Monarch caterpillars in the backyard this past couple of months. In late December, they all disappeared and the leaves were stripped so we cut back the milkweed plants.
Our milkweed plants were overrun with the above bugs. The caterpillars didn’t seem to mind. We didn’t want to spray the bugs since the butterflies would be on the plants. Since we cut the plants back the bugs are gone, although I’m sure they will come back once the plants start to grow back this spring.
This little guy was watching me take pictures of the bugs. I kept asking him why he didn’t eat them all. He said he preferred fries.
Wasps on the Bismark palm tree.
Usual visitors in the backyard, an osprey on our neighbor’s sailboat mast and a phoebe with a snack on our fence. The phoebe is pretty skittish so I had to take the above through the bedroom window.
There were few birds out on the beach at Fort Desoto when I visited during the peak of the red tide algae bloom. The few there were busy eating breakfast. Some were eating the dead sea life that had washed up on shore. I didn’t see any birds acting sick during this trip. Volunteers were out on the beach every day looking for sick birds that could be affected by eating too much of the dead fish. I kept yelling “Don’t eat that.” but they weren’t listening.
A cormorant and osprey were fighting over a lamp-post on the pier.
Even the crows were eating the dead fish. The park rangers kept raking up the shoreline but the dead fish kept washing up on shore.
Royal terns in the air.
The sandbar spit across the channel was full of birds.
Plants and critters at Chesnut Park and Possum Brand Preserve.
Not many birds around in early August. It was so hot I wasn’t getting out much for a few weeks. A 2 hour walk early on Saturday mornings was all I could handle in the heat and humidity before heading home for a nap.
Watching the baby osprey grow up at work. The nest in the light post in the parking lot was big. There were 2 babies turning into adults quickly. The above were taken on May 24th. We are thinking they were born in early May. It was May 16th when we could first see the little baby head pop up over the nest.
By June 1st they looked like full-grown osprey. I caught Mom feeding them both one night leaving work.
By June 16th, they were flapping their wings and sitting on the nest without a parent nearby. It was only a matter of days before they were gone.
On June 26th I was heading to my car and noticed both babies were gone. I found one of them in a nearby tree. He still has those orange eyes and white spots on the end of his wings. They still hang around the area and I see them occasionally hanging around the trees near the nest when leaving work.
We have an osprey nest in our parking lot at work. Every morning and evening for weeks I watched the osprey parent sitting on the nest. Finally, on May 16th, I saw a head pop up. The baby was finally visible to see from my car. Later I would find out there were 2 babies but on this day I only saw the one head.
The parent took off. The other parent was close by on another light post.
The fish crows were relentless this year. They were driving the parents crazy, buzzing close to the nest and chasing after them as they come into the nest with a fish.
Mom finally settled down to feed the baby. I kept my camera in the car for several weeks so I have more pictures of the babies growing up to post later.
Two very young green herons were waiting for mom to come back with food. They were standing on the boardwalk rail. As soon as they saw mom come into the bushes they hopped back on the branches and headed deep in the bush to get fed.
A common moorhen family. There were at least 6 families along the ponds.
Young grackles and their parents were along the boardwalk.
The usual birds along the boardwalk, a blue jay, an osprey eating a fish on top of one of the office buildings and one of the many anhingas.
A walk around Carillon Park after work in early May.