In the backyard

A house sparrow on our dock. They nest in the hole on the side of the dock.

A hawk sitting on our fence.

An anhinga getting a snack on our neighbor’s dock.

A woodpecker getting a snack on our palm tree.

A blue jay giving me a funny look while sitting on our neighbor’s boat.

Things on our muhly grass.

The moon in the backyard in the morning.

Just a few things in our backyard in the past couple of weeks.

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Botanical Gardens in the heat

Little critters.

Cute critter. I think he was afraid I was going to steal his nut.

I’m don’t know what this bird is. Any ideas?  I think it may be a juvenile.

A woodpecker chewing on this pretty flowering tree.

Pretty colors.

Crazy ducks.

It was already hot in late April when I stopped by the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. The summer rains hadn’t started but the heat had already arrived.

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More tourists than birds on the beach

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Someone should tell this grackle that she’s not a shorebird.

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“Everybody run, there’s a grackle on the beach!” said no Willet ever.

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Juvenile royal tern.

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A sandwich couple flirting. She gets a fish instead of roses and chocolates.

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Prehistoric pelicans. All juveniles that were born this spring.

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Red eyed night heron.

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Woodpecker in the parking lot.

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All of the above birds were on this busy beach. I guess they tolerate the tourists. I headed out to the beach for an after work walk. So crowded even at dinnertime.

 Skywatch Friday

Birds in south Florida

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Pelicans in the mangroves.

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Green herons were everywhere.

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My first Wurdemann’s Heron (parents are a great blue heron and a white morph great blue heron).  They are fairly rare and mostly seen in south Florida. Our sailboat captain pointed him out while we were kayaking around some mangroves about an hour south of Key West.  He looks almost like the great blue heron but his head and neck are more white.

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It looks like he has something stuck on his eye.

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Red bellied woodpeckers were everywhere.

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A grackle in the fountain at our hotel.

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Our hotel resident green heron.

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After looking all week for the white crowned pigeons, I found them in our hotel  parking lot the day we were leaving.

Random birds I found in Key West in April.

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1# beach in the country!

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“Why does it feel like people can’t read? Or do they just choose to ignore the sign?” says the little eastern phoebe.

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Hairy or downy woodpecker?

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A little yellow bird. I don’t think this a palm warbler.

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Bee up close.

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Cormorant’s gotta itch.

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This one’s gotta fish.

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I was hoping the reddish egret on the right would wake up and start looking for fish but he just sat there forever. All of a sudden I realized a kingfisher had landed on the barge.  These barges sit in the lagoon at one of the roped off areas in Fort De Soto park. Least terns nest on them in the spring. That’s why there are little wooden least tern decoys on there. They are called “Love Boats”. The netting is around the edges so the little babies don’t fall off and land in the water before they can fly.

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 A few white pelicans were hanging out with a lot of cormorants on a sand bar on the backside of the park.

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Big boat heading past the fishing pier.

Another beautiful morning at Fort De Soto Park (recently named the #1 beach by USA Today poll for best family beach).

Shine the Divine

Backyard in the month of May

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I was out in the yard all day on a Saturday and kept hearing a peeping noise. I didn’t see anything flying around or what looked like a nest anywhere. Later that day, hubby had mentioned that he saw a woodpecker fly into the neighbor’s almost dead orange tree on the side of the yard. Later in the day, I walked around to the side of the yard and saw the above peeking out at me. A baby woodpecker that was growing up fast.

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He stuck his head out and it looked like he was almost full grown. He would be leaving the nest soon. He was still making those quiet baby peeps though.

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The parent flew in and landed on a nearby branch. He did not like me taking notice of his baby. I snapped a few pictures and left.

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One day hubby yells out from the couch “Some white bird just snatched a lizard off the screen”. I ran and got my camera and saw the above juvenile blue heron with a lizard in his mouth.

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He tossed it around for a few seconds before gulping it down.

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Right before dark that same night I saw a duck family swimming across the channel. They didn’t make it down to our dock though. The mom probably thought “There’s that girl who never feeds us so we won’t bother swimming over to her dock.”

It’s been quiet in our backyard. Most of the winter birds are gone and the local birds don’t come into the channel as much to get out of the cold wind now that it’s hot. We have a house sparrow family that’s been hanging around the feeder but I haven’t seen any babies yet.

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Sawgrass Lake Park after work

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I can usually find green herons at Sawgrass Lake Park.

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Green dragonfly.

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Cool spiderweb in the sun. It looks so neat.

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Downy or Hairy woodpecker? I’m voting for Downy.

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Flowers were popping up everywhere.

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I hit Sawgrass Lake Park after work one night in late May. It’s close to work and I had heard there were swallow-tail kites hanging around as well as a rare Mississippi kite there. After walking around the entire park fast before it got dark, I saw no signs of either. The kites must have already gone to bed early that night. I still keep hearing they are there. I might have to make another trip to look for them again.  There were a few other things there but I always feel like I don’t see anything really great when I go there. Maybe I’m just not looking in the right places. Maybe I’m expecting too much.  At least I got a good walk in and missed traffic.

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