Finally, I was able to see the head of a baby on the eagle’s nest in my neighborhood on 2/11. He still had gray fuzz on his head. This nest has been really annoying this year. They rebuilt it farther back on the tower and the nest has sunken in quite a bit. And so many sticks “sticking” up in the way. But I was glad to see at least one baby!
It looks like one of the parents was adding to the nest.
Both parents together on the nest on a sunny morning.
This was the view from the other side of the nest. You can really see where it was sinking in the middle so the babies are hidden far down in the bowl.
At this point there was always one parent on guard on the tower.
One morning I saw an eagle on the big pine tree in front of the Oldsmar pier. He spent a lot of time up here last year but this was this first time seeing him here this year.
Flybys close to the nest included a pelican and osprey. There is an osprey nest close by the eagle’s nest and the osprey will fly close but the eagles always yell at them and they take off.
I heard the pileated woodpecker screaming as he landed on top of the utility pole right in front of where I was standing at the nest. I quickly snapped this and off he went again. I hear them screaming all over the neighborhood.
One of the many osprey nest in the neighborhood. This one is a few towers down from the eagle’s nest. I caught them bringing in padding for the nest. This one is pretty far away.
It was early February and I was stopping by the eagle’s nest on my way out of the neighborhood almost every day (it’s a slight one street detour). I was hoping for a peek of a baby’s head but nothing so far.
I caught both adults on the nest at one point. This was a good sign.
One day I was at the nest late in the day and saw an adult flying in with a squirrel. He bypassed the nest and went to the nearest pole and started eating.
The moon was just coming up for the night. The eagle took a few bites then flew into the nest.
The eagle landed on the nest with the squirrel and looked like she or he was feeding something but I still couldn’t see anything at this point. It was a good sign that there was a baby in the nest. The nest was sunken in at the middle and was farther back than last year so that may be why I can’t see anything yet. By early February last year I could see a baby being fed but the nest was closer to the edge.
It was time to go home and get dinner ready but not before snapping the almost full moon before dark.
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.
There’s something magical about being at Circle B Bar Reserve when the sun is coming up. Besides it not being crowded or hot yet, the birds and critters are very active this early in the morning. It was my first time back since April and it felt good to be out on the trails. I usually don’t come during the summer because it is so hot and the main trails are closed due to alligators nesting on them.
Turning around, I could see the moon still up in the sky.
Of course I had to stop and take pictures of my favorite spot before heading down the trails. The last one is with my phone and you can see how big the marsh is on this trail.
The great blue heron was sitting right on the trail. I walked right under him and he didn’t move. I stopped and snapped the 2nd one with my phone so you can see how close he was.
After passing him I turned around to see if he had flown off. Nope, he’s still there watching the sun come up.
A few fly bys. A night heron and a pair of cormorants.
Some of the tiny birds, a common yellowthroat (who looks more like a masked bandit) and some blue gray gnatcatchers.
It was a beautiful morning in late January. The sun hadn’t come up over the trees yet and you could still see the moon across the marsh. It was so quiet and only a few other people farther up on the trail. The black bellied whistling ducks were flying back and forth across the trail, heading far off down the marsh. I took a few deep breaths and was so glad I had set my alarm to get here earlier than I usually do.
As I walked down the trail, birds and ducks were constantly flying overhead.
You could still see the cobwebs along the edge of the trail.
Heading down Marsh Rabbit Run, I heard them calling as they started flying towards me and was able to catch the sandhill cranes flying by.
The marsh was all brown from the cold but the sky was bright blue.
I’m still going through my pictures from Fort Desoto in late October. So many shorebirds there at that time. Tons of gulls, terns and skimmers. The 2nd shot is of red knots, feeding before their trip south for the winter.
Many of the birds were taking baths before it got dark.
An uncommon herring gull.
Not sure what kind of snack this laughing gull has.
Some of the smaller shorebirds. Yellowlegs, dowitcher, a black bellied plover and a tiny snowy plover that was smaller than this pile of sand.
It’s weird to see turkey vultures on the beach. They were really in the muck at low tide. The one on the right had a small piece of fish under his foot that he was eating.
Great egret flyby.
This kid was throwing his frisbee into the birds. Why is it so fun to watch the birds flush? Someone walked over to him and asked him to stop and explained that the birds needed their rest before they migrate for the winter. He really just didn’t know. He stopped and went back to his family.
Heading home back into Tampa right before dark, I saw the moon coming up and had to stop and take a picture.
More things growing on my walk around the neighborhood in the mornings before work.
Taking tons of pictures of the hibiscus plant in our yard.
Lots of baby ducks on the walk as well. I realized there are two different creme colored mallards in the neighborhood. Perhaps they are related? This one had one baby with her and has a little more brown in her feathers. She was at a small pond at one end of our neighborhood. There is also one with 9 babies floating around our dock the same day. She’s a little more lighter and we all call her Blondie.
A white pigeon in the pond.
The moon coming out at night. All of the above were taken with my phone.
I stopped by a park in mid-February to check on the owls that nest there every year. They had been sitting on eggs for a while but I wasn’t sure of the exact days. No sign of a baby yet but I found both of the parents. Mom was far down in the nest and I could just barely see the tops of her ears. Dad was sitting close by. It was late in the day and he was just waking up from a long nap.
He took off and flew to a tree nearby and was sitting out in the open. He started hooting. I realized that they don’t hoot with their beaks open but the white part of their chest fluffs up from the vibration. It was cool to sit quietly in the woods right before dark and watch him hoot.
I realized the moon was coming up way off across the bay. After a few minutes he took off heading towards the moon.
Mom was still hiding in that big tree as the sun went down.
Waiting for Brett’s family to come over on Christmas day, I looked out the glass sliding door and saw what I thought was a snake in the muhly grass up against the screened-in porch. My phone was close by so I ran out and snapped the above. It was just a small harmless black racer. They are good to have around because they eat any rats (our neighborhood gets fruit rats due to all of the citrus trees). Since he looked like he wasn’t going anywhere I ran inside and got my camera.
A few closeups taken with my 300mm lens.
Taken through the screen.He eventually left that morning.
A few of the plants around the yard. The bottom one is growing in my neighbor’s yard. Not sure what type of fruit that is. I think it’s a papaya.
As I’m taking pictures of the snake, an osprey cruises by.
The wolf moon in January, taken in my driveway when I got home from work.