Redhead and redbreast invasion!

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The redheads had invaded the duck pond just outside of Fort De Soto as they do every winter. The pond was full of them as well as a few ring neck ducks.

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Showing off.

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This winter there seems to be more northern shovelers than in the past.

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Up on his toes.

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Look at that bill! They were all busy bathing and flapping on the dark dreary morning I was there in early January.

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Another female shoveler showing off.

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Some were trying to sleep. I should have slept in as well since it started to sprinkle.

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Out at the beach, I saw a few red breasted mergansers in the lagoon.

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Only females though. I think that first one has a shrimp.

The first four days of the New Year were dark and dreary. I had relatives visiting and it rained on them the entire time. They left on the weekend and I headed down to Fort De Soto just to get out, rain or no rain. It started with dark clouds and luckily didn’t start drizzling until I was leaving. I stopped at the duck pond outside the park since it was full of redheads. I’m still looking for that wigeon to add to my list. The pond was full of the usuals including coots, mallards, lesser scaup and the above.

Camera Critters

A pond full of redheads

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A very small sampling of the massive amount of ducks in a tiny pond before you drive into Fort Desoto park. Some say there are thousands there. Most are redheads with a few ring necks and lesser scaup.

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That coot in the middle was like “I’m tired of being surrounded by redheads. I’m outta here.”

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Most were trying to sleep the morning I stopped by.

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Many were preening and bathing.

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A juvenile ring billed gull flies over the pond. Looks like no place to land on the water.

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There were a few northern shovelers in the pond but they stayed in a group by themselves in the corner.

The “duck pond” before you drive into the park is always empty in the summer. In the winter it’s filled with migrating ducks. This winter seems like the most we’ve had. There wasn’t much room for another duck. Since I took these a couple of weeks ago, the redheads have moved to a lagoon across from the east beach turnaround at the park. It’s in front of the Sunshine Skyway bridge. People are estimating there could be as many as 10,000 there right now. They must have eaten all of the bugs in the pond so they had to move to find more bugs? Those redheads really are distinctive looking ducks. So pretty.

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