Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fun things at the zoo

Cute grasshopper. There's still a few hanging around.

Stork in the African exhibit. At first I just thought he was showing off for me, then I realized a great egret had flown into his space and he was trying to scare him off.

Baby penguin is growing up.

Baby rhino running fast around the exhibit. He was having a blast.

Lorikeets munching on some Halloween leftovers.

Birds in the aviary preening each other.

The weather has just been too perfect. I don't want to jinx it but we've been lucky. On a Sunday afternoon I decided to head over to the zoo and hubby came with me. He even though it was too beautiful to stay inside and watch sports. It was crowded but not uncomfortable crowded. The weather had cooled off in the afternoon and most of the animals were very active. Very different than in the summer when the animals are sleeping all day from the heat.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Chesnut Park

Female anhinga with something stuck on her beak.  These birds always strike nice poses. She's probably thinking "I hope you can photoshop this thing off my beak."

Pileated woodpecker stopping for a picture. There's a handful of them living at the park and even if I don't see them I can hear them calling loudly across the woods.

Red shouldered hawk sitting quietly. He was sitting very close to the boardwalk and stayed there while several people walked by and stopped to take pictures.

Some type of warbler.

Coots in the water. Coots are back for the winter and are everywhere.

A tiny alligator getting some sun.

The weather has cooled off a bit. The morning I went out for a walk at Chesnut Park it was windy and cool. The park is mostly wooded and the shade felt much colder than the sun. There was also a strong wind coming off the lake. Even the hawk was fluffed up trying to keep warm. There still wasn't a lot of interesting birds around. Only the usual that we see all year round. Except for the coots. They are here from the north by the thousands.  I only saw the one small alligator. I think since the wind was colder than the water, most of them were staying under water until later in the day.

Also, check out more birds at CLICK THIS PICTURE!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Kapok Park

Stork in the water.

"Where'd he go?"

Black and white warbler. I think this is only my 2nd sighting of one.

Pied grebe all wet. These ducks are everywhere now.

Just a few shots from a recent walk around Kapok Park.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Disney sights at Animal Kingdom

Waterfall at Animal Kingdom

Tree of Life on a cloudy day.

Some of the details in the Tree of Life. The animals that are carved into the tree are really cool.

Eagle in the Tree of Life.

Mount Everest at Animal Kingdom. What a nasty day!

It's a friday in November. You would think it would be a little less crowded, but no. This was taken near the safari ride in the Africa section. We rode the safari ride twice. This was the most crowded part of the park.

You would think living an hour away from Disney we would go all of the time. We try and make it once a year. Life gets in the way of hanging out at an amusement park all of the time. Plus, you have to be in the right frame of mind to battle the crowds and wait around for your fast pass time to arrive to get on your favorite ride. Not to mention spending a fortune to get in and eating your way around the park. Epcot is my favorite Disney park because I love eating all of the different foods from the countries but we hadn't been to Animal Kingdom in several years so we headed there. The safari ride is pretty cool so we rode that twice in the morning and then spend the rest of the day wandering around the park. I kept thinking "Why aren't all these kids in school?" It was fun to get away for the day.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sunset - Skywatch Friday

Just a few recent sunset pictures taken along the Courtney Campbell Causeway for Skywatch Friday. I'm busy spending the day with hubby on the couch watching bad Christmas movies and stuffing myself. Hopefully it will be sunny tomorrow and I can head out to a park to walk off all of the feast.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

For more skyscape photography from around the world, visit Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Disney birds - no mouse here

What do you do when you have a day off and it's suppose to rain?  Head to Disney. And hope the rain keeps all of the tourists inside. Yea, right. Hubby and I headed over to spend a Friday at Animal Kingdom recently. It was drizzling when we got there and continued for about the first two hours we were there. It didn't stop the crowds. It wasn't as bad as the summer crowds but the park was still pretty full. There were so many different birds to take pictures of. They have a huge aviary that I spent an hour in taking pictures. The park was full of wild vultures. They were hanging around the hippo exhibit as well as in all of the trees all around the park. The rain was gone by lunchtime and the day turned out nice. It was fun to be a tourist for a day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

An eagle and an osprey at Honeymoon Island

My first eagle pictures of the fall 2011 season are not good. They were taken from far away and extremely cropped. They've been back in the Tampa bay area for at least a month now and I keep missing great shot opportunities. A couple of weeks ago I was on my way to the dentist for a 7:30 am appointment and saw 2 eagles sitting in a cell phone tower that sits right on a main road. On my way to work from the dentist an hour later they were gone. I haven't seen them there since but I know they are somewhere close by. I saw several eagles flying high up in the sky during my photo walk at Circle B Bar reserve but they were so far away I couldn't get a shot. This past weekend was beautiful so hubby and I decided to hike the nature trail at Honeymoon Island. We hadn't been since early spring. The eagle's nest sits all the way at the end of the trail. When we first got there we didn't see any eagles. We wandered around for a while and came back to the nest before hiking back to our car. As we stood there talking for a few minutes, one of the eagles flew in and landed on the nest. Then it flew to a nearby branch for a few minutes before taking off again. The park keeps the area where the nest is closed off so you have to watch from far away. The law states 500 ft from the nest but I've heard the nest is actually over 800 ft from the fence area. As we left, the park ranger said the female was sitting down close into the nest and she was sitting on eggs. Yeah, I'll have to head back there after the holidays.

The last two pictures are of an osprey that had just landed with a fish close to the trail. Soon the trail will be full of osprey starting to nest but it's a little early now. We saw just a few of them flying around.

Also, check out more birds at CLICK THIS PICTURE!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Canadian geese by work

"Head's up guys, here comes someone with a camera"

"I'll do my mean body shake and scare her away."

"Maybe if I flap my wings she'll leave."

"Forget it, she's not leaving. Just keep eating."

"There's good bugs over here."

I had read on Pinellas birds that there was a Canadian geese sighting in the cemetery down the street from my office. I threw my camera in the car and was able to drive through there after work recently. It's a small cemetery right off a busy road.  I drove around a little bit and quickly found the flock. They were so close to the road that I didn't even get out of my car. I just snapped the above quickly and left. I don't know if they'll continue south or stay here for the winter. I'll check back in a few weeks to see if they are still there.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My neighborhood kingfisher

"There's that crazy lady again. Staring at me through that window. It's been months since I've seen her. I bet she misses me."

"She can't have any of my fish. I work too hard for this morsel. But I'll show her what she's missing."

"Yum, I'm going to savor this little fish."

"I move to the other dock and she's still watching me eat my lunch. Doesn't she have a life?"

"This one's a mouthful. I've got to close my eyes to fit this in my mouth."

Yeah! My winter belted kingfisher is back in my neighborhood. Finally! I've been seeing kingfishers everywhere but in my backyard. I was getting worried she wouldn't show up this year. She's been hanging around our channel for at least four winters. My hubby was half asleep watching tv and I was doing chores. I peeked out the bedroom window to see if anything interesting was at the bird feeder (meaning anything better than squirrels) and saw her sitting on my dock. I ran to get my camera yelling "She's back." I took several pictures of her eating a fish on our dock then she flew to my neighbor's dock. I went running into the dining room, taking the last two pictures from there. Back and forth I went running across the house as she flew back and forth around the channel for a while and then took off. I hope she's here for the winter.