Excuse me, are you Mr. Ed?

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While I’m waiting for the eagle babies to wake up from their nap, I was watching the horses at the farms around the nest. I need to take the time to go horseback riding some day. I used to go many years ago.  One of the farms near the nest has horses that you can ride. They do group trail rides. I wonder if I can take all of my camera equipment with me? It was fun to watch one of the horses come out of the barn and lay down and take a dirt bath. I felt like I had taken a dirt bath after standing there for an hour.  Some of the horses were beautiful. The one with the stripes was pretty funny. He looks like a zebra hybrid.

Linking up to Saturday’s Critters

A walk on a new bridge – Skywatch Friday

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There’s a new walking and biking bridge in town. They built a pedestrian bridge on the Courtney Campbell Causeway next to the car bridge. The causeway connects Tampa to Clearwater. I stopped for a walk after work. It was around 6:30pm but was getting dark from the storm clouds moving in.

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You could see it raining over across the bay towards south Tampa. I didn’t see any lightning.

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Zooming in on Tampa from the top of the bridge. This is extremely cropped.

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It’s not a long bridge. I walked across it twice in about 40 minutes. It was starting to thunder so I headed home.

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Before pulling out at the end of the causeway, I turned around and took this. Not much of a view of the sun.  At least the clouds kept it cooler and there was a strong wind. It was a nice walk after work and I didn’t have to drive out of my way to get there.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday

Baby tricolored herons at the zoo

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Baby tricolored heron looking at me.

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Was he giving me the peace sign? No, just scratching an itch.

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At first they were quiet. Then the screaming started. They must have known mom was close by.

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Mom shows up at the nest and chaos starts.

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Screaming goes on.

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Then begging.

A short video of the baby being fed. It’s funny to watch those little wings going so fast. Mom pauses in the beginning to regurgitate the food up. Yum!

I stopped by the zoo in mid-May to see if there were any more spoonbills hanging around. No spoonbills but there were a few nests with baby tricolored herons and blue herons. All were in the bushes and palm trees over the alligator exhibit.

Check out more pictures at Our World Tuesday  Our World Tuesday Graphic

My first visit to Cockroach Bay – Skywatch Friday

When I started walking down the trails, I didn’t notice the pink at first. It was only when I turned around and saw the sun coming through the plants that I noticed the color. The trails were covered in this.

I saw this kingfisher hovering over a pond across the trail.

I think this was a yellow rumped warbler. The trail was full of these little guys.

Red shoulder hawk sitting on the wire across the road.

At the top of a small mound, you could see Tampa from far away. I was at least an hour away from the city.

I had heard about Cockroach Bay for several years but never made it there until recently. I went looking for the red-breasted nuthatches that had been sighted there but did not find them. I was joined by several other birders and all we found were tons of yellow rumped and pine warblers. The trails were pretty quiet that morning. It reminded me a bit of my favorite place, Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland. Since I have to drive the long way around the bay, it took me longer to get to Cockroach bay so I’ll probably not head back there too often. Didn’t see any cockroaches there. The story is that early explorers saw the horseshoe crabs from a distance and thought they were big cockroaches. The name was never changed.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday

New bird – green tailed towhee

This is not a green tailed towhee. This is a hispid cotton rat.

My first view of the green tailed towhee.

A close up shot. Look at that rust head!

I had been hearing about the green tailed towhee for a couple of weeks. I didn’t have time before Christmas to swing by the Possum Branch preserve to see it. I had some time New Year’s weekend so I headed out early in the morning. Luckily, there were two other photographers there that had already seen it or I would have never found it. The directions on Bird Brains said follow the path to the canal, take a left and look at the first mulberry tree. He wasn’t there. He was hiding under brush next to the boat ramp. Everyone said if you see the rat eating bird seed, you’re in the right place. We waiting for about an hour until the towhee made an appearance. It was worth the wait even if he didn’t come out from under the brush.  I saw some other cool birds there but more on those later.