Nature at the house

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.

A rainbow in the front yard.

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Deer in the woods

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.

Breakfast on the trail.

Everyone was eating breakfast along the trail.

Some of the birds were eating the seeds from the bitter melon (or balsom pear).

A few usuals along the trail.

A scruffy looking pine warbler trying to hide in the bushes.

A snail kite across the marsh. He had been diving down getting snails to eat but he was so far away I couldn’t get a clear shot of him moving.

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Birds at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

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.

Resident pelicans.

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.

Linking to My Corner of the World.

In the backyard

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.

A full moon in December from the driveway.

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All the usual wildlife at Chesnut Park

I saw a hawk sitting on the pole holding up the volleyball net.  A few minutes later it started to rain. I ducked under cover but he just sat there through the quick shower.

All of the usual birds were at Chesnut Park in early November, including the female common yellowthroat warbler.

Two different female American redstarts came out of hiding for a few seconds.

I think this is a female painted bunting, which is fairly rare to see at this park.

Other critters at the park including that alligator in the top picture with a huge fish hanging out of his mouth.

The usual suspects at Lettuce Lake Park


The parks are full of white eyed vireos and phoebes right now.

“Common” yellowthroats are pretty common as well.

Doves get no respect even though they have pretty pink feet.

Limpkin eating a snail.

These are actually pretty cool bees, although I wouldn’t want to disturb that nest.

Gators and lizards.

Muhly grass in bloom.

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My favorite little birds.

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My favorite little titmouse coming to check me out.

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My next favorite blue-gray gnatcatchers. They would be my favorite but they are so annoying the way they don’t sit still for a second.

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Other usual birds at the park: white eyed vireo, cardinal, eastern phoebe, female red winged blackbird and the always present red bellied woodpecker.

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It’s hard to ignore the cute squirrels.

Stuff at Chesnut Park in early January.

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Common and uncommon birds at Chesnut Park

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Above are some of the common birds you see in the winter here. An Eastern phoebe, a catbird, a black and white warbler and a blue-gray gnatcatcher.

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Another common year round bird, the pileated woodpecker. Most of the time I usually hear them screaming from high up in the trees. This one came down a little closer.

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A house wren is not that common.

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Yellow throated warblers are common in the winter but they tend to hide up in the palm trees and under the palms.

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I think these are all pine warblers.

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Not a common bird for me to see, a black capped chickadee. There were several high up in the trees near the boardwalk.

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A very strange but not uncommon bird flying over the lake.

Lots of little birds flying around Chesnut Park in early November (a few big ones too).

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Busy morning on the trail.

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A wren hiding in the bushes. I think this is either a house or marsh wren.

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Cormorant fly-bys.

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Several limpkins were eating along the trail.

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So many limpkins have grown up right on the trail. They are not easily frightened.  In the first picture, I saw this big group of school kids heading down the trail and I didn’t think the limpkin was going to move. He didn’t. He just stood there like “You guys are in my way.” The kids eventually went around him one by one.

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A snowy egret and cormorant hanging around the dock.

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There were so many phoebes there. There was a constant echo of their call.

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Close enough.

All from my recent trip to Circle B Bar Reserve in central Florida.

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