Friday, April 28, 2017

Paper Wasp and Stilt-legged Fly

I took some pictures in my yard this morning. Thanks so much to Lyle Buss from University of Florida  for the help with identification.

Mischocyttarus mexicanus cubicola.  Commonly called paper wasp.






Stilt-legged fly (family Micropezidae). This guy was rubbing his front hands together, he looked like Mr. Burns from the Simpson.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Goodwin MWA and P.I. Elementary Scrub Habitat

I got to help David help wonderful Wes Biggs find Spoonbills and Scrub Jays for a client today. Had lots of fun, saw lots of cool birds, got some nice pix. Not shown is the Black-crowned Night Heron that I used on my daily blog today. Click pictures to see them full size.

A cute little Cattle Egret. Notice the red on the bill and legs - he is starting to come into breeding condition.
Rosie and the Spooners, posing for their first album cover. (Ha! I am dating myself here - music doesn't exist in physical form anymore. Sigh. I miss album covers.)

There are a LOT of Roseate Spoonbills out there.
All birds look silly face-on, but Spoonbills look particularly goofy.
A Limpkin, looking all dramatic.
Sadly, Rosie and the Spooners music career didn't last long, tension among the band mates caused drummer Pinkie to quit and join a Pileated Woodpecker percussion-based group.
Snowy Egret. Notice the yellow feet and thin, black bill.
Great Egret. Notice the black feet, and thick, yellow bill.

Roseate Spoonbill. Notice the spoon-shaped bill and rosy color.
Tri-color Heron. Notice the fact that he's multi-colored and has the white stripe down the front of his neck.
"Uh-uh-uh-uh, stayin' alive, stayin' alive, uh-uh-uh-uh, staying' alive, stayin alive..." 

You can tell by they way he uses his walk, he's a Florida Scrub Jay. No time to talk.

This could be my favorite picture I've ever taken. It's real - I don't have the Photoshop skills to do this.
I liked this color in this one. The wind was blowing the pine around, I liked the swirly effect.
An un-banded Scrub Jay.
Make sure you click to enlarge this one and check out his eyelashes - he looks like he is wearing mascara.
And such a good poser.
"Ok, you've had your fun. Move along now, nothing else to see here.  
And, last but not least, an Osprey peeking out of it's nest.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Turkey Creek

Had a great day out with David and a group from SCAS today. Got an unexpected lifer (my 329th life bird) - Nashville Warbler (see below). I also got a Ring-neck Snake that I used for my daily blog picture today.

Mentzelia floridana, commonