Color coming out in early April at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. Yes, the gardens were open during the big shut down. I went around 8am and there were very few people there. Most probably thought it was closed. It was nice to walk around in the quiet garden.
Watching these crazy parakeets getting sticks for their nests.
Not many birds in early April. The usual blue jays and wood duck couples. The wood ducks usually have babies here in the summer but they go into hiding and it’s hit or miss seeing them here.
Caterpillars were on the milkweed but those pesky milkweed bugs were taking over.
One place I consistently see wood ducks is at Lake Morton. Someone put a nest box right on the edge of the lake but I haven’t been back over there since early April to see if they had babies in the box.
Moorhens and coots at the lake. Moorhens have red beaks and they live here all year long. Coots have white beaks and are only here during the winter and early spring. They go back up north for the summer but there were a few stragglers in April.
One of my favorite ducks at the lake. Some type of hybrid mallard.
Across the lake, something had spooked the ruddy ducks and caused them to start scooting across the lake.
They all started taking off and landed on the other side of the lake. They are pretty skittish and don’t come close to the edge of the lake.
A few fun things at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.
The beautiful silk floss tree that blooms in the fall. I always forget about it the rest of the year since it’s just full of green leaves. I forget about the pink flowers and am always surprised and amazed when I see this tree in late October. This was towards the end of the bloom and the ground was covered in the pink flowers.
Not many birds. A local red belled woodpecker and a wood duck couple.
The above was hanging on a tree in the woods at the gardens. Kind of creepy but also cool.
People come to this lake to feed the ducks and swans but it’s mostly the ibis that get fed. They fly in by the hundreds and attack the person holding the food.
A few random ducks.
You can always find wood ducks at this lake.
There was a pair of coscoroba swans (smaller swan with the bright pink beak) but I think there is now only 1. I think the mute swan has become friends with the coscoroba. They were hanging out together and flirting.
It’s mating and nesting season for the mute swans at Lake Morton.