Checking on the nests at Honeymoon Island

True to its name, the Osprey Trail on Honeymoon Island is known for having a lot of Osprey along the trail. There are many nests along the trail and when I was there in late January, the osprey were working on refreshing the old ones.

Both eagles were sitting in a tree near the nest which was a bad sign. They were sitting on eggs earlier so something must have happened to cause them to abandon the nest. They might try again. It was still early.

Towhees, catbirds and yellow rumped warblers were all along the trail.

Lots of vultures here.

New growth in some of the prescribed burn areas.

This guy walked right in front of me on the trail.

I hadn’t been to Honeymoon Island since last spring. I wanted to see if the osprey were nesting yet. Honeymoon Island is a barrier island north of Clearwater Beach. In the 1940’s the island was a place known for people to spend their honeymoon in the cottages on the island. Once World War 2 started people stopped coming to the island and later the cottages were torn down.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World

Lots of the same.

Always a lot of vultures on the trails here.

Tons of hawks too.

Many green herons.

Soon there will be more moorhens.

The usual glossy ibis, wood stork with a stick, a snowy egret and a juvenile night heron all hanging out in the marsh.

The sky is always full of osprey.

At Circle B Bar Reserve.

SkyWatch Friday

Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

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All of the above are missing a wing. They are permanent residents at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park.

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A wild vulture stopped by for a handout.

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Lots of other Florida wildlife there as well.

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The flamingos were taking a bath or napping.

A few things from Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park in late December.

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On a dirt road

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She has pretty eyes.

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You can almost always find a sandhill crane in a cow pasture.

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Interesting black and white cow.

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Red shoulder hawks were everywhere.

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More cows.

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A typical sight on the dirt road. silhouette of a vulture.

Hubby and I were headed to West Palm beach to visit his aunt that recently turned 95. We left fairly early and headed out across central Florida. I wanted to drive down a dirt road to look for a caracara. A bird that has alluded me. I had heard that they hang out on Peavine Road. A long dirt road that runs from Highway 60 up towards Orlando. Unfortunately we hit rain. It rained most of the way across. I was thinking we should just head straight for West Palm. We got to the dirt road and the rain had stopped so we decided to drive down a little ways. It drizzled on and off so we only went half way down the road before turning around to head on our way. The road was filled with vultures, kingfishers, great blue herons and cows. Cows went on for miles. There was no sight of a caracara that day but on the way back home we went a different way and I got lucky. More on that tomorrow.

Camera Critters

Quiet morning at Lettuce Lake.

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Tricolored heron posing along the lake.

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Northern parula hiding in the trees. They were hard to see but I heard them singing all over the park. I’ve seen very few of them this year.

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Cool caterpillar on the boardwalk.

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Great blue heron behind some old cypress tree stumps along the lake.

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Another one walking in the mud.

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Vultures flying overhead.

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Butterfly.

Things were quiet at Lettuce Lake Park in north Tampa. I hadn’t been there in a long time but had heard there were baby turkeys there. No sign of the turkeys but I did find a baby barred owl. More on him later.

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Same old birds at Circle B Bar Reserve

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The osprey was yelling at the vultures on the left to get a room!

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Lazy moorhens.

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A hybrid muscovy duck of some sort was following me along the Marsh Rabbit Run trail. He must have been lost. I’ve never seen a muscovy duck in this park. He came pretty close. He didn’t seem hurt so I kept on walking.

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Typical female anhinga pose.

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Purple gallinule showing off his big yellow feet.

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Green heron looking at something in the marsh.

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Juvenile blue heron just starting to get his blue feathers.

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Baby hawk yelling for his mom to bring food. The other sibling was already gone. This one was probably days away from flying the coop.

Short video of the screaming baby hawk. This is why it’s easy to find them when you are walking down the trail.

Nothing unusual to see on my walk at Circle B Bar Reserve back in late May. All of the winter birds and ducks were gone with the exception of a small flock of white pelicans still hanging out across the lake. Most of the spring migration birds were gone. Babies were growing up fast. Even though things were slowing down, there’s still a lot to see. It was right before the summer heat set in.  Now it’s just a million degrees and a thousand percent humidity so I’ll be heading to the beach more for that summer breeze.

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Air traffic control – Skywatch Friday

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Cattle egret

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Cormorant

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Great egret

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Wood stork

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Vulture

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Tricolored heron

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Spoonbill flew by when I first walked out on the boardwalk early that morning. It was the only time I saw one that morning.

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Cattle egret coming in for a landing.

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Perfect landing.

If you stand in one place on the boardwalk at the bird rookery in Gatorland for a while, these are all of the birds that will fly over your head. Some fly really close by. They are all busy going somewhere. The flying slows down as the morning goes on. By lunchtime, there is almost nothing flying so it’s time to leave and go eat myself. I brought both of my long lens with me this time. My new 300mm lens and my older 80-400mm. The later I used on the nests around the boardwalk since they were pretty close.  It is also not the best for birds in flight since it is slower to focus. I swapped out the zoom for the fixed 300mm and was able to get all of the above. I missed a ton of birds going right by me by: 1)busy chimping (checking shots), 2)already taking a shot of another bird, 3)keeping an eye on the nests to see if any of the baby birds were waking up. 4)talking to the other photogs (most everyone is really friendly), 5)just not paying attention. Too much going on in such a short time. The boardwalk keeps you on your toes. Trying to get the best shots while not getting in each other’s way.

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