back for the winter. I had heard some of the eagles from other parks were already back. I looked over at a small pond and saw 4 kildeer in the grass. Of course I pulled over and took a couple of shots from the window. They seemed very skittish so I didn’t get out.

Shine the Divine

Flying things at the Florida Aquarium

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This is the closest I’ll get to a hooded merganser. They are so skittish. The ones that float around in the channel behind my house take off if I open the back door. It’s interesting that his beak looks like it has mini teeth on the edge, almost like a crocodile snout.

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Ruddy duck floating around on top of the fish exhibit.

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I think this is a fulvous whistling duck. He was quacking at an ibis to get out of his spot.

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Spoony with an itch.

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Close up of a spoonbill living at the aquarium.

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They are very used to people so they came close to the edge of the exhibit.

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This little kildeer had his own private beach next to the stingrays.

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This must have been a lost sooty tern that was sick or injured and found a home here.

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Oh yeah, there is fish at the aquarium. Lots of fish.

More pictures from my fun pre-Christmas trip to the Florida Aquarium. I think I like the wetlands exhibit the best since they have birds there and you can see them really close. All of the birds were injured and unable to release back in the wild so now they live here.

Camera Critters

Shorebirds at Fort Desoto on Thanksgiving eve

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Mixed bag of shorebirds sleeping together.

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Teeny tiny plover keeping an eye on me.

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I didn’t see the kildeer at first. I pulled onto the grass to take a picture of the kestrel on the utility wire and saw this guy run out into the road ahead of me. It’s the first time I’ve seen a kildeer at Fort Desoto, although I’m sure they’re around. He was just standing in the road. A car drove by and he flew off but came right back to the same spot. I wonder if he’s staking out a nesting spot. It’s a little earlier for them to nest but around here you never know. It’s been 80 degrees every day so maybe he’s looking to start early.

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Dowitcher searching for food.

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Least sandpiper running around.

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Sun going down on the shorebirds.

The weather in November was perfect. Although, it could have been at least 10 degrees cooler. I was able to sneak out of work a little early on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving so I headed down to Fort Desoto. It was nice to get out before dark and I hadn’t been out much since fighting sinus infections since early October. I went down there with a purpose though. To look for the black scoter ducks that had been spotted there earlier that morning. I walked the entire beach length near where they had been spotted with no luck. I checked out both fishing piers and still no luck. Story of my life, 6 hours too late. It was still a beautiful night and nice to get out.

Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention for