backyard visitors, birds, ducks, Florida wildlife, home, Ibis, life goes on, nature, photography, Tricolored heron

Glossy Ibis, a newcomer…

When you let Ozzie out and the ducklings are right out back it’s hard to resist going back in for your camera.  And as you watch you spot a dark bird on the far side of the lake and take some photos of him also, and try to figure out what exactly he is.5-5glossyibis2

My first thought was Glossy Ibis because his back shone iridescent in the sunlight, and I was right, but I didn’t realize how red their heads can be.  Another bird I hadn’t seen on the lake before.  It took a while to notice the Tri-color Heron out there.5-5tri-color

But it was the ducklings that Ozzie and I mostly enjoyed.  And you see how terrified of Ozzie they were.  5-5oxandducks25-5ducklings15-5ducklings2

My efforts to see the cranes as they leave in the morning have backfired.  Oh I see them as they crest the hill and come into view…5-4cranes2

But each time I’ve been waiting for them they haven’t continued onto the pond behind mine, and I suspect that it was my presence that sent them scurrying up the street.  And, sure enough, I walked Ozzie this morning the cranes were at that pond, and probably had been there a while enjoying it since it was well after sunrise.  As much as I like to get nice photos I really don’t want to disturb them so I guess I’ll try to resist stalking them.


And when you are out back watching duckling and other creatures it can almost be a surprise to see the crane family returning after their day’s adventures.  Another day drawing to a close…5-5cranesreturn

birds, Cranes, Florida wildlife, home, Ibis, nature, photography, Tricolored heron

More feathered neighbors….

The Tricolored Heron that spends time on the lake out back every day is a tricky little guy to photograph.  He is never still, he flits from place to place, and stays hidden in the weeds most of the time.  I think he’s gorgeous.


And the Ibis is present all the time, lots of them actually.  I hardly notice them because they are out there so often.  Zoe loves to run through the flock of them to make them fly.  They are too pretty to be ignored.


But the most exciting thing going on out back is that I think it’s official, we have a nest.  Well, the Sandhill cranes do at least.  They return to the neighborhood in the afternoon, and you know this because they announce their arrival as only they can.  Yesterday they wandered for a while, and then one flew to the nest site and the other one waded over to join him.  They rearranged for a bit, and they spent the night.  This morning they sounded like a couple of roosters out there, announcing the sunrise.  Will we have chicks eventually?  First we’ll need eggs, and then it will take a month.  Stay tuned…


birds, blessings, home, Ibis, photography, weather

A follow up…

We were lucky, myself, and my friends and family.  I’m very thankful that my choice to stay in my home didn’t create a problem for anyone else.  I saw postings this morning saying how scary the storm sounded and that people didn’t get any sleep, but I must have slept through the scary part.  I have a much bigger lake in the back yard.  It looks lovely in the sunshine.  The birds are back out there, and butterflies and a dragonfly also.

I started raking the leaves and sticks that were carpeting the back yard, but with the winds as strong as they still are it may have been a waste of time.  And, like a huge amount of people in Florida, I have no power.  Which means I haven’t been able to see what has happened outside of my little area in the wake of Irma.  Hoping all are feeling as thankful as I am today.  See you when the electricity returns…

birds, dogs, Florida wildlife, Ibis, nature, on closer examination, photography, pond creatures

Muscovy ducks…

When it’s not thundering out there the lake is a serene sort of place. The Ibises deal with the heat by enjoying a nice patch of shade, but then there is always that one who just can’t get enough sun.


A family of ducks were a surprise there there this week, so I went back inside for the camera, but another lake creature sent them swimming to the other side of the lake. The little blue heron objected to Zoe also. We do disturb the peace and quiet out there pretty regularly.


A few days later I went outside with the camera, and no dogs, to take some pictures of the ducklings. Then I got online to see if I could see what sort of duck they are. I didn’t think that their orange/red faces were anything I’d seen before. But from what I learned on the internet they seem to be Muscovy ducks. And then it hit me that these are the ducks that took over my son’s neighborhood at his first house in Florida. And they were ugly! Lumpy red heads!  I’m hoping I’m wrong about that…


Here are a few images from the internet, sigh…


birds, Ibis, nature, photography

American White Ibis

Things at the lake have been disappointing lately. Oh the lake looks better, or greener at least. With our daily thunderstorms we still have water out there, but not a lot. All spring it was dry and brown looking out there, but it seemed like every day I could sit out back with my camera and take pictures of lots of different birds who flocked there. Beautiful birds, with tired, brown weeds as the backdrop. I suppose I expected that this is how things would go on, but there are very few birds out there these days.

Cranes were plentiful on the lake, even after the family I was following had moved on. It seemed like I would hear them every day and look out to see one, or two, and even six one day. Lately as I drive through the neighborhood I see four adult cranes with one colt, and of course I have no way to know if any of them are from the family, but they do seem to like the same corner where I used to see the ones I was following. The last time I saw the colt who had been hurt was the day I took his picture with his wings spread, so I choose to think that he was well and grown enough to take care of himself. I still hope to see him again, and recognize the ‘ding’ in his ‘shoulder’.

Did I say there are very few birds out there? That’s not exactly true, I still see many American white ibis out there. I’ve taken lots of pictures of them but I was too distracted by the cranes to pay much attention to them.  They are as beautiful as they are plentiful.