Two new birds in the backyard

Two new birds in the backyard (although I’ve seen them both before somewhere else). Two brown headed cowbirds stopped by but didn’t stay long. A hermit thrush has become a regular visitor since early December.

An eastern phoebe has stopped by a few times this winter. I caught him taking a bath one morning.

Regular visitors include a black and white warbler, cardinals (who are usually shy and don’t come out in the open but I caught this one on the bath) and bluebirds.

Every few weeks a yellow throated warbler stops by. He usually hunts for bugs in the small palm tree next to our house. I went outside to get these since he was hiding under the palms.

I heard her before I saw her. I heard the pileated woodpecker’s loud scream as she flew into our oak tree. I snapped this quickly through the window before she took off.

I went outside to get this shot. Actually, I went out to try and shoo him away from the window and took my camera out with me. He is not easily scared. I’m glad he hangs out in our corner of the neighborhood but I don’t want him too close to the window where Buddy and Harley stay (in the sunroom).

A young little blue heron that hasn’t lost his white baby feathers yet.

I’m glad I put that nest box up so the squirrels can nap on it.

Things blooming in the backyard in late December.

Inspire Me Monday

The usual visitors

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.

Out in the neighborhood

I caught this squirrel sitting on a small palm tree outside our window. He had his cheeks full of fuzz from the tree and I was able to snap the top shot. When he took his paws and folded the fuzz up I was happy to get more shots. He was so cute. He jumped from the palm tree over to the oak tree and took off up the tree. I can see a half built nest up there but it’s really not nesting season since it’s getting colder (I know they nest all year round here in central Florida but it’s rare to see them starting a family in early November.)

In early October I caught one of my neighborhood eagles eating something on top of the light pole. I’ve been seeing the couple often cruising around the neighborhood but I haven’t seen them hanging on the nest that they used last year yet.

Birds near the eagles nest include several loggerhead shrikes and some young starlings.

Looking out the window during Hurrincane Nicole, I could see a lot of ibis feeding in the newly formed pond.

Some of the regulars (wood stork and spoonbill) that hang out in the ditch along the golf course.

Inspire Me Monday

 

Looking for a breeze

It was a perfect day to head down to St. Pete for a walk and hopefully catch a breeze in mid-August. My first stop was Crescent Lake Park. I was hoping to see hummingbirds at the big firebush but all I got was bees.

I happen to look over near the playground and saw this squirrel trying really hard to get in the unattended bag. A lady saw what was happening and ran over. She had donuts in her bag. I don’t blame the squirrel for trying to get those.

I stumbled on an outdoor dog obedience training class. Since I had my longer lens I was able to watch from pretty far away. All of the dogs seemed pretty chilled.

I left the park and headed over to the yacht basin near downtown for a quick walk before it got crazy hot. 

SkyWatch Friday

Is it Thanksgiving yet?

I saw a hummingbird buzzing by the window in late August so I put the feeder back out. A few hours later there she was, getting a snack. She came to the feeder several times the next day and that was the last I’ve seen of her so far.

Walking by the window I saw the turkeys roaming around the backyard. A few minutes later they had disappeared. Where did they go that fast? Was that one in the tree? I snuck out the back door with my camera and found them all over the big oak tree. They were settling down for an afternoon nap so I quickly snapped these and went back inside.

About an hour later I peeked out the window and they were back on the ground feeding. I took all of these through the window. Some golfers had come by, causing them all to stand at attention for a few seconds but they went back to feeding as the golfers kept going on the cart.

Getting a drink on a hot afternoon.

That’s not a bird sticking his head out of the bird house. I hope this frog doesn’t plan on living in it. Although the birds aren’t using anyway.

Inspire Me Monday

The backyard in early August

On the back door after a storm. I couldn’t help but get out my macro lens and shoot this through the door. I’m not sure what it is but it was cool looking.

Every few days I see an armadillo in the backyard.

I was driving into the neighborhood right before dark and I saw the turkeys out on the golf course. I had my camera in the car so I pulled over to get a few shots. After a couple of shots they all started to fly over my car and up into the trees. I would have never thought of turkeys in trees but apparently they sleep in them. It makes sense since it can keep them away from the coyotes.

