I headed up north to Chinsegut Wildlife Area, north of Tampa, in late March. They have a great deck on the back of the nature center with lots of bird feeders off the deck. I was able to catch a few red headed woodpeckers on the way to the deck. The woods here are full of them and I usually see them when I visit.
The first birds I saw high up in the trees were these pale yellow ones. As I zoomed in on them I realized they were goldfinches.
I sat really still for a while and they came down to the feeders. I get one or two at my feeder at home in the winter but this was the most I had seen at one time.
I was hoping to see some different birds than the ones I already get in my backyard. Spring migration was just starting but the ones here were all of the usual wintering birds. There were lots of pine warblers, chipping sparrows, bluebirds, chickadees, titmouse and house sparrows.
A fuzzy caterpillar on the wall next to my seat.
And, they have tons of squirrels being cute, just like back home.
It was a beautiful morning and nice to sit out on that back deck and watch all of the usual birds flying in and out. Another trip in late April is in the plan.
Not an April Fools with this couple. I was looking out the front window and caught this squirrel couple getting frisky. I ran upstairs as they crossed the roof and got an eyeful as they were frisky on the peak of the garage roof.
We already have so many squirrels in the backyard and now I saw this Mom with her young one. At least I think it was a young one. The one on the right was half the size of the one on the left.
They have been hanging out on our back porch chair for a while.
White ibis eating around our bushes in late February.
The pine warblers, catbirds and titmouse were still visiting the backyard but now the pine, palms and yellow rumped warblers as well as the catbirds are all gone. The titmouse are here all year long.
The butterflies really like the lantana plant in the backyard.
I can’t believe it’s April 1st. We really didn’t get a good spring although we got a quick cold spell for a few days in mid-March. It’s now in the mid to high 80’s every day until forever (okay at least till November but it will feel like forever) but the humidity isn’t too bad yet. Today is my brother-in-law’s birthday. Debbie, tell Dave I said Happy Birthday!
I had gone to the grocery store and my neighbor texted me that the turkeys were in my front yard. When I got home they had moved 2 doors down. After putting up the stuff that needed to go in the fridge I ran out with my camera and caught this from my other neighbor’s yard. There were 4 in all but one was hiding on the front porch. They look like turkey unicorns with that small horn on their forehead. I’ve read these are called snoods and females have short ones and the males get longer ones that hang down their face during breeding season.
That lone robin has still been hanging around. One day we got a lot of rain and a small pond formed across the fairway. That afternoon it was full of robins. After the robins left that lone one was still hanging around.
The Carolina wren was looking for nesting material.
In mid-February the hermit thrush was still stopping by the back yard.
This great egret had it’s green breeding face on. It may have a nest nearby.
The pine warblers were still plentiful and not shy at all.
A butterfly finally landed on the hanging lantana plant while I was out filling up the bird bath. I ran in and got my camera and it stayed on the plant for a while.
The blooms in my hanging Christmas cactus started to disappear and I finally realized why. They are also eating my marigolds. Ugh. I know I created this problem myself with the haven for squirrels in the backyard. We have tons of them. We don’t have dogs and they love the bird bath and hang around for fallen bird seed so they also eat the flowers.
Usual visitors to the backyard in early February include palm warblers, pine warblers, chickadees, titmouse, woodpeckers and a yellow throated warbler.
This lone robin has been in the backyard for weeks now. Then one day we got some rain and he had friends show up. They were picking out bugs in the water soaked grass. The next day his friends were gone and he was still there.
I was sitting in the backyard with my camera when this short tailed hawk made a quick fly over. I only got this blurry shot before he flew over the trees but it was cool to see him while I was in the backyard.
During a cold spell I added a suet feeder to the backyard. I was getting bird seed at the hardware store and saw them on the shelf. They were less than $2 for a block so I thought I would put it out while I had taken the seed feeder down to scrub out. I wasn’t sure what I would get because I’ve never used them before but boy, those pine warblers love it. For 2 days there were tons of them waiting their turn at the suet.
A chickadee also stopped by to check it out.
The cardinal sat on it but I didn’t see him eat it. He was probably wondering where the regular seed was.
The Carolina wrens like it as well.
When I put the seed feeder back out I moved it to the side of the bushes closer to the house. This catbird guarded it and wouldn’t let the little birds on it for a while. The pine warblers would sit on the hanging plant and wait for him to leave. I’m on my third block now which should be gone by the end of March if not much sooner. Then I’ll wait until after the hot summer months are over to put one back up.
More of the usual visitors in early January. House finches, goldfinch and lots of pine warblers. Red bellied woodpeckers show up every day.
Also the same birds at the bird bath but now we have a lot of yellow rumped warblers visiting as well.
