Lots of the same at Chesnut Park

Lots of deer in early January.

Lots of squirrels but that bottom looks a little rough.

Lots of little birds but nothing new.

Red shoulder hawks hiding along the trails.

Eagles flying far away across the lake. Both an adult and a juvenile.

Found these two ducks at a quiet end of a pond. I’m thinking they are pets that got dumped here. Someone left food in a small plastic container. I just hope they know enough to stay away from the gators.

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Two parks in one morning.

I headed out to Chesnut Park first and saw the usual critters above before heading to Philippe Park nearby.

While waiting for the baby owl to wake up I walked up the small hill that sits on the water. The small hill is a Tocabaga Indian mound and is the largest remaining mound in the Tampa Bay region. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Landmarks. The view is beautiful at the top. While standing there a juvenile eagle flew right over my head.

SkyWatch Friday

Birds in a snowbowl?

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It was Fall in the mountains of Arizona. Really, it was too early for fall. Even though the weather was cool the leaves really hadn’t started to change colors yet.  A hint of yellow was all we saw. This was the drive up to the chair lift at the Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff. You can take the lift up to the top of the mountain in the summer to hike around and see the area around Flagstaff. I was able to spot a few birds while we were at the top.

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I think this little guy is a Hutton’s Vireo. They are not found on my side of the country. These pictures are exactly like the ones in the Stokes Birding Guide.  If anyone can confirm that would be great.

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I was hoping this was something new but I think it’s a chipping sparrow. Very common in my area.

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These are dark-eyed juncos.  Not a first for me. I have seen a few in Atlanta. I’ve never seen one in central Florida. I’m not sure if they pass through us on their way south for the winter.

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This looks like a yellow rumped warbler. Just my luck I travel across the country and see one of the most common birds in central Florida in the winter.

It was windy and cool up on top of the mountain and the birds were skittish. I managed to see a few but the wind was blowing pretty hard to get a good picture of anything. I did see a few other birds at other parks though so those pictures are coming.

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Little birds being watched by big birds.

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My first blue headed vireo.  From a distance I thought it was a northern parula and wasn’t going to take the picture. I was thinking it was too far away and dark which it was but was glad I took the shot after all.

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Keeper of the sign.

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Common yellowthroat hiding in the reeds along the lake.

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“Sing, sing a song. “

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I thought this was an immature yellow rumped warbler but now I’m not sure.

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White eyed vireo.

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The usual titmouse looking cute.

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This red shoulder hawk was on the wooded trail and watching the blue headed vireo. I think he is still a young one since he didn’t have a lot of color in his head.

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This one was sitting out over the lake watching all of the little birds flying around. He may have just been soaking up the sun since it was fairly cool that morning.

A few birds on my walk around Chesnut Park in early January. It was a cool morning (45 degrees when I started) but warmed up fast. I didn’t think I was going to see much but the little birds came out as the sun started peeking out of the clouds.

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Blooming in the winter

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Pretty things were still blooming in the winter in central Florida. On a cold (60 degrees) sunny morning I headed out for a good 3 hour walk. I went to the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. Not many birds there but still lots of flowers blooming. I know, everyone else is showing off their pretty snow pictures but soon they’ll be wishing they were down here for a visit.

 20mom_badgeWEBShine the Divine

I should have slept in.

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I went looking for a grasshopper sparrow that had been reported at Possum Branch Preserve before heading over to Chesnut Park. This was all I got, trees full of yellow rumped warblers.

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And pigeons flying overhead.

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And fruit that is toxic if you eat it in this state even though it’s pretty.

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Chesnut Park wasn’t much better. Palm warblers. Really? I should have slept in.

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Bees and flowers were still blooming.

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At least the squirrels were cute holding the berries in their tiny hands.

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The usual titmouse were looking for a handout.

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They get pretty close.

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The lake was full of these blooming. Bees were enjoying them.

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View from the end of the dock. You would almost think fall was here. There were a few trees turning red. It was the weekend before Thanksgiving and the high was going to be 80 degrees by noon.

I stopped at the little Possum Branch Preserve to look for the rare (in this area) grasshopper sparrow. There were 3 other birders there looking as well. No luck even though he was sighted the afternoon before. I moved on to Chesnut Park a few miles away. Not a lot of birds there but people were coming in fast. Every picnic shelter was booked and everyone was hauling in food, coolers and decorations. It was a perfect day for a family outing.

I’m going to look for a duck.

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“I’m eating over here.” said the spoonbill.

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I realized as he flew off he was banded. I could not make out the numbers on either picture.

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Another palm warbler.

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Yellow rumped warblers are starting to show up.

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Turtle face.

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Stretching out on the floating pad in the pond.

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The cormorants rule the boardwalk.

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A tiny turtle soaking up some sun.

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Another one on a log.

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Blue jay with a nut from a palm tree.

This was the first time I have walked around the trail and boardwalk at Carillon park on a Saturday morning. Since it’s so close to work I usually only go after work in the summer. It’s usually packed with joggers and walkers. It was quiet this morning and weird to be there on a Saturday since it’s surrounded by office buildings. I went looking for an albino coot that had been reported there everyday for a week. Of course, by the time I get there, he’s gone. Maybe he was just close by and will come back over before winter is over.

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