Pedaling around the neighborhood

I was heading out on my bike for a ride through the neighborhood when I saw a swallow tailed kite cruising by. I snapped the above and then he was long gone over the trees. I’ve been seeing them flying high over the neighborhood for several weeks but they don’t hang around long. One or two circles around the area and they fly fast and high.

I keep stopping by the great blue heron nest but I haven’t seen any babies. One of the neighbors nearby said that last year they didn’t have any babies either.

I was pedaling along the golf course and some birds flying into a tree caught my eye. I stopped and realized there were cedar waxwings were up there. I got my camera out of my backpack and watched them for a while. Luckily I was far enough away from the fairway that I didn’t have to worry about getting hit in the head with a golf ball.

They were feeding on the nearby small pepper tree. They would fly back forth between the pepper tree and the big oak tree. I just sat down on the grass half way behind an oak tree and watched them gorge on those pepper berries.

A juvenile blue heron sitting in the grass along the bank of the pond.

One of the regulars going down for a nap.

SkyWatch Friday

Everyday life at the marina

I was back at the Dunedin marina in late December for a quick walk (can you tell this is one of my favorite places to walk?). That damaged abandoned boat is still stuck to the channel marker. You can see where it’s cut into the boat. It’s a great place for birds to rest and I caught a green heron sitting on it the morning I was there.

A great egret was fishing through the little hole around the floating piling. I kept seeing him sticking his head down thinking he couldn’t catch even a tiny fish that way but he sure did.

A little blue heron was creeping around the dock, also looking for fish.

There’s always a lot of pelicans around the marina.

I caught this grackle eating some kind of seeds.

I saw this osprey flying across the marina with some sticks and moss in his talons. It’s the start of nesting season for osprey so I thought he was heading to one of the 2 nests in the marina parking lot. He flew around with it for a while. Then it looks like he’s going to land on a light pole that didn’t already have a nest and I’m thinking “What is he doing?”. He did land but then took off across the marina and headed to the nest on a pole at the other end of the marina.

There’s a nest high up in a tree near the boat ramp and another nest across from it on top of a pole. There’s always a lot of osprey flying around so they guard them pretty well during nesting season.

Far out in the water I could see a dolphin coming up every few minutes. I was bummed he didn’t come close to the pier.

SkyWatch Friday

Two new birds in the backyard

Two new birds in the backyard (although I’ve seen them both before somewhere else). Two brown headed cowbirds stopped by but didn’t stay long. A hermit thrush has become a regular visitor since early December.

An eastern phoebe has stopped by a few times this winter. I caught him taking a bath one morning.

Regular visitors include a black and white warbler, cardinals (who are usually shy and don’t come out in the open but I caught this one on the bath) and bluebirds.

Every few weeks a yellow throated warbler stops by. He usually hunts for bugs in the small palm tree next to our house. I went outside to get these since he was hiding under the palms.

I heard her before I saw her. I heard the pileated woodpecker’s loud scream as she flew into our oak tree. I snapped this quickly through the window before she took off.

I went outside to get this shot. Actually, I went out to try and shoo him away from the window and took my camera out with me. He is not easily scared. I’m glad he hangs out in our corner of the neighborhood but I don’t want him too close to the window where Buddy and Harley stay (in the sunroom).

A young little blue heron that hasn’t lost his white baby feathers yet.

I’m glad I put that nest box up so the squirrels can nap on it.

Things blooming in the backyard in late December.

Inspire Me Monday

All of the birds were eating breakfast

I was out for a walk at the end of September and the tide was super low. I could see the gulls eating some type of puffer fish that was stranded in the grass beds. Although I never did actually see the gulls eating them, they just kept picking them up and playing with them. Maybe they were waiting for them to deflate.

An osprey cruises by with a tiny fish in his feet.

The little blue heron was busy eating.

There were several snowy egrets looking for food.They look so pretty against the blue water.

This boat must have lost anchor during Hurrincane Ian. It’s still there, stranded near the Dunedin causeway. It’s in pretty bad shape at this point.

In the yard in June

We’ve had some beautiful skies in June. This was looking across the fairway before the storm hit.

Later I was peeking out the window and caught this lightning with my phone.

Sunset across the street.

These were all blooming on my neighbor’s wall. We share a courtyard.

I was coming back from the mailbox and this bunny was in our yard. I couldn’t believe he was still there when I went in and got my camera and came back out. I’ve been seeing one every couple of days. I wonder if it’s the same one. I call him Peter.

The usual visitors in the backyard. All taken through the window.

I finally got a shot of a great crested flycatcher. I’ve been hearing them calling for months but they always stay high up in the trees. One morning I was sitting outside and had my camera with me and was able to catch him.

Baby bluebird was yelling at Mom to feed him (or her). Taken through the window, they were far out on the golf course.

Squirrels being cute in the backyard.

