North Shore Park

Far out in the bay, it was rush hour traffic on a Saturday morning. Lots of boat activity on this beautiful morning.

I found another great blue heron/ great egret hybrid at the small beach near downtown St. Pete.

After a quick walk around North Shore park, I was heading back to my car and saw the above flying into the trees in the parking lot.

All of a sudden, the tree was full of nanday parakeets. Even at the end of summer, they were in pairs and flirting. Maybe they are like humans and flirt all year round instead of just nesting season. Although due to the warm weather most of the year here, nesting season could still be going on. This couple was very affectionate.

The next tree over had monk parakeets in them. This one kept chewing on a branch.

Then his mate flew in and they started preening each other.

There were so many parakeets here on this particular morning that the sound was deafening. The wild parakeets in the area have really taken over. They are very comical to watch and are not skittish at all.

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Snail for lunch

I pulled into the parking lot at Largo Nature Preserve and these guys were hanging out in the tree right over my car. If your choice in Florida is parking in the shade and risking bird poop on your car or parking in the sun, you park in the shade.

The tricolored heron was flitting around the boardwalk. I think he was trying to catch dragonflies.

I don’t see red ones often.

This guy was sleeping in the tree but woke up to scratch an itch.

I was excited to see the fuzzy baby limpkin.

Mom was feeding him apple snails.  Mom would pull the meat out of the snail with the end of her beak and give to the baby. By the time I found them it was almost noon and the sun was harsh. I didn’t stay long. It was time for me to head home for lunch as well.

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Wild parakeets

The wild monk parakeets in the Tampa bay area like to nest in utility poles, water towers and lights at ballparks. I’ve never seen or heard of them nesting in trees in the area.  I was at Largo Nature Park recently which is right next to a big utility complex and the parakeets were buzzing around. They were busy chasing each other and screaming. I could hear them all over the park. It was fun to watch those flashes of green flying in and out of the utility wires especially since it would be a lot harder to see them in the trees.

Birds, Bunnies and Squirrels, Oh My!

There were lots of bunnies running around the Botanical Gardens.

This young moorhen ran across the sidewalk in front of me.  Soon the rest of the family followed. They were heading for the tiny pond with the fountain in it.

They were cooling off under the fountain. I really wanted to jump in there with them.

The common green heron.

The squirrels were chowing down.

A few monk parakeets flew in to a tree right over my head.

An almost grown osprey was screaming the entire time I was at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.  The nest is high up in a utility tower and the screaming echoed all over the gardens. He was probably screaming for the parents to bring him food and the parents were waiting for him to finally get off the nest and get his own food.

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Lots of fun things in a small park.

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 I can always find green herons at this lake.

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This looks like a young mallard that’s molting and getting his male feathers in.

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Lots of young blue jays.

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A grackle with a yummy snack.

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A leucistic Eurasian collared-dove.  It’s rare to see an all white Eurasian dove.

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You can always hear the loud screaming of monk parakeets at this park. They nest in the water tower near the park and spend a lot of time on the grass eating. They blend in really well and unless you hear them screaming, you would never know they were in the trees in front of you.

Crescent Lake Park is a small park near downtown St. Petersburg. There’s a small lake with a sidewalk all around. There’s a ball field next door as well as a dog park and houses across the street on 2 sides of the park. On a Saturday morning, the park is full of joggers, walkers, kids playing and me, the crazy lady with the camera.

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Blending in

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I couldn’t see them at first but could hear them screaming from across the lake. As I got closer I could see movement in the trees and in the grass below. You can usually find wild monk parakeets at Crescent Lake park near downtown St. Petersburg if you listen for them. They are really loud. I sat under the tree for a few minutes and watched them. They were eating bugs in the grass and flirting in the trees. This was in late June so they must have still been nesting. They nest high up in the water tower near the lake.

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Birds at the ballpark

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Yes, I took this right into the sun in the middle of the day! I stopped by the ballpark near my neighborhood to see if these baby osprey were all grown up. The lights around the football and baseball fields are full of osprey nests. These two still have spots on their wings and orange eyes but they will be leaving soon. They were not yelling at me. They are used to being surrounded by people at the park. They were yelling at the below.

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Underneath the osprey nest, monk parakeets have built a nest.They are constantly buzzing around the osprey nest. I think they do it to torture them. Maybe the parakeets know the osprey only eats fish, not little green parrots.

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Someone was peaking out at me from high above.

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Another was hanging upside down.

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The big flock was constantly moving around. Flying into trees and back to the lights. It was hard to keep up with them. I found a few that were still for a few minutes in the trees.

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They are cute but so loud. I guess the parents who sit there for hours and watch their kids play ball are used to the screaming from the birds.

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Getting some sun.

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Mom is on the left, babysitting the two crazy kids on the right.

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What is this little bird on the light post?

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I realized there were juvenile loggerhead shrikes in the trees and one had landed on the post.

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They looked so young.

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I think this one was yelling for his Mom to come feed him.

I only planned to stop by the ballpark for a few minutes. I finally left an hour later and it was way past lunchtime. I started following the parakeets around the park and realized they don’t sit still for a second. They were going from tree to light post to another tree and so on. I was heading back to my car when I saw the shrikes in a tree and stopped and watched them for a while hoping a parent would show up with a meal. After a while, I was getting hungry and tons of people were pouring into the park so it was time to head home.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday