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.
My neighbors planted payaya trees on the side of the house and this little phoebe has been hanging out on the fence in front of the trees. I can see him when I’m working in the back bedroom (which for now is my “work from home” room). One day I got up and grabbed my camera and shot the above through the window. He’s gone for the summer now so I won’t see him again until September or October.
Even though cardinals are common, I don’t see them often at my feeder.
A red bellied woodpecker has been coming to the feeder every day. He’s picking out the peanuts. You can see his red belly in the first picture.
For several weeks we had a grumpy looking great blue heron on our dock or our neighbor’s dock.
This duck couple stops by every couple of days. They nap in our backyard.
A new bird to the backyard. I went outside to put food in the feeder early one morning in February and noticed a small bird sitting on my neighbor’s sailboat mast. Once in a while we get an osprey or red shoulder hawk sitting up there but this bird was much smaller. I realized it was a kestrel and ran inside and grabbed my camera and walked out on the dock and he was still sitting there while I took his picture. Then a crow came by and chased him off. I don’t see kestrels often, usually at Fort Desoto so I was surprised to see him here.
Starlings took over our tree right before dark.
Things in the backyard including some weird fungus growing in our mulch after a long rain. We often get small mushrooms in the grass after a rain but this orange thing was a first. Being the nerd that I am, I looked it up and it’s a columned stinkhorn. It’s common in Florida in mulch beds and it’s suppose to smell horrible if you break it. Luckily I left it there and it’s gone now. I wonder if an animal ate it.
A few of the birds that visited our backyard in the recent months. A little blue heron on our dock, a great blue heron on our neighbor’s completed demolished dock (after Hurricane ETA), and the phoebe on our fence. I see the little phoebe almost every day. Maybe because I don’t have dogs he looks for his meals here. He eats flying insects instead of seed so he doesn’t visit my feeder.
The starlings have a nest on my neighbor’s boat lift.
An osprey sitting our a neighbor’s sailboat mast.
We usually get spotted sandpipers in the winter. They hang out in the muck at low tide.
A few creepy visitors include a mangrove crab and a spiny orb.
Squirrels constantly run across our screened porch which is cute but long term they pull out the screen and tear it up so sometimes we yell at them to get off.
I was cutting through the woods at Chesnut Park to get to the big lake and caught movement off to the side. I stopped and saw a big family of deer feeding along the small pond. They checked me out for a few seconds but then kept eating. I stood for a few minutes just watching them, glad no one else was around to spook them for the little time I was trying to take some pictures.
I caught this phoebe in the bushes with a bug in his beak.
Another phoebe out in the open.
Little flying critters. I don’t see red ones often.
I think I woke this guy up. A harmless black racer was sleeping near the trail.
It was starting to look like fall in late November. You could see a glimpse of red.
Nested season had already started for the great blue herons at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. Some were just starting to work on nests, some were still showing off for their mate and some were already sitting on eggs.
The permanently injured resident white morph great blue heron was showing his breeding colors in his beak. The colors were really pretty against his white neck.
A caracara yelling at something. It’s rare to see a caracara in the Tampa bay area so this is a new bird for a lot of people They can usually be found more inland in central Florida. unfortunately this bird is here because he was injured out in the wild and lost a wing.
An eagle with a missing wing.
A wild phoebe flew right in front of me and posed so I had to take his picture.
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.