Typical birds on a Saturday morning


Crazy young mockingbird.


Great blue heron soaking up the morning sun.


A moorhen taking a bath.


A white ibis high up in a tree.



Wild parrots are common at the Largo Nature Preserve.





A very young little blue heron coming in for a landing. He was a little unsteady on his feet.

Just a few things I saw on my Saturday morning walk at Largo Nature Preserve.

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I walked up to the north beach marsh at Fort Desoto in late March. Up ahead, I could see at least 9 photographers on the ground taking pictures of something.  As I closer, I realized it was the above spoonbill. The only bird on the beach, besides a few gulls.




I left everyone and headed to the roped off sanctuary farther south and found a few birds there. The ibis above was gulping down tiny crabs.




The tricolored heron was downing a few minnows.



I didn’t see the snowy egrets get anything. They just kept creeping around.


The little blue heron was catching a lot of fish.

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It was a perfect morning but almost no birds. Several of the photographers had come from up north and were struggling to find birds to take pictures of. To sort-of quote Forest Gump “Fort Desoto is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”  To quote a local birder “You won’t know if you don’t go”. Sometimes it’s just nice being out.

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A mostly white bird post.


Snowy egrets in the wind.


Fishing in knee deep water.


Snowy egrets ignoring the great egret that showed up.


White ibis with a dirty beak.


A reddish egret that is all white ( white morph version). Not common but there has been one hanging around Fort Desoto for a while now.


He’s got a pretty face.


Looking for fish.


Another cormorant with a hook in his beak. There was a guy at the pier that was going to try to catch him but the cormorant was still flying pretty well.


A white and brown bird, the osprey was guarding the nest on top of the old tower near the fishing pier.


 I saw the above lying on the beach.  The red really stood out on the sand.

A few things I saw on a Saturday morning walk at Fort Desoto Park.

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Backyard in November


An ibis sits on our dock.


We see the hooded merganser couple almost every day. Most of the time they stay in the middle of the channel but occasionally I’ll peak out the window and they are right in front of our dock.


I was out in the backyard taking this picture. He was keeping an eye on me. If I took one step more away from the house, he would have gone swimming down the channel.


The neighborhood osprey tugging on his fish.


He would take a bite and then look around, repeating this the entire time he was eating.


The house sparrows were already fixing up the nest in our dock.


Taken through the bedroom window, the neighborhood kingfisher was watching me as he was trying to gulp down his fish.


Blooms in the yard in November.

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Baby eagle flapping his wings


Junior is getting to be a big boy (or girl).


It looks like he’s just figuring out what those big things attached to his body are.


He looks determined.


Already looking majestic at just a month or two old.


He’s trying really hard but not really going anywhere.


Mom brought in a snack. It looks like she has a piece of fish hanging out of her beak. What is that hiding behind Mom? It looks like another baby. I only saw one baby on my first two trips to the nest. Now, 3 weeks after that first trip when the baby was a fuzzy gray pinhead, I see another one. The second one must have been much younger and stayed down in the nest.


Look out below on the left! Junior had a little too much fish for dinner.


On the farm next door, white ibis were snoozing on a big dead tree.

On my 3rd trip to the eagle’s nest back in late February, the baby was big enough to really see. He was sitting up and flapping his wings. It was exciting to see the 2nd baby. He looked just a little behind in size than the first one. Since then, they both have been doing well. More on that later.

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Visitors to the backyard


The hooded mergansers showed up in our channel in early November. I saw that flash of white and started yelling “The hoodies are back!” This is the 4th year we’ve had them floating in the water behind our house during the winter. These were taken through the bedroom window. If I just open the back door, they take off down the channel.


At first we just saw 2 males. Since then we’ve had a few females show up.


This one came pretty close to our dock.


A female anhinga hanging out on our neighbor’s dock.


I noticed the little kingfisher sitting on our neighbor’s dock post and realized he had a fish in his beak. I snapped the above through the window. He saw me.


He flew down to our neighbor’s dock with the fish. Then he flew off down the channel so I didn’t get to see him swallow it.


Later in the afternoon he was back on our dock.


I noticed the white ibis sitting on my neighbor’s dock. They were watching something.


On the other side of the dock was an osprey with a fish under his foot. That juvenile ibis was pretty brave to fly over to him. The osprey eventually got tired of the crowd and left with his lunch.

Just a few visitors to the backyard in the middle of November.

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Baby owls and some ibis on a sunny morning – Skywatch Friday


One baby was facing me and the other one (on the right) was turned around.


The older baby (on the left) was stretching her wings.


This nest is so tiny. They were up against each other the whole morning. Mom was close by on an upper branch.


Out on the beach, ibis were digging for breakfast.


Double dipping. An ibis and a great egret were feeding together.


I found the above birds at the north beach marsh. The tide was really low this morning.


It was another perfect morning in late February.


The beach was quiet. The water was calm.


Lots of shells on the beach.

By now the baby owls at Fort Desoto are flying around from branch to branch. I heard that the park ranger has taken down the orange fencing that went around the area where the nest was which means they have fledged. They grow up so fast. I think they’ll still stay in the area for a couple of months so I’ll look for them next time I’m at the park. There weren’t many other birds at the park. It was cool and windy so the north beach was lacking in shorebirds. I could only find a few ibis and great egrets that morning. Spring break has begun and the beach will become a different place, full of loud kids chasing birds. Can’t wait.

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Not all ibis are the same.

A glossy ibis hanging out with a pied grebe.

Two glossy ibis hanging out together. Notice the white trim around the beak area?

I had heard there was a white faced ibis hanging around Wading Bird Way trail at Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland. They are fairly rare here in central Florida. I got to the area thinking maybe it won’t be too hard to find since there aren’t that many glossy ibis around but the marsh area was full of glossy ibis. It wasn’t until I got home and cropped up this picture and noticed it was a white faced. They are similar to the glossy but have more pink around the beak and more white feathers. The adults have red eyes all year round. So this was first sighting for me.

Above is several white ibis feeding with a tricolored heron and a snowy egret.

One of the coolest things I noticed when I first moved here over 10 years ago from Atlanta, was driving through neighborhoods and seeing flocks of white ibis feeding in people’s yards. That was something I didn’t see when I lived in Atlanta. I immediately looked up the bird in my mom’s Florida water bird book to see what it was. For years I thought all ibis where white (or with brown spots if it’s a juvenile). Then I was out in a park years later and saw what looked like a white ibis but it was black, or dark in color. I looked that up and found out it was a glossy ibis. Then I heard about a rare white faced ibis here in the Tampa bay area but I never did see it. Finally, years later I have seen a white faced ibis.