Waiting for eagles to wake up.

I spent many mornings standing under a bottle brush tree along a fence waiting for the eagles in my neighborhood to wake up. I would go for a long walk and then ride my bike over to the nest with my camera and wait for the parents to bring in food. I saw a lot of other birds there as well. A kestral was there on the wires every time I came to take pictures. In the beginning he was very skittish and would fly away when I walked up but after a month he started getting a little closer. One morning I caught him eating a cricket.

A phoebe hung out in the reeds along the utility area beyond the fence. He was there most of February and March.

One morning a hawk landed in a tree nearby. I thought he was going to catch something when he flew to the ground but he took off empty handed.

The moon was still up early one morning.

Early in April on a cloudy morning there were two swallow tail kites that flew far up overhead.

One morning a turkey cruised by.

The usual annoying birds were always there, mockinbirds and blue jays.

A mallard flew by.

I was out there right before sundown one day and got to watch the beautiful sunset. That’s a bat box on the stick. Sometimes I could hear them sqweaking in there.

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A quick stop in the backyard

I’ve had so many birds stopping by in the backyard for a quick bath or drink in early December. Titmouse are regulars. Mockingbirds, cardinals, catbirds and pine warblers have all stopped by. I’ve only had one chickadee stop by (that I’ve seen),  

There’s always a lot of pine warblers coming through.

The Carolina wrens stay on the ground most of the time, digging around under the leaves.

I’ve seen a few downy woodpeckers in the big oak tree outside the window.

This is a dangerous place for a squirrel to take a break. I’ve seen a hawk sitting here twice.

Critters in my new backyard

Behind our new townhome is a tree lined golf course. There’s also a small pond a few homes down. The first week we moved in I went for a quick walk early in the morning before work along the tree line.  I’ve seen several limpkins in the pond so I’m hoping for limpkin babies next summer.

Right outside our home, I found an ovenbird deep in the bushes.

There’s always noisy mockingbirds anywhere in Florida.

Is it Thanksgiving yet? My second turkey sighting in the neighborhood. When we were doing some work on the home before we moved in, we could see several turkeys across the golf course. The week we moved in they were right down the street so I ran and got my camera.

Little birds in the trees. I think these are palm warblers.

A great egret out my back door (taken through the window)

There are palm warblers everywhere. The golf course is full of them on the ground if there are no golfers playing.

A parula out the back door (also taken through the window).

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Yard birds in May

Doves sleeping on our fence. Taken through the kitchen window.

This night heron was hanging out on our dock, staying busy preening.

An ibis flew in and landed on the same dock.

The night heron was not happy with the ibis near his spot and chased him off. I just happened to be walking out of the side of the house to sneak around to the back to take pictures of the heron when I caught the ibis landing.

A few minutes later the night heron flew down to the water. It was an extreme low tide and you could see some of the rocks exposed. He was looking for tiny crabs on the rocks.

A mockingbird was eating something off my neighbor’s bottle brush tree.

A red bellied woodpecker in the tree.

Not an exciting bird but the house sparrows nest nearby and I always get a lot of them at my feeder so I consider them “my” birds. They are not skittish at all.

I was hosing down the front porch early one Sunday morning when I looked down the driveway and saw a duck couple drinking the runoff water. I know they want a handout but we don’t feed the ducks here. On one side it would be fun if they nested in our bushes but on the other side, our driveway would be covered in piles of duck poop.

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Tiny critters in the flowers and the trees.

Lots of tiny critters in the flowers at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

The squirrels were busy eating.

A young mockingbird sitting high up in the trees. Not many other birds out in early September.

A flock of anhingas go flying by overhead.

It was hot. The gardens were very quiet with only a few tiny flying critters but I got a good 2 hour walk in that morning.

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Fun at the zoo in June.

The last remaining blue heron babies at the zoo in Tampa. Across the alligator exhibit I spotted a young tricolored heron looking grumpy. He still had that fuzz on the top of his head.

Some of the resident critters at the zoo.

One of my favorite birds in the aviary had babies this spring. The bottom 2 are offspring of the top one.

A wild mockingbird eating the berries.

 

A few fun things from Zoo Tamp in June.

A quiet morning at Fort Desoto

Someone had staked out their spot on the spit island just off the north tip of the beach. By early November, the red tide algae bloom was mostly gone from the beach but there were still some spots that smelled of dead fish. The water looked clear but the bloom came back later for a short time after a big storm. The morning I was there was clear.

The birds on the trails were scarce with the exception of a few common ones including a northern parula and many of the state bird, the mockingbird.

The usual waterbirds were also around.

Frigatebirds were flying high overhead.

On my way out of the park I saw a bald eagle sitting on a utility tower. All of the eagles are back for the winter.

Two parks in one morning

A very hot morning at North Shore Park in downtown St. Petersburg. The beach was busy with volleyball players. On a Saturday morning you can find a lot of joggers and dog walkers on the sidewalk but not many people in the water. Since this is the bay, the water here is not nice but you can usually get a breeze.

Across the bay, you can just make out the energy plant with steam coming out.

After walking around at North Shore Park, I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier before heading home. They have a new boardwalk that goes along the mangroves next to the pier. This small area is a little piece of Florida that hasn’t changed much over the years (with the exception of that big condo building going up next to the old Safety Harbor Hotel in that first shot).

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A hot walk around the lake in August.

Critters I saw on my walk around Crescent Lake Park.

This big beautiful old banyan tree is fenced off since it is starting to fall apart. It’s still blooming though.

Across the lake. You can barely make out downtown St. Pete behind the painted water tower.

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“I’m heading down the Atlanta highway”

Atlanta, as seen in the first episode of the tv series “Walking Dead”. Except in the scene, the roads were lined with abandoned cars that were photo-shopped into the scene. I took this the first night of our long weekend to visit friends. It was dark and cloudy and had just stopped drizzling. My husband thought I was going to look silly being the only person standing on the Jackson Street bridge taking this picture. No, there were several other people there taking pictures as well. I found out later that there are “Walking Dead” tours that take you to some of the places that scenes were filmed at. This is one of the stops.

Another Atlanta downtown scene, taken as we were leaving to head back home.

One morning while Brett was riding his bike with some friends, I took a walk around Piedmont Park. They used to have great art festivals and other events here. I’m sure they still do but it was quiet the morning I walked around the lake.

A few of the critters and an interesting mushroom or fungi around the lake. After my walk around the park, I headed over to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, more on that later.

We stopped at a shopping center to get something and this hawk was in the parking deck. At first I thought he was hurt but I think he had just finished a meal. He took off as I got closer to him but he let me get pretty close. He left behind a few scraps of his lunch.

Almost 25 years ago, Brett and I got married here in the gardens behind the Swan House. We were passing by and I made Brett stop for a few minutes.

I was feeling really nostalgic for Atlanta. I had lived here for 17 years before Brett and I moved to Tampa for work. Since his family moved to the Tampa bay area years ago, we hadn’t really spent any time here in over 3 years so we came back for a long weekend in August. We packed a lot of sight-seeing in the 2 and a half days we were here. We happened to be staying in a hotel next to this mural. The mural is on the side of the building where the old Limelight disco was back in the 70’s and 80’s. I spend many weekends there dancing with my sister and our friends back in the mid 80’s.

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