I haven’t seen blue-gray gnatcatchers in the backyard in a long time. This was early April. I was sitting outside enjoying the cool weather and this one came down close and was singing away.
I was pretty excited to see indigo buntings in the backyard. Brett and I were watching tv one Sunday afternoon and I look over and see one on the bird bath. I was able to sneak over to the window and snap the first shot before he flew off. Then I went outside and was able to get the 2nd shot of one up in the tree before they both took off.
The lone turkey has still been visiting and taking naps in the backyard. I wonder if she was scoping out places to nest.
I could see a hawk on the other side of the fairway.
The lizards were showing off for the ladies.
I realized that our wall outside had a lot of these caterpillars. They are tussock moth caterpillars. They are known to eat your plants but we didn’t really notice any damage to the few we had in the back.
One morning I saw one of the caterpillars spinning what looked like a web over his body and I ran out and took the 1st picture. Later that day it was completely covered. I counted 16 of these on the back wall.
A few weeks later I saw a few of these on the windows. I don’t think a lot of the cocoons hatched though.
The gardenia bush was full in early April and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of them. I just wish the pictures captured the smell.
Tussock moth caterpillars are fairly common in late March but I’ve never seen this many at one place. I usually only see one or two. At the Florida Botanical Gardens the boardwalk was full of them. I tried to keep my distance as I was taking pictures of them. While they are pretty and cool looking, they can leave a nasty rash if you brush up against them. I kept checking to make sure one hadn’t fallen on my backpack.
They turn into these coccoons before turning into a moth. The leaves on the palm trees around the boardwalk were full of these as well.
White peacock butterflies are very common but I think they are pretty.
After leaving the botanical gardens I headed to nearby McGough Nature Park to look for migrating birds. I first stopped at the turtle pond and saw two turtles climbing a tree. They got about half way up before heading back down.
I also watched this raccoon climb up a tree and then head back down.
The bottle brush trees near the entrance were in full bloom. I stopped to snap this butterfly and then heard the faint sound of hummingbirds whizzing by.
There were 4 hummingbirds feeding on the two trees. They were only feeding on the back side that hangs over the lake so it was a challenge to get them feeding. They would rest high up on the front and then go back to feed.
After standing there for an hour I only got the above two shots of them feeding. It was very frustrating to watch them fly to the back of the trees and disappear.
They have several resident injured birds that live on the property, all taken care of by volunteers. This barred owl was watching his person talking to him. He seemed to understand every word she was saying. They were sitting outside in front of the turtle pond.
It was still a little early for migrating birds so I didn’t find any of them.