I spent the night in the westernmost Florida rest area, which claimed 24 hour security. It wasn’t until morning that I realized it was the Blue Angels!!
It has been interesting, watching the foraging behavior of the birds here. The whistling ducks are mostly vegetarians, eating plants along the water’s edge, in or out of the water. The limpkin goes for the mussels along the shore line – by the dozens! Their bills are specialized for opening bivalves, which they bring up on the grass to eat.
Seeing a pair of pink birds flying across the pond, they were immediately identifiable as roseate spoonbills. They don’t usually hang out here, and I’ve not seen one close enough for a good photo, but we certainly don’t have them in New England!
I met anhingas several years ago. At first I thought they were cormorants, but the coloring is slightly different, and they have a different shape of tail. Also called snake birds locally, they look particularly snake-like when only their neck shows above the water.
Limpkins are common around the pond this year – and they are LOUD!! They often call to their friends across the way, or in the air. Or maybe they aren’t friends, and it’s a warning call – I don’t speak Limpkin! I first saw them a few years ago, kayaking a little south of here. The whistling ducks treat them with respect, giving them space if they come strolling through.
Two herons, a tri-color and a little blue. I also have seen a couple of great blue herons, but only in flight, or at a distance. I did get one photo, but only of the legs trailing behind as it flew by!
The Roadtrek is not going much of anywhere this week while I visit the youngest granddaughter and family in Florida. I’m using this time to visit, and knit, and visit, and take photos of things definitely not seen in Vermont! I had never seen – or heard! – a Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, and in trying to identify it, found that two out of three sources don’t think they come to Florida. But they do, and they make the most unduck-like sound; it really is a whistling. When a flock flies across the lake, they can make an impressive noise. They also call to each other across the pond. But Audubon does show it in this area (https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/black-bellied-whistling-duck) and has some sound clips of this duck that does not quack. I opened the back door to take the photo below; until the sentry on the left stood up, mostly what I could see was those very bright pinky-orange bills. The feet are the same bright color. Immature birds don’t have that brightness yet; their bills are dark.
In Georgia, in the rain, next to me at a traffic light.
My plan had been to spend another night on the road, probably in southern Georgia – but the weather forecast was for a tropical storm to hit northern Florida and southern Georgia, so I decide to push on through. It made for a very long day, and more miles than my body was happy with, but I didn’t have to deal with the heavy rain and damaging wind that was coming, and causing cancellations of all kinds of events in that area. I got to New Port Richie, and my youngest granddaughter and her family, at about 8:30 or so.
Walking an Atlantic Florida beach at dawn; I believe these are Willets.
Paddling past on the Withlacoochie River, Florida – it opened one sleepy eye, but didn’t move.
This hawk was hanging out at Governors Creek, in Florida. Again, it was taken from the kayak on a beautiful day. I’m not great at hawk identification – and my bird book is in the car at the bottom of a snowy driveway, so I’m not going to go see if I can look it up! If anyone seeing this is good at bird ID, feel free to use the comments section.
This challenge is one I imposed on myself, having had so much fun with the travel photo challenge. I expect to post ten of my favorite wildlife photos, my only rule being that it’s not something I’ve posted in the past year. Feel free to make your own rules! Start your own topic!
I had so much fun with the travel challenge, I decided to go through my wildlife photos, and post the ten I like best, starting with this ibis. Looks like more humor from the Creator! Most, if not all, of the ones I’m choosing are taken from the kayak, so there are lots of waterfowl. This was taken paddling through the mangroves in Florida, just south of Sarasota.
If anyone else thinks this sounds like fun, join in and let’s have fun!
One of my favorite blogs is https://throughopenlens.com/ The photos are stunning (he has a much better camera than I!), and info about the creature, mostly birds, and a short silly joke make for a quick and positive post.
It is SO HARD to pick one photo from my best wildlife photos – maybe after I finish this challenge, I’ll post the best 10 from wildlife? I’ll blame Gumtrees and Galaxies for throwing me this dilemma!
I know who I’m suggesting this time, but I’m doing it privately as they’ve not blogged in well over a year. They’ve done a lot of travel, by land and by sea, and have some stunning photos – but I don’t want to publicly put them on the spot.