Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Marsh full of egrets. The trees in the back were also full of birds.
Stork tree. A natural decorated Christmas tree. (Sorry, already thinking about the holidays.)
Big alligator sleeping in the same pond as the storks.
Big spiders were everywhere.
I recently discovered a new place for wildlife thanks to my flickr contacts. The Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland. It was so easy to get to from Tampa, just off the Polk Parkway. It's an old cattle ranch with a big lake. Lots of walking trails, ponds, nice nature center and lots of animals. It felt like what Florida would feel like 50 years ago. I got there around 9am Saturday morning and there weren't a lot of people there. I think as the weather cools off it will get more crowded. The ponds or marshes were full of little fish which meant there were tons of birds eating right in front of me. There were so many different types of birds all together. (More bird pictures later). The alligators were huge. I saw at least 7. I can't wait to get back there in next couple of weeks, especially to see the eagles. I heard there were 3 nests on the property although I didn't see any eagles while I was there.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I stopped by the beach on the Courtney Campbell causeway on the Clearwater side one night last week to see what shorebirds where hanging around. It was almost sundown and there were lots of different shorebirds all hanging around together getting ready for bed. They were preening, swimming and getting a last few bites in. Some were already trying to sleep. Lots of willets, sanderlings, plovers and lesser yellowlegs among them. They seemed to be staying away from the gulls and terns on the beach.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Am I being to harsh?
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Night heron creeping around the mangroves.
Reddish egret out in the bay.
Monday, October 19, 2009
The whole world is a toilet.
Eagle from far away.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Great egret preening.
Black neck stilts and an oystercatcher looking out the window.
American crocodile yawning.
I finally have a day off and it's pouring outside. Where do you go to practice taking pictures of birds when it's raining? The Florida Aquarium. Yes, they have fish but fish are boring. They just swim around in circles. The aquarium has a wide variety of birds in the wetlands exhibit. You can get pretty close to them as they seem to be tame and use to all the noise and people around them. They just keep eating or preening.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Oystercatcher flying away before dark.
Osprey sitting on a light pole looking in the water for dinner.
With a perfect sunset like this how could anyone stay indoors, other than the fact that it was 92 degrees at 7pm on Sunday. A few birds were out getting that last minute dinner in before it got dark. I walked around the jetti at the end of the airport runway to the Davis Island Yacht Club. Considering there were lots of people around walking dogs, riding bikes and hanging out there were a handfull of birds around. The oystercatchers are the most skittish. If they see someone coming from miles away they will take off. The other birds just took all the people in stride. Soon the weather will be cooling off a little bit and there will be tons of people there on the weekends.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Barbara and Liz show how to properly hold a cormorant and anhinga when helping an injured bird.
Ralph Heath, the founder of Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, stops by the workshop to thank everyone for coming. He started it 35 years ago.
Permanent resident at the sanctuary coming out of the pool. He is missing the top of his beak.
Saturday was October 10th and still 95 degrees. I braved the heat and went to a wild bird rescue workshop at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary. They reviewed all of the different situations that could happen when you see an injured bird out in the wild and how to handle them. Some might be fairly easy with proper equipment such as catching a pelican with a net, removing the hook from the beak the correct way and releasing the bird. They reviewed situations and types of birds where it's best to call the sanctuary for an experienced rescuer to come out. Liz (pictured in first 2 pictures on the right) is their experienced rescuer at the sanctuary and she had some great stories to tell and a few sad ones as well.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Group of white birds (great egret and ibis) in a big old tree at Fort Desoto. I wonder if they'll sleep there. It was sunset.
Ibis looking for some last minute food before dark.
A group of shorebirds all together getting ready for bed.
Close up of above - skimmers, oystercatcher, godwits, willets.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Ruddy Turnstone on the fishing pier hiding behind the rail.
The hubby and I spent Sunday afternoon at Fort Desoto park. It was a sunny gorgeous day. I spent some time walking the fishing pier. There were dolphins everywhere. They seemed to be trying to steal fish away from the fishermen as they were catching fish on lines. Several times fishermen thought they had caught something only to have the dolphin show up and take the fish off their line. They were not happy. The dolphins were swimming right up to the pier.