Backyard visitors this spring.

In late spring, I heard some birds screaming in the backyard. I peeked out the bedroom window and saw the above, baby starlings being fed by the parents.  I ran and grabbed my camera and took the above through the window. I didn’t want to go outside and spook them.  These almost fully grown babies were very aggressive, almost attacking the parents to be fed. This went on for 20 minutes. They must have wiped out all of the worms, bugs and caterpillars we had in the backyard. Maybe I should have scared them off.

This was the last I saw of my neighborhood kingfisher back in late April, sitting on our dock. Hopefully she’ll show back up in late October again.

Now we get a lot of house sparrows on our dock.

A little blue heron walking through our yard.

Blondie and her babies came by the house recently. This beautiful cream colored mallard lives in our neighborhood. She usually has 2 sets of babies each year.

 

New Year’s Day “Name that bird”

Female belted kingfisher (Males do not have the brown stripe across the chest).

Female red bellied woodpecker (Males have full red on his head).

Male common yellowthroat (Female does not have the black mask).

Limpkin

Crazy green heron.

Blue-gray gnatcatcher.

Female ruby throated hummingbird (Males have a bright red stripe across the chin).

A very young white crowned sparrow (a fairly rare one here).

A young red shoulder hawk (very common around here).

All taken on a recent visit to Circle B Bar Reserve.

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Critters in the backyard

This lady kingfisher has been a regular visitor this past winter. She’s either on the dock or on the boat lift poles.

Mr Grumpy (great blue heron) sometimes naps on our dock.

An anhinga paid a visit recently.

My resident osprey has been spending some time on our neighbor’s sailboat mast. I took this right before the sun went down. He usually comes in right before dark and sleeps there.

One day we had a hawk on the same mast.

We have a spotted sandpiper that hangs out in the channel in the winter. I went out on the dock to take this picture. He let me get pretty close.  It was during an extreme low tide so he was walking around in the muck.

A couple of weeks ago we had a pelican on our dock. This is the first time I’ve ever seen one here. I rarely see them come into the channels. They usually stay out closer to the bay.

One night right before the sun went down I went outside to get something and saw a flock of robins hanging out in our tree on the side of the house. They stayed long enough for me to run back in the house to get my camera and come back out and snap a few shots.

We get a lot of squirrels in our yard.

Pretty flower on the fence.

A few of the critters passing through our yard in the last few months.

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A blurry new duck on a yucky day

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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.

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These little grebes were looking at me like I was crazy. Standing in the drizzle looking for a duck.

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After a while, the clouds started to disappear. This kingfisher was watching me watching him.

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Now watching me on a pole in the lake.

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This spoonbill agreed with the grebes.  I think he was laughing at me.

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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!

Backyard birds during the holidays

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In the morning, I saw this great blue heron on my neighbor’s dock.

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Later in the afternoon, he was sleeping on our dock.

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Every once in a while he would look around. I call him Mr. Grumpy Face.

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Back to sleep.

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The neighborhood osprey was back again with lots of annoying visitors.

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A ring billed gull sat across the boat lift from the osprey. Watching his every bite.

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That’s a big fish. I don’t know why he wouldn’t share.

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Then a kingfisher landed on the same side.

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The kingfisher took off after a few minutes when he realized the osprey wasn’t giving up his lunch.

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Then a few minutes later, a little blue heron starts to bother him.

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Not in my backyard but in my in-laws front yard. A screech owl has been sleeping in the roof overhang on the corner of their house. He’s there sporadically. I finally put my camera and long lens in the car on Christmas day and was able to get the above when we pulled into the driveway. I think we’re going to have to name him.

All of the above except for the last picture were taken through the bedroom window during Christmas week.

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Birds at Bok Tower Gardens

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I was sitting quietly on a bench waiting for the rufous hummingbirds to come back and this towhee came out from the bushes and started digging around for snacks in the ground.

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He got pretty close to me but I was afraid he would get spooked if I raised my camera. He stayed right there as I took this picture.

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This hawk was sitting in a tree close to the bench and right after I snapped this he took off. I heard him screaming and a kingfisher screaming close by.

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I ran into the window blind that looks over a little pond and the hawk was chasing the kingfisher around the pond. I couldn’t get a good picture of the chase through the glass but was able to shoot the kingfisher sitting on a bird house in front of the window.

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I headed to the other end of the gardens and heard the red headed woodpeckers calling close by.

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They were banging away on the trees.

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Something in this hole had his interest.

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I saw three adults but I heard there were more there.

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Zooming over my head.

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This juvenile was all alone nearby. I’m not sure how long it takes for them to get their full red head.

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A red bellied woodpecker with a big nut in his beak. Taken right into the sun.

A few of the birds I saw on my recent trip to Bok Tower Gardens. I saw several rufous hummingbirds flying around but could not get a shot of them in the shade. They did not sit still the entire hour I was watching them. They would fly high over the trees and then come back 10 minutes later. I guess that’s a good reason for another trip over there.

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Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention for