Rescue trips in the first half of August

The Raptor Center of Tampa Bay put out a request for a volunteer to pick up an injured turtle that someone had brought in to a vet. Thinking it may have been hit by a car. This is my first sad trip. I got to the vet office and they told me it had just passed away. It was probably in bad shape when it was brought it. As I was fighting back the tears they said “We do have an injured duck. Can you take that to a rehabber?” My response was “Of course”

So this cutie made the trip to the Raptor Center all alone. It looked a little scratched up but otherwise in good shape.

This little wide eyed cutie made the trip from the Raptor Center to a rehabber near St. Pete. Paula at Crikey Wildlife Rescue specializes in rehabbing and releasing raccoons and squirrels. She has had the rabies vaccine and can work with older raccoons, although rabies is fairly rare in our area (only 1 case this year and zero last year in Pinellas county).

I had a carload of red shoulder hawks in the back of my SUV on this trip. Two had been brought in on the same day and both had been shot. The third one had an injured wing.

Nancy from the Raptor Center was able to get them x-ray’d to confirm that the 2 had been shot. Above is one of the x-rays. You can see the tiny bullet near the end of his wing. Who does that? Maybe the hawks were stealing chickens from a farmer or backyard? I would hate to think they were just randomly shot but it could happen.

All three were headed to a vet in Nokomis (south of Sarasota), about an hour away from the Raptor Center. The vet works with wildlife and was going to take the bullets out of the 2 and look at the other one with an injured wing. Since they would stay overnight I just dropped them off and someone nearby was bringing them back later.

The vet was 10 minutes from Nokomis beach so I stopped and got out for a few minutes to stretch my legs before heading home (it would be close to 2 hours to get back to my house). It would have been a perfect morning if it wasn’t so hot. I should have brought my swimsuit and gone for a dip.

Heading over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to get back home. Not much traffic this morning (which is rare).

This tiny young squirrel was brought into a vet one morning. I picked him up and headed straight to the rehabber Penny in south St. Pete.

In mid-August we had a bad storm move through the area and the next day there were quite a few baby squirrels that were brought in. Nests or babies falling from trees in the storm. I drove out to the Raptor Center in Brandon and picked up a large box of squirrels. All different ages and they were huddled together for warmth. They were all going to Penny in south St. Pete to grow up and eventually get released.

A crow with an injured wing also made the trip. He yelled the entire trip.

I had heard there was a rare Egyptian goose that had showed up in the area near where Penny lives. Since I was going to be down there I threw my camera in the car and after dropping off the squirrels and crow I headed to the nearby lake. He was very easy to find. I pulled over and snapped a couple of shots before heading home. This was the first time I have heard of them being in Pinellas county. They are populated all over south Florida, especially in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. I couldn’t find any definite information on whether they were released on purpose or escapees from a zoo. They have been sighted in Florida since the 80’s. They are invasive like the muscovy ducks and I’m sure the neighbors hope it doesn’t have a mate.

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May in the backyard

It was mid-May and the backyard was blooming. The hanging shrimp plant  really made the backyard pop. Bees were always visiting it but one day I was out with my camera and caught the tiny moth on the underside of the petals.

The titmouse was watching the big ants inside the hummingbird feeder. He was trying to understand why he couldn’t get to them (I have since changed to a bigger hummingbird feeder and the ants don’t seem to get on the new one as much).

The juvenile titmouse were usually on the feeder but this morning I saw them bouncing around the small palm tree up against our house.

We still had northern parulas in late May.

Mom Carolina wren was calling her young ones to follow her. She was sitting on our garage roof and I could see her through the kitchen window.

Her two almost grown babies were playing around in the small tree in front of our kitchen window. One came close to the window and stared at me. I can still see a little baby yellow around the beak.

I’m always looking out the back window to see if any critters are cruising by and one day I saw a turtle walking down the fairway. He eventually made it over to the pond. I could see the silhouette of a bluebird behind him.

An almost cloudless sunset. We’ve gotten a little rain since May but not much.

I was sitting at the pool reading and looked up and saw the sun halo.

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Downtown St. Pete parks

You can always find turtles chilling on the trash bumpers at Crescent Lake Park near downtown St. Pete.

I found some cute duckies walking along the sidewalk.

Usual birds around the lake include the loggerhead shrike, a roseate spoonbill and an anhinga drying out.

