Early April walk at 2 parks.

Lots of brown thrashers were being seen in April.  First 2 were taken at Chesnut Park and the bottom 2 were taken at Possum Branch Preserve later that morning. The video is a short one of the thrasher singing at the top of his lungs.

Other usual suspects at Chesnut Park.

The mulberries were ripe, waiting for the birds to come chow down in early April. I didn’t realize Possum Branch Preserve had so many mulberry trees along the trail. The birds eventually showed up in late April. More of that to come.

A small gator sleeping on the grass. I took this from across the pond.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Another baby duck family in the neighborhood.

More muscovy baby ducks in my neighborhood pond.  This has been a busy spring with more duck families than I’ve ever seen in the 13 years we’ve lived here.  Baby ducks everywhere. These babies were resting close to Mom. I stopped for just a minute and took these quickly.

A mallard couple in the pond.

We usually see a cormorant or anhinga in this pond.

Linking to Wednesday Around The World.

Duck, Duck, Goose……

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Grumpy ole muscovy duck.

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Different pretty ducks at the lake.

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The lesser scaup stayed in the middle of the lake.

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Friends hanging out together.

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The geese stick together.

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Interesting pigeon.

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There’s always a green heron at one end of the lake.

I hadn’t been to Crescent Lake Park in downtown St. Pete in a long time. I had to run some errands near there right before Christmas so I brought my camera along and walked around the lake early that morning before my errands. Nothing new there but it was a nice morning out.

Saturday's Critters

No babies yet in north Tampa

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A few muscovy ducks showing off.

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The great egrets are starting to get that lime green color around their eyes. That means it’s mating time already.

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Cormorants were fighting for nesting spots high up in the trees.

There’s a small rookery in a north Tampa neighborhood that is covered with nests in the spring. I found out about this little pond late last spring and most of the babies were almost grown up. I was near the area and stopped by to see if there were any babies yet in late January. I guess  it’s still too early for the egrets and storks to be nesting. Even though the eagles and owls already have them, the water birds are a little later. I’ll check back in late March.

Our World Tuesday Graphic

Growing up muscovy

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When I first got to Crescent Lake Park, I saw the muscovy babies hiding under a bench.

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Later on, after my lap around the lake, I saw the family walking around.

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The babies were sticking close to the parents.

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Another adult came walking by and was causing trouble. It seemed like he didn’t want the family near his corner of the park.

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The parents closed in on the babies.

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They were yelling at the other muscovy duck to stay back.

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They start off so cute. Look how pretty that yellow ring around his eye is. He is already starting to get the weird pattern near his beak.

Eventually the family moved on and kept walking around the park.

Check out more pictures at Our World Tuesday Our World Tuesday Graphic

Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention  for 

Muscovy duck babies are getting bigger

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A little more grown up, their bills are starting to look more like muscovy’s instead of a mallard bill.

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So cute and fuzzy!

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Mom’s got a cool hairdo.

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The little brown one was exhausted after swimming around.

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They want to know if I have a snack. I sat down on the sidewalk farther down and they come running looking for a handout.

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No snacks for you little guy. Go eat bugs.

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Time for another swim since it was so hot out.

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All wet.

The muscovy babies at my neighborhood pond were barely growing up after I stopped three weeks after taking the first pictures.

Extreme cuteness in my neighborhood

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I was driving home recently from a morning hike and as I drove around the little pond in my neighborhood, I noticed a few baby ducks walking around on the sidewalk. I parked my car and got out with my camera. There were two muscovy ducks with 3 babies.  The adult with the white feathers on her head and chest seemed to be the Mom. She stayed close to the babies. They all walked right towards me. I’m sure the neighbors are feeding them. I sat down on the grass and started taking pictures. When they realized I wasn’t going to feed them, they just started wandering around, going about their business.  After doing a little research, it’s not uncommon for muscovy ducks to have different babies. Some are all yellow, some all look just like mallard babies and some are mostly brown like the one above. I’m going to try to keep an eye out for them to see what they look like as they get older.

Linking up to Saturday’s Critters

Rainy walk around Lake Morton

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This muscovy duck was checking me out. Most of the ducks come pretty close to see if you have food to give them.

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One of my favorite hybrid ducks at the lake. He’s pretty with the black and white body and yellow beak.

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One lone white pelican still hanging around the lake. All of his friends have gone north for the summer. He looked okay so I’m not sure why he’s still hanging around.

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A male wood duck standing on one of the old swan pens along the lake.

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One of the cottonball heads shaking off.

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I realized he’s missing an eye. I don’t remember any of them missing an eye before.

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The other eye was fine.

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Unusual couple watching me.

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The powder puff male mallard is still there.

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As I was walking around the lake, I ran into some people feeding the wildlife. They were throwing bread to the birds. At least some people bring dried corn to feed them so it’s not always bad bread.

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Chaos started as birds from across the lake realized someone had food. They all came over.  The storks started grabbing bread.

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Everyone wants a handout. I guess they get tired of eating bugs and fish all the time.

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The great blue heron flew in and got a few bites.

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I left Lake Morton and headed over to Lake Mirror, just 5 minutes away. It was quiet there with only a few ducks close to the shore. I immediately saw this female mandarin duck.

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Then I found the male mandarin duck on the grass. These are not native ducks. The city purchased them because they were pretty and would look good floating around the lake downtown.

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At first he jumped in the water and headed for his girlfriend.

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As I sat down on the grass, the male came back up on shore. He seemed curious and headed towards me. He came really close and then headed back into the water. Again, I think he was looking to see if I had food to give him.

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The couple chilling out along the lake.

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Another strange hybrid couple.

It rained all weekend in mid-April. I wanted to get over to Lakeland to see if any of the swan eggs had hatched yet. I thought maybe I’d get lucky and the rain would   stop. No such luck. It drizzled the entire time I was walking around both lakes. At one point it starting raining heavier and I was walking around with my rain slicker on and trying to juggle an umbrella. By lunch, it was not going to clear up so I headed home. At least I got my walk in that morning.