'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, blessings, egrets, finding my way, Florida wildlife, fun, life goes on, nature, perseverance, photography, technology, weather

Wall Springs Park…

Today I decided that a walk at Wall Springs Park would be a bit more scenic than just a walk around my neighborhood, and it just might include an opportunity to take some photos. It was a sunny but windy day, but hardly something to complain about when so many of my friends and family are snowbound.

I made a stop at the eagle nest both on the way and also on the way home, with no luck. But at the park I heard an osprey calling, and after some looking around I spotted him in a tree.

The butterfly garden at Wall Springs was my last discovery, and then it was on to Anclote Gulf park on the way home.

I get mad at myself when I let a beautiful day go by without getting outside to enjoy it, and aren’t I lucky that there are so many pretty places to go?

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, blessings, egrets, Florida wildlife, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, weather

And winter arrives…

Well, Florida winter that is, when the temperatures range from the 60s to the 70s in the course of the day. It would have been a crime not to get outside and enjoy the weather today, especially since it has taken longer than normal to get here. Sandhill cranes walked with me this morning. And I decided that it would have been a perfect day for the wind surfers to have been enjoying the breeze on Sunset Beach, but the breeze showed up even if the windsurfers didn’t. Lots of gulls though. And I never head south without a stop to see if the eagles might be hanging around the nest yet, and yes, I got to see an eagle for the first time this season. There is more of this weather on the horizon too. Be still my heart.

a second look, birds, egrets, Florida wildlife, fun, life goes on, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, simple things

Get thee to the rookery…

I’ve been driving right past the rookery lately, so I made it a point to stop the other day.  As soon as I got out of the car I could tell that things were winding down there, the decibel level was decidedly lessened.  The babies have grown so much that it’s now impossible to tell the babies from the adults.  I have thought of these wood storks as the ‘three amigos’, but as you can see there were only two of them still standing at attention.  The sky was full of birds though, birds seeming to be flying for the fun of it, so maybe the third one was spreading his wings.

06-16-20rookerystillstanding06-16-20rookerywoodstorksoaring

The egrets are still the stars of the rookery.  They look so elegant no matter what they are doing.06-16-20rookeryegret06-16-20rookeryegret206-16-20rookeryegret3

I stopped by last December just to see if anything was happening at the rookery, but there wasn’t a bird in sight.   So I had wondered when they would be leaving, and where they are going once they do leave.  It seems that I might be out of here before they are…

 

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, birds, Circle B Bar Reserve, egrets, Florida wildlife, friends, fun, making memories, nature, Osprey, perseverance, photography, Tricolored heron, turtles

Left-overs…

To spend a day out shooting pictures and ‘only’ come home with 668 is not particularly a lot.  But it’s a lot to go through and it leaves you with pictures that are left over, that didn’t quite fit the story you were telling, or you simply missed them.  Or maybe they just wanted to stand alone.

All day long we had a running debate over whether or not the bird we were looking at was a tri-color heron or not.  But once we did see one we didn’t have to debate anymore.05-21-2005-21-20tricolor

Green herons seem more rare of a sighting, or maybe they just hide better, but I was happy to see this one.   And this pale colored one was a mystery to me, but Merlin says it’s a black crowned night heron.05-21-20greenheron05-21-20greenheron205-21-20blackcrwned

Soft shelled turtles aren’t particularly cute, but we were amazed to see this one camouflaged in the algae.  And the orange shell of these turtles stood out too.05-21-20sftshellalgae05-21-20orangeshell

An osprey flying over with its catch in its talons is always a goal to see.  But if he stops to eat in a tree it’s the next best thing.05-21-20osprey-fish05-21-20osprey-fish2

I missed the excitement when this hawk stole this snake from an ibis.  I did get to see him make short work of it.05-21-20hawk-snake

A butterfly is always a pretty picture, and this green dragonfly was my favorite dragonfly picture of the day, but I somehow failed to export it so I missed it on my dragonfly post.  But it’s too pretty not to post.05-21-20butterfly05-21-20greenongreen

a second look, egrets, Florida wildlife, friends, nature, nesting, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

Socializing…

I had a fun visit to the rookery today.  Or I should say Wednesday.  My friend and I got along much better than the two egrets in the feature photo appear to be doing.  A little sibling angst I think.    And we kept our social distancing in mind while we were there, again, unlike those egrets.  I was happy to get a little better look at the cattle egret babies.  Not exactly cute, but I’m sure their mother thinks they are.  05-06-20cattlegretchicks05-06-20mouthychick05-06-20mouthychick305-06-20mouthychick2

I don’t know if Larry and Moe were hiding in the shrubbery, but Curly was there.05-06-20curly.jpg

It was nice to be out taking pictures with a friend.  And I was glad to hear that the pool is supposed to open on Monday, but with restrictions of course.  I know that there are differing opinions about these things.  It will remain to be seen if we can get along better than the egrets above as we ease ourselves back to ‘normal’.

 

 

 

'scene' along the way, a second look, birds, egrets, fun, nature, nesting, perseverance, photography

Cattle Egrets…

There always have been cattle egrets at the rookery, but only one at a time and I hadn’t seen any nests there before.  But on Sunday there were three separate nesting pairs, so while comparatively speaking there weren’t a lot of them, there were many more than I was used to seeing.  Like the anhingas, they seem to stay in the lower branches of the trees where there isn’t a lot of foliage, which of course helped me to see them.  And I had fun watching them

I’d never seen them so, well, fluffy before.04-13-20cattleegret1.jpg

This pair had me fooled.  I watched and waited while one of them was standing over the other, but what I thought was a baby egrets sleeping turned out to be Mom taking a siesta.04-13-20cattleegretnest.jpg

But I will be watching their nests for babies because, well, this happened,04-13-20cattleegretwhoopie.jpg

And he looked pretty proud of himself afterwards too.04-13-20cattleegretproud.jpg

While one pair got romantic another pair was pretty industrious.  I watched as they attempted to snag the perfect stick to feather their nest.  I confess that for a moment I thought they had a snake, then as they tugged and tugged it appeared to be stretching and I was afraid it was a piece of trash that somehow got caught in the shrubbery.  I took quite a few pictures of them as they worked on that stick, but something must have caught my attention because I don’t know for sure if they were successful.04-13-20cattleegretteamwork.jpg04-13-20cattleegretteamwork3.jpg04-13-20cattleegretteamwork2.jpg

So while some of the nestlings have grown pretty big in the last few weeks, I see that there will be more to come before this season winds down.  I always enjoyed coming to the rookery, even when I didn’t live so close to it.  But what a blessing it is for me to be able to be outside and lost in my thoughts for a while, all while still keeping to the rules.