Standing on top of the lookout tower at Lettuce Lake, a snowy egret cruises by down below. I walked down a flight to get a closer look.
There were several snowy egrets feeding right in front of the tower. It was funny to watch them skimming the water as they were looking for fish. Sometimes it felt like they were hovering over the water. Sometimes they were successful and sometimes they missed. They did this for a while before one by one they all started to fly away.
When I was out at Lettuce Lake Park in June, the water levels were really low. The limpkins were feeding right along the boardwalk. I caught this one bringing in a snail right in front of me.
That’s when I realized the other 3 limpkins were juveniles of the adult with the snail. They looked like almost grown limpkins but were still making that wheezing “I want to be fed” baby noise and they were just a little bit smaller than Mom. One of them ran over to Mom and was trying to help her dig out the snail.
That baby got a big chunk of yummy snail.
I watched for a while as Mom brought up several snails.
The other baby was looking around picking up anything that looked like a snail but wasn’t. The third one was trying to take a nap. They were so close that I was glad I had brought my zoom lens this morning.
The lake was low in early June. The summer rains weren’t in full swing yet. The birds above were standing knee deep and they were pretty far out in the lake.
A few spoonbills were feeding close to the boardwalk.
Other birds along the boardwalk were storks and a tricolored heron, posing on a snag.
I saw this northern parula singing his heart out.
A very young titmouse.
Black bellied whistling ducks were cruising by the overlook tower and landing in the trees. They kept hopping from tree to tree, calling out to each other. I saw them when I first got to the park and was on the boardwalk. They were gone 20 minutes later so timing is everything.
My first robber fly sighting. What a cool bug. Although I probably would have freaked out at first if he flew on me. I saw him land on this branch and was wondering what it was.
Views from the boardwalk, not so early in the morning. Although I was there right when it opened at 8am and before there were lots of people on the boardwalk. It was so hot. I can’t image being out here after 11am in June.
Not much to see on an early morning walk at Lettuce Lake Park in north Tampa in late January. Not many birds but tons of turkey vultures hanging around.
You can really tell it’s winter here with all of the leaves gone from the cypress trees that line the lake. And by winter, I mean I didn’t need more than a long sleeve tshirt to keep me warm.
Before heading home, I stopped at Medard Park to see if there was anything there since I hadn’t been in a long time. It was quiet there as well. A great blue heron preening was all that I could find.
Medard Park is in Plant City, in the middle of “strawberry” country. Hillsborough county produces around 15% of the nation’s strawberries with over 11,000 acres. Chances are if you are eating strawberries in the winter, they came from here. There’s a farm right outside of the park and I pulled over for a few minutes and took a couple of shots of the almost-ready berries.
This is the view for miles before hitting the highway.
Little critters at Lettuce Lake Park in late October.
A quiet morning at Lettuce Lake Park in October.
Linking to My Corner of the World.
Fun little critters at Lettuce Lake Park in late September.
The usual little birds were there including a prothonatory warbler, a yellow throated warbler and lots of titmouse.
Things growing on trees.
Linking to Wednesday Around the World.
Usual birds at Lettuce Lake Park in north Tampa.
A rare bird you only see soaring high in the sky in the summer, two swallow-tail kites were cruising by while I was on top of the observation tower. One looked like he had something in his claws.
It looked like it was part of a duck or maybe a baby bird. These guys snatch baby birds right out of a nest. They eat while they are soaring, mostly dragonflies though.
A cute black bellied whistling duck cruised by as well.
I stopped by the teeny tiny golf ball size hummingbird nest before leaving the park. At first the almost grown baby was sitting alone on the nest. Then mom flew in to feed it.
Mom was napping close to the trail.
The barred owl twins were close by, very curious about everything. They were checking out every bird, butterfly or bee that came by. They were only a short time away from fledging, days or maybe a week.
A ruby throated hummingbird was sitting on a nest near the nature center. It looked like a bug sitting on top of a golf ball with the naked eye.
The squirrels were being their usual cute selves.
A walk through Lettuce Lake Park in late March.