On June 1st, Blondie brought her 10 kids around in front of our dock. They were busy trying to pick bugs off the sea wall. I wondered if those lighter ones would also grow up to be light mallards but I didn’t get a chance to see.
Two weeks later she came back by but only had 3 babies with her. The three were scattered so I only got a shot of the one. They were all of the darker brown ones. It’s sad to think of all of those lost babies but there are a lot of hawks, owls and even an eagle hanging out in the neighborhood.
There’s a duck couple that’s been spending afternoons sleeping under our tree in the backyard. Sometimes I peek out the bedroom window to check on them but they are very skittish. They can see me barely move the blinds.
A few of the birds that have been visiting the bird feeder.
I looked out the window and saw something moving in the channel. I grabbed my camera and ran out to the dock to catch 2 manatees rolling around at the end of the channel. After I snapped the above they started heading out to the bay.
Some of the critters in the yard including this juvenile black racer that was climbing up the wall next to the front door.
A faint rainbow in the backyard. It’s the beginning of rainbow season with the summer rains starting in June.
An osprey on my neighbor’s sailboat mast just after the rain.
Every couple of weeks we visit Brett’s aunt Lena that lives in a nursing home. The property is really nice and includes a small duck pond. We take her around the pond and sit on the bench watching the ducks swim around. I recently saw a redhead duck there all alone among the mallards.
These four ducks always stay close together.
Someone has been feeding them because as soon as we sat down, they came out of the water and right up to us. They were looking for a snack which we didn’t have. Other than the one that kept banging on my shoe when I wasn’t looking, they were pretty docile. All of these were taken with my phone.
Recently I was talking a walk around my neighborhood late one afternoon and saw the above spoonbill in my neighborhood pond. I think this is the first time I’ve seen one here. I snapped the above with my phone.
The next day I threw my camera in the car and sure enough, he was still there so I stopped and took a few more pictures. These were taken with my 300mm lens. He stayed for about a week before leaving for good.
The usual ducks were there. My favorite mallard couple.
In late December there was a spotted sandpiper on my neighbor’s seawall. He spent the afternoon picking bugs out of the grass.
There are several muscovy duck families in the neighborhood. Many young babies were running around in May and June. The above was too sad. I was driving home from work and saw these babies eating something in the middle of the street. They were eating another baby that had been hit by a car. Muscovy ducks are an invasive species and are not native to Florida. Yet they are everywhere. They can be mean and aggressive and leave big messy poop piles in driveways and on sidewalks. They try to drive out the mallards. Many of the neighbors want to call in a trapper to remove them (they can’t be relocated and would be euthanized). For years people were feeding them which led to the increase in numbers in the neighborhood. There is now a huge campaign to stop feeding them. Recently ducks crossing the road were driven over on 6 different occasions. Someone caught a glimpse of it on their front door camera but all you can see is a blurry SUV so we’re not sure who was doing it. Might not have been a resident. The neighborhood is divided. Those who don’t mind a little duck poop want them to stay and those who want them all gone (more will just move in anyway).
Several families with different ages of babies came running when I stopped my car to snap the above with my phone.
In my neighbor’s yard, these guys came running as well.
On a Saturday afternoon I went outside to get the mail and these mallard were napping in our driveway. They jumped up when they saw me but I’m not even going to feed the mallards.
All above were taken from our balcony at our hotel in Colorado Springs. As I was taking a picture of the mountain with the fog rolling in a magpie flew on to the balcony above us. I leaned over to get a blurry shot of him with a big bug. I then realized the trees near us also had magpies in them. This was my first timing seeing these. They are in the crow family but are much prettier than our fish crows back home.
I took a quick walk around the property before we headed out for the day and saw all of the above.
I had read that there was lots of wildlife on the hotel property but when I got to the lake there were the same ole birds I see at home. I thought “Really, I flew halfway across the country to see gulls, mallards and cormorants?” I get those in my backyard at home. But I did see a few different things over the week.
Moorhens were all around the lake. Lots of juveniles from early spring.
Other interesting ducks including the pied grebe in the last picture.
Other critters at the lake. The otter was a surprise. I’ve never seen one there before.
The water tower next to the lake and a hawk hanging underneath it. Probably looking for a slow flying monk parakeet. The parakeets nest under the water tower.
Looking across the lake near downtown St. Petersburg. I hadn’t been in a while so I stopped for a quick walk. There were people in the lake in kayaks doing a cleanup. I know there are alligators in there so you wouldn’t want to be in there without a kayak and a paddle to hit one over the head with.