A few stops on the way home.

The trail around the ponds at Possom Branch Preserve were covered in these purple flowers. The bees seemed to love them.

Little critters.

I noticed a swallow tail kite cruising high over the busy road next to the preserve.

Lots of parulas and palm warblers but not many other birds. Spring migration was pretty much over by early May.

On the way home I stopped by a small park near Possum Branch Preserve to take a peek on the boardwalk. Nothing there but I saw the above yellow billed cuckoo in the parking lot. I saw it fly into a tree and at first glance I thought it was a dove. I’m glad I stopped and paid attention. These are fairly rare here.

I also stopped by the fishing pier in Safety Harbor to see if there were any manatees. No manatees this morning but a school of sting rays swam under the pier.

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An early June trip to Chesnut Park

Visiting my “deer” friends at Chesnut Park.

The usual summer birds were there. A catbird, palm warbler, white eyed vireo and a red-winged blackbird.

A tiny gator getting some rays.

A lone muscovy hangs around the pond.

Wood ducks stay far away.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World.

Rare birds and common ones

I hadn’t seen cedar waxwings in years. They are somewhat rare here and only a few come through during spring migration. I saw one hiding deep in the bushes and was a little bummed he was not visible. Later in my walk a flock of them quickly flew by and one stopped for a few second right in front of me. They are beautiful birds.

A rare western kingbird. I’ve only seen these once before in the area in the last 9 years. At first I thought it was a great crested flycatcher which are more common but realized later it was a kingbird.

All of the usual birds that are at Possum Branch Preserve.

Not sure what this little yellow bird it. I’m thinking it’s an immature palm warbler.

Other little critters along the lake (besides alligators).

These were all taken at Possum Branch Preserve, a small watershed, near my home in mid-April.

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Cute little birds at Circle B Bar Reserve

Lots of cute little birds around the nature center in mid February: palm wabler, blue gray gnatcatcher, female indigo bunting and several female painted buntings.

Of the course everyone wants the shot of the male painted bunting. We knew there was at least one there but after searching over an hour, I was about to give up when this guy above stopped for a second before taking off again. I snapped this quickly before he was gone only to get a blurry shot.

Red leaves in the winter.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World.

The Usual Suspects.

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The usual suspects along the trail: pied grebe, sparrow, palm warbler, cardinal, snowy egret and a hawk that looks half asleep.

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This very handsome common yellowthroat was posing nicely for me.

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An osprey bringing home padding for the nest.

The usual things at Circle B Bar Reserve in early January.

SkyWatch Friday

Hidden behind some trees

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Hiding behind trees at a very busy intersection in the Tampa Bay area is Possum Branch Preserve. There’s only a tiny sign on the fence and no real parking. You just pull onto the grass and park along the fence. There wasn’t a lot of birds the day I was there in early December but tons of plants along the ponds. If it wasn’t for all of the loud traffic close by I would have thought I was in the middle of nowhere.

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They all look alike

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This one looks like a female common yellowthroat. Although, it also looks like a female hooded warbler.

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The above two looks more like a female hooded warbler.

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Possible pine warbler.

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Or these could be a pine warbler.

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This is an easy one. A yellow throated warbler.

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A palm warbler.

All of these little yellow guys look alike. Especially the females. ¬†Pine, Palm, Prairie or Polka Dots??? ¬† I can’t keep them straight. Next spring I’m going to take the time to write down what they are as I am taking pictures if someone there knows. Sometimes I have different people telling me the same bird is something different so that’s even more confusing. These were all taken in mid-November at Chesnut Park. It was a busy day for little yellow birds.