Some of the sightings in our backyard this past spring. A crow gathering nesting material. The last time I saw our neighborhood kingfisher before he headed back north was in early April, Hooded mergansers were a common sight but they leave in early spring as well. A starling looking for bugs.
One morning as I was leaving for work I saw these robins in my neighbor’s driveway. Luckily I had my camera with the long lens in my car and snapped these out of the car window before leaving.
A creepy caterpiller on my car in the garage. I think this is a Sycamore Tussock moth. While it’s doesn’t sting, the fur could cause hives. I’ve read it’s best not to touch prickly caterpillers.
Things in the sky including this fireball that appeared when the sun started peaking out of the clouds after a storm right before sunset in the backyard.
This lady kingfisher has been a regular visitor this past winter. She’s either on the dock or on the boat lift poles.
Mr Grumpy (great blue heron) sometimes naps on our dock.
An anhinga paid a visit recently.
My resident osprey has been spending some time on our neighbor’s sailboat mast. I took this right before the sun went down. He usually comes in right before dark and sleeps there.
One day we had a hawk on the same mast.
We have a spotted sandpiper that hangs out in the channel in the winter. I went out on the dock to take this picture. He let me get pretty close. It was during an extreme low tide so he was walking around in the muck.
A couple of weeks ago we had a pelican on our dock. This is the first time I’ve ever seen one here. I rarely see them come into the channels. They usually stay out closer to the bay.
One night right before the sun went down I went outside to get something and saw a flock of robins hanging out in our tree on the side of the house. They stayed long enough for me to run back in the house to get my camera and come back out and snap a few shots.
We get a lot of squirrels in our yard.
Pretty flower on the fence.
A few of the critters passing through our yard in the last few months.
After I left Bok Tower Gardens I stopped by Lake Parker in Lakeland to get out and walk around for a few minutes before heading back to Tampa. It was a quiet afternoon with only a few critters near the boat ramp.
Next to Lake Parker is a huge soccer field. There was no one playing on the field that day but I’m sure on a weekend there are tons of kids running around. There were light posts along the fields and in between them with nests on them. All of them had osprey nesting on top except for one. One light post right at the entrance to the field had an owl nest. The sun was not in my favor that afternoon but I was able to get the above. There were two almost grown owlets on the nest with Mom but one was hiding on the other side of Mom. On nights and weekends these fields are packed with screaming kids playing ball. I guess the owls don’t mind.
A few things I saw on my central Florida trip to Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales and Lake Parker in Lakeland in early March.
Were they trying to sing together? Or just posing for me?
Some robins arrived and shared the fountain with the warblers.
On the top.
More robins arrived.
Then I noticed a catbird on the right.
I stopped by Larry’s fountain at Fort Desoto to see if anything was hanging around yet. Last year the fountain was busy with spring migraters but that wasn’t until early April. Most of the usual birds were there. It was the first time I had seen a robin at the park, although I know this time of year they can be found anywhere in the area. It was a quiet morning and no one else was there. I just sat on the bench near the bushes and watched the warblers and robins fly back and forth between the fountain and the bushes.
I don’t think I’ve seen robins in the Tampa bay area. I know they are around in the winter but I haven’t caught them anywhere yet. Some people get large flocks of them visiting their backyards but I have not been so lucky. So when I stopped by the Oakland Cemetery in downtown Atlanta on Christmas eve, I was excited to see so many robins everywhere. The cemetery is a very old picturesque place that is popular with photographers. It’s got a lot of cool old gravestones and mausoleums but it’s also got a lot of birds as well. Maybe I’m the only one that goes there to take pictures of birds. The only thing missing were eagles, which a lot of Florida cemeteries are known for having.