Other stuff at the Largo Nature Preserve

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Flowers and plants along the trail at Largo Nature Preserve.

 

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The birds here aren’t the only ones who hang out on boardwalk. This squirrel was eating right over my head. I was watching him walk out on the branch and grab the little berries. He did not care that I was a few feet from him.

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I saw this cute retired couple walking along the trail, still holding hands.

Up close and personal

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A white eyed vireo.

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A juvenile night heron, born in early spring.  He looks grumpy.

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Probably cause he’s trying to sleep and it’s sunny outside and the parrots are noisy.

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His parent looks even grumpier.

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A female anhinga looking over her shoulder.

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A juvenile little blue heron. He’ll be all blue after his first year.

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An osprey in a tree right on the trail.

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A great egret giving me a typical Florida pose.

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I found another juvenile night heron along the river bank. This one looks a little bit older than the one picture above. His feathers are starting to turn gray.

Largo Nature Preserve is a small park. It’s square-shaped park. One side has a golf course, one side has a neighborhood, one has a model airplane field and the other is the parking lot coming off a busy road.  It’s rare to see something unusual there but the bigger birds that hang out there let you get pretty close. Especially along the boardwalk. Most of them won’t move if you walk by them while they are standing on the railing.  Night herons nest here so the babies grow up sleeping in the trees that are only a few feet away from the boardwalk.

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A woodpecker and grebe walk into a bar…..

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No, seriously. A downy woodpecker and a pied grebe show up at the lake at the Largo Nature Preserve. I was taking pictures of the grebe when I heard a banging noise behind me. The downy woodpecker was only a few feet away but ignored me completely. I guess he knew I wasn’t going to climb over the boardwalk railing, walk through alligator infested water and yank him down off the tree.  He stayed there for a while and just kept banging on the tree.

Typical birds on a Saturday morning

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Crazy young mockingbird.

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Great blue heron soaking up the morning sun.

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A moorhen taking a bath.

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A white ibis high up in a tree.

 

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Wild parrots are common at the Largo Nature Preserve.

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A very young little blue heron coming in for a landing. He was a little unsteady on his feet.

Just a few things I saw on my Saturday morning walk at Largo Nature Preserve.

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It’s baby moorhen season

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I counted 24 baby moorhens from several different families at the Largo Nature Preserve in mid-May. It’s that time of the year when these crazy looking babies with the big yellow feet are everywhere. They are so funny to watch, always chasing after Mom for a snack. One parent had 4 babies. Two of them had one eye that was still closed. I’m not sure how long they will survive with only one eye. Especially the tiniest darker feathered one. He stayed on the plant while the other ones swam around and stayed close to mom.

Afternoon brawl at the local pond.

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This scuttle went on for 10 minutes.  I was standing on the trail at Largo Nature Preserve looking for anything other than moorhens when they started going at it. I think mating season has already started and these two were fighting over the lady that was floating by watching them. All I could see were those big yellow toes flying. Unfortunately they were in between the sun and myself so I had a hard time getting good shots.  I couldn’t go around them without stepping on some alligators so I just shot into the sun.

Largo Nature Preserve

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Nesting is in full swing for the osprey in the area.  I don’t think they have eggs yet since they both left the nest at the same time for a while.

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It looks like they were working on getting it comfy.

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One of them kept bringing in more insulation.

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Night herons always sleep along the boardwalk at this park.

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Funny face. An anhinga staring at me.

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Northern shovelers were close to the bank.

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Flapping.

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Another funny face.

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The usual palm warbler. The trail was full of them.

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A few robins were hanging around.

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Is that parrot waving at me?

A Saturday morning walk at Largo Nature Preserve.

Skywatch Friday

Hanging out with a grebe

DSC_0302 DSC_0303 DSC_0305 DSC_0346 DSC_0347 DSC_0349 DSC_0350 DSC_0351Pied grebes are usually skittish.  They swim away fast or duck under water (hence the name duck?). This one was close to the boardwalk and didn’t take off when I walked by. I stopped and stood for a few minutes watching him and he just kept feeding in front of me. Although, he turned his head when he swallowed the fish.  He’s such a cute little duck.

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Bad pictures of a new duck.

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I found the American wigeon that had been spotted at Largo Nature Preserve. A first for me on this fairly common duck. All in front of the picture, they were hanging out with some coots and moorhens. Of course, they were on the river where I had to take the picture right into the sun. I couldn’t go around since there are houses along the other side of the river.

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Northern shoveler with an itch.

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Northern shoveler with a mallard in front. They look alike except when you see them together. That big old beak gives the shoveler away.

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They were all busy feeding.

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A great blue heron panting on the boardwalk.  It was warm on the first weekend in January. No jacket needed.

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He kept flying back and forth as people were walking along the boardwalk.

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“Baby blue” A young little blue heron all alone. He started looking up and freaking out. I realized it was because the below had just flown by.

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As I was taking a picture of the baby blue, I saw something fly overhead. When I looked up this eagle was already past me and off into the wild blue yonder.

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A very typical scene. A cormorant silhouette into the sun while drying off.

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This was taken with my 300mm lens. He was in his usual spot along the boardwalk.

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Same guy but taken with my iphone. Someone said he was 11 feet long. What do you think? I think he was exaggerating over the length.

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Green parrots kept flying back and forth across the park. I never could see them landing. I think they live and nest at the electric plant near the park.

A beautiful morning on the first weekend of 2015.