A downy woodpecker was giving me a “Why haven’t you taken down your Christmas lights yet” look. I had some green lights wrapped around our two short trees in the backyard that finally got taken down.
The lone hermit thrush showed up again.
I’ve been sticking close to home for a while now. In a cruel twist of fate, just as I was started to head out on hikes with my longer heavy lens and camera after my shoulder surgery, I developed a nasty case of plantar fasciitis in my left foot with severe heel pain. It’s been going on forever, almost 6 weeks and is taking forever to heal. I’m doing all of the standard stuff to help it heal but it’s being stubborn. Any one ever had to deal with this? Any words of wisdom? I’m icing it, rolling the ball on my foot, sleeping with a plantar boot, stretching, etc. I’ve always worn orthopedic shoes and slippers. On a fun note, I’ve been seeing lots of interesting things in the backyard.
The turkeys were regular visitors to the backyard in early December. One afternoon I saw these 2 looking like they were having a spat. I’m pretty sure they are siblings. Maybe the red head is a male? They were born this spring so they are still pretty young.
Another day I caught them feeding. I think he saw me through the window.
The young doe was also coming by almost every day. She was alone every day until one day I think I saw her with some other females.
One day we had 2 females with a younger deer come by and feed. I was hoping our little Bambi had found some friends.
I heard Harley (our cockatiel) yell his “There’s a hawk in the backyard” scream and I ran over and saw this Cooper’s hawk sitting in the oak tree. I couldn’t get a clear shot of him through the window so I snuck out the back door and was able to get the above. He was not spooked when I walked right up to him. I’m assuming this is the same one that was in our front yard a few months ago.
House finches and pine warblers have been regulars at the feeder and bird bath this winter
I checked in on the neighborhood eagle nest the first week in December. I had been seeing a lone eagle around the neighborhood and this was the first time seeing them both on the nest. I went by right after this and saw a head peak up from the nest but I haven’t seen any other activity. I hope she’s sitting on eggs. I can’t see her from the street so I can’t tell
It was early December and I was ready for another morning out with my camera. My first stop was the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. I ended up only taking a few pictures while I was there. I was busy looking for birds of which I found none.
I left the gardens and stopped at nearby McGough Park to see if there were any birds there. No birds but a lot of other critters. The bees have taken over this owl nest box.
A few of the turtles in the turtle pond.
Some of the permanently injured animals that live here (the nature center here houses animals that cannot be released back into the wild). Both owls had injured eyes.
On the way home I stopped at the Largo Nature Preserve and did find a few birds here. You can usually find limpkins along the boardwalk here and they are use to people walking by. This one was sitting on the railing and made no attempt to move as I walked by. This is not cropped.
Not surprised to find the usual birds here. A blue gray gnatcatcher, a black and white warbler and a yellow rumped warbler.
Another usual bird, a pine warbler, was pigging out on caterpillars. He ate several while I was snapping and I was lucky enough for him to show them to me.
Usual critters in the backyard in late October into early November. Bambi was still hanging around the backyard. Her spots were completely gone by this time.
Another visit from the usual winter visitors. A black and white warbler, bluebird, red bellied woodpecker and a house finch.
I saw this pine warbler hopping around our patio, mostly hiding under the chair.
Another visit from an immature indigo bunting. Maybe they like my backyard. It would be nice if they would come back in April when they are all blue.
Doves don’t get a lot of attention but they do have cool pink feet. And, they always pose so nicely for me.
Visitors at the feeder include a red bellied woodpecker, bluebirds, chickadees, a downy woodpecker and blue jays.
Sitting outside staring up in the trees, looking for birds. I don’t sit out here often because the birds disappear when I go outside. Only the titmouse and chickadees will come to the feeder if I’m out there. Also the mosquitoes will attack even with bug spray on so until this recent cold spell it’s been really buggy out there.
More shots of the single young doe that’s been hanging around our yard for several weeks. She has lost her spots but still seems so tiny. Several times she takes a break under the big oak tree next door. I even caught her sleeping one afternoon. She usually lays there for about half an hour nibbling on the grass and then moves on.
All of the usual birds stopping by in early November.
This is the first time I’ve seen a bluebird at my feeder. They stop by the bird bath but I’ve never seen them on the feeder. They usually eat at my neighbor’s feeder. He uses mealworms.
Four of the seven turkey family walking across the golf course in the backyard (the other 3 were down in the bushes).
My neighbor’s muhly grass looks beautiful in early November. The native grass blooms pink in the fall. It made me miss the ones we had in our backyard in Tampa. We thought about planting some outside of our new (ish) townhome but there isn’t a good sunny spot to put it.
Sunset in the pond across the street. This was in late October. We haven’t seen orange skies since.