I had to take a few shots of the squirrels flirting in the backyard.

A few days after seeing the turkeys in the tree, I saw them crossing the fairway in the backyard. I snapped the above through the window before running outside.

I walked out on the golf course since there wasn’t anyone coming through late that day. I had my 400mm lens so I was still pretty far away but they kept their eye on me. This must be the same family with one adult and 6 babies. I think the adult might be the one with the gray head, always keeping her head up and an eye on the others.

Around the house

We had stacked up the outside chairs next to the hanging plant when we were having the house painted and the squirrel found it really easy to sit there and eat the plant. Half of the purslane plant had been eaten before I realized what was going on and caught him red handed.

This guy visits the backyard occasionally. I call him Notch.

I hadn’t seen a northern parula in a couple of months and then this guy showed up in early August. I was able to get a shot through the window right after it stopped raining.

This young cardinal had caught a lizard.

We had a lot of Carolina wrens in the backyard in early spring when they were nesting and then they disappeared. Then in early August we had a few show up again.

I was out riding my bike with my camera and saw this guy crossing the street. I was able to get a few shots of him with this huge meal before he took off down the creek so I don’t know if he ate it. I would have never thought there were fish that big in the small pond nearby.

Front yard skies in early August.

Inspire Me Monday

Riding around the neighborhood.

Out for a bike ride this summer, I always stop at this small pond in the neighborhood. I’m sure it’s just a mosquito pit but I always hope to find some critters getting water. Maybe a deer or raccon but no, just mosquitos. I do hear pileated woodpeckers deep in the woods but I have yet to hike through there.

Just down from the pond the ditches are covered in these purple flowers. The frogs were really loud this morning since it had rained most of the night.

I need to get a bumper sticker for my bike that says “I brake for critters”.  I’m not sure what those black vultures were eating. They wouldn’t let me get too close.

Back at home a bad storm was coming so I took the almost empty bird feeder down and left it just outside the back door. Later that day I look out the window and realized the squirrel had knocked it down and was eating the scraps. When he was done he hopped up on the chair and was giving me the eye to come add more food.

 

Our backyard camera picked up this bobcat creeping around at 2:30am. This was our first bobcat sighting in the neighborhood.

Color on the trees in late July.

All was calm before sunset at the lake across the street.

I have to watch where I stand when I’m taking shots of the sunset. The alligator above was on the shore just below me. He’s relatively small but I see him here often.

Inspire Me Monday

In the yard in June

We’ve had some beautiful skies in June. This was looking across the fairway before the storm hit.

Later I was peeking out the window and caught this lightning with my phone.

Sunset across the street.

These were all blooming on my neighbor’s wall. We share a courtyard.

I was coming back from the mailbox and this bunny was in our yard. I couldn’t believe he was still there when I went in and got my camera and came back out. I’ve been seeing one every couple of days. I wonder if it’s the same one. I call him Peter.

The usual visitors in the backyard. All taken through the window.

I finally got a shot of a great crested flycatcher. I’ve been hearing them calling for months but they always stay high up in the trees. One morning I was sitting outside and had my camera with me and was able to catch him.

Baby bluebird was yelling at Mom to feed him (or her). Taken through the window, they were far out on the golf course.

Squirrels being cute in the backyard.

SkyWatch Friday

Things in the yard in early May

Flowers blooming in the yard in early May.

We had a bad storm one night that formed a small pond on the other side of the golf course. Early the next morning I saw a turkey hanging around the newly formed pond. I grabbed my camera and ran out before the golfers came through. These were taken with my 400mm lens and are cropped up a little but she didn’t seem to mind me standing there. She just went about her preening and strutting around.

A limpkin stopped by while I was shooting the turkey.

The usual birds were coming through the backyard in early May. I’ve been seeing the brown thrashers pretty regularly now.

The baby bluebirds were old enough to cruise around the area. They nest in my neighbor’s nest boxes (several doors down, the neighbors have been living there for years so I think the birds are use to using their boxes). This young one was sitting on the feeder pole in the rain.

Another visit from an armadillo and I always take a shot of the squirrels if they are doing something cute. This time he was just sitting back and relaxing.

The full moon from the driveway.

Inspire Me Monday