Northern shovelers aren’t extremely rare in the Tampa bay area but I haven’t seen any in a long time. There were 2 couples close the edge of the water at Largo Nature Preserve in late January and they didn’t seem to mind me watching them. They look a lot like mallards but have that goofy big square bill.
Every other Sunday, Brett and I visit his aunt at the nursing home in St. Pete. The weather has been so nice that we spend the time with her hanging out at the duck pond in the parking lot. On a recent Sunday, a little lady came over and fed the ducks while we were there. It looked like seed and cracked corn. All of the birds and ducks came in close and we sat and watched them having their snack.
It was fun watching the duck drama going on.
Later, we moved to another bench and this wood stork walked right up to us. He was hoping we had something to feed him. He watched us for a few minutes and then left. I only had my phone with me so all of the above were taken with that.
Wood storks are born looking like old souls. These babies are only a few months old and already look like an old man. I stopped by the bird rookery in north Tampa in mid-April and the little island in the middle of the small lake was full of older babies. Wood storks were the predominant birds with a few great egret and cattle egrets nesting as well.
This rookery is so busy that the families were all on top of each other.
Triplets were posing for me.
Parents were back and forth bringing in food and more padding for the nests.
I think these were the youngest ones there. All still fuzzy and white.
Wood stork babies seem to be more quiet than great egret babies. There wasn’t as much clacking going on.Since the island is in the middle of the lake, these were all taken with my 300mm lens and cropped up.
Cormorants and anhingas drying off in the sun. The first bird in the top picture is an anhinga. The rest are cormorants. Anhingas have a straight beak and spear their fish. Cormorants have a curved beak and hook their fish.
Threes a crowd.
All taken at Lake Morton and Lake Mirror in downtown Lakeland. The small lakes are just a few minutes apart so it’s easy to do quick walks around both before heading home.