I found an unusual pair of birds sitting in front of my car, northern rough winged swallows. I’ve seen them in other parks before but they are fairly rare.

A cloudy morning at the park.

The big banyan tree has been fenced in for several years now. They are trying to keep it alive since it’s so old (not sure how old though). It’s taken a beating over the years with people climbing and playing on it.

It looked like it has snowed along the street in front of the park. I realized there were several cottonwood trees in someone’s yard. I had never noticed this before so I must not have been here when they were blooming. I’m sure it’s beautiful when it’s in full bloom but what a mess it was in the street and yard.

After leaving the park I stopped by Rouse park on the bay in St Pete, only a few minutes away. The royal poinciana trees were blooming and the are a lot of them in this small park.

Enjoying an early morning on the bay in late May.

SkyWatch Friday

Friendship Friday at Create With Joy

 

A walk around a lake

The young black swans were almost grown up in late April although they were half the size of the parents and still fuzzy gray. I stopped by Lake Morton on the way home from Bot Tower Gardens and did a walk around the lake before heading home.

This black swan was still sitting on eggs. It looks like she had 3 of them.

There were lots of young mute swans at various ages as well.

This mute swan was checking out her eggs.

Some of the swans were still flirting.

There was a small flock of white pelicans still hanging around. I didn’t think they stayed here all year round but they should have headed north by now. I love those pink and orange beaks.

Even the laughing gulls were flirting. It’s weird to see gulls at this lake since it’s in the middle of the state but there’s always a lot of them here. Maybe because people feed the ducks and swans so the gulls are trying to get a free handout.

A baby moorhen walking around in the grass with those big feet.

I heard some noise near the top of the cypress trees and realized there was a great blue heron nest up there with some almost grown babies.

A turtle posing for me.

Inspire Me Monday

The annual trip to the Tampa rookery

As soon as I got to the bird rookery in north Tampa in late April I look over and see a muscovy duck family resting in the shade. I snapped a couple of pictures and then realized they see me. They all popped up and came running over to me.  “Not going to happen guys” I said. I’m not feeding them although I’m sure people who live in the nearby neighborhood do. After they realized I wasn’t going to feed them they got in the water and took off for a swim.

The wood storks were flying into the pond right near where I was standing and while getting a sip of water this one found a good stick to take back to the nest. He’s looking at me like “What do you think of my stick?”. I’m thinking “She’s going to kick you off the nest if you come back with that tiny stick.”

Wood storks were constantly flying over to surrounding trees and grabbing sticks to bring back to the nest.

True love is hard to find.

This guy was being lazy. Just watching all of the busy birds go by.

SkyWatch Friday

Just getting out of the house

Was I being watched?  I noticed all of the different art faces that are on on the trees at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

Pretty things blooming in July.

Little critters.

You can usually find alligators, bunnies and turtles at any park in the area.

It was a quiet morning for birds though. I’ve been working from home since mid-March so I’m still trying to get out of the house on Saturday mornings for a long walk even if the wildlife is scarce this time of year.

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Our World Tuesday Graphic

A new bird at the turtle pond.

I stopped by my new favorite turtle pond at McGough Nature Park in early May.  I went there looking for birds but had to stop and watch the turtles napping for a few minutes.

I saw this hummingbird go by in a flash and landed on a branch right in front of me on the trail. She only stayed for a few seconds and then took off.

This black and white warbler was looking for bugs.

A redstart in the bushes.

A red eyed vireo high up in the tree.

My first yellow throated vireo. I watched him for a while as he picked up worms and caterpillars in the tree. This beautiful bird was having a feast. Fattening up before he heads north for the summer.  I found him near the closed playground.

My Corner of the World

Pretty things in early April

Blooming things at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.

Critters at the gardens.

Baby moorhens are popping up everywhere now.

Yes, the botanical gardens were open during the “Stay At Home” phase. Lucky for me most people must have thought they were closed because there was only a few other people there. Lots of space to move around in.

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Our World Tuesday Graphic

This could be any park

Usual birds at Largo Nature Preserve.

The usual critters as well.

All of the small city parks in Pinellas county were open (playgrounds and bathrooms were closed) in early April so I was going to the same ones just to get out and walk. The parks were quiet and spring migration hadn’t really started yet. Working from home has made me crave long walks in the parks even more. I would usually stop on the way home once or twice a week to walk after work in the spring before it got to hot but now that I”m home it’s hard to get out after work.