SkyWatch Friday

Possum Branch Preserve

Since Possum Branch Preserve is close to my house now I’ve been stopping by there for a quick walk pretty regularly before it gets to hot. Most of the time I only see the usual birds and the red winged blackbirds are the most common. Above is a female.

There was an American bittern that spent the winter here. Most of the time he was hidden in the reeds but I managed to catch him coming out to feed one morning.

There was a blue winged teal here for a short time.

Little blue herons are everywhere but I thought he looked pretty against the green.

A sora rail also spent the winter here but I only caught hime once. He also hides in the reeds most of the time and blends in well.

I saw this big guy napping from across the pond.

By the time I got around to the other side he had turned around. These are super cropped up.

This one is also cropped up. This guy was a little smaller.

In the yard in January

I pulled back the curtains one recent morning and saw deer in my neighbor’s yard. I tried to quietly crack the door open so I could take some pictures. They eventually saw me but kept on eating in the area.

I went back inside and a few minutes later I saw them heading across the golf course and towards the woods (the golfers would be coming through soon). I snapped the above with my phone. You can just see the last deer (to the left of the tree) as they left. They never seem to stay in one spot long, always moving around and always close to the woods.

For early January, the squirrels were already getting frisky. One is always snoozing on the broken branch. All taken through the window.

Yes, we are getting blooms in January. The temperature this month fluxuates between 78 degrees and 50 degrees.

We had an ibis hanging around the back door and a juvenile blue heron grabbing a frog at the end of our driveway.

Beautiful skies with the sunset in the front pond as I was getting the mail. One night I saw the red clouds and ran out on the golf course right before dark.

Our World Tuesday Graphic

Critters from my yard.

More shots of the little titmouse around my bird bath. I have taken around a gazillion pictures but it’s hard to stop when I’m out walking around. They love to pose for me.

A few other visitors in early November. There are a ton of downy and red bellied woodpeckers in the neighborhood. I’ve seen a few pileated woodpeckers go flying by but I have yet to get pictures of them.

I’ve seen several black and white warblers in my big oak tree.

A yellow throated warbler in the palm tree up against our townhome.

A chickadee looking around under the patio chairs.

This juvenile little blue heron was creeping around the grass. All of the above were taken through the window.

If I stand on the end of my patio, I can see my neighbor’s bird feeder a few houses down from ours. He’s always got birds on his feeder (although mostly blue birds and pine warblers). After taking these and zooming in, I realize he had dried mealworms in his feeder. I only have mixed seed and I’m only getting titmouse at my feeder although I have gotten a few pine warblers as well. I may have to step up my feeder game.

A pine warbler on my feeder (through the window).

I was walking back from getting my mail and this hawk was in the short palm tree next to my driveway. He watched me walk right by him and didn’t move. I ran in and got my camera and he was flying off as I walked out. He flew down to the grass and looked like he was stalking something but eventually he flew to a lightpost empty handed.

After the hawk flew off I realized there was a bluebird on the power line right over my head. It was almost dark at this point but he sat there for a while.

A few more critters in the backyard. The squirrels like to sit on this low palm  tree up against our house while snacking.

Things in the backyard

I was out in the backyard in early September and noticed this mallard trying to eat something that was bobbing in the water. I ran and got my camera and headed down to the dock and realized it was a mango. He was chowing down on it.

After 17 years in our house, we finally had a dragonfly come in. He was flying around for a while. We opened the doors and was waving around a broom and mop and was finally able to shoo him out into the screened in porch. I then opened the porch door and eventually he flew out but not before I was able to get this close up of him. He had a beautiful green color on his head.

Later in the week it was raining. We had a wet green heron hanging out on our dock in the rain and the mallards have been visiting for a while.

Squirrels like to hang out on the top of our down spout when it’s raining to stay dry. I took this through the sliding door and the screen.

We’ve been getting regular visits from 2 female mallards lately. They scrounge around under the bird feeder for fallen seed. One morning I looked out the window and realized they had brought friends. We also get ibis on a regular basis.

Looking out the side window from my desk, I see a dove sitting on the fence. Later a little blue heron was on our neighbor’s shed.

Taken through the window, this lizard had the cutest toes.

Sunset from the backyard.

My Corner of the World 

Grabbing my camera

I was peeking out the bedroom window to see if it was raining and saw this green heron hop up on the dock with a fish. I ran and grabbed my camera and snapped these through the window. I knew if I walked outside he would get spooked and fly off.

A few days later I saw a butt sticking up and was able to catch this little blue heron eating a crab off the dock.It seems like there’s lots of good seafood in our channel. I should be charging them a la carte.

Of course when I see baby ducks heading down the channel I grab my camera and run outside. This family was in front of our dock in late July. The babies were trying to eat the mangrove leaf.

As I was sitting at my desk in the bedroom working, I was watching this slug cruising across the pane. I grabbed my camera and took this wih my macro lens. Cool to see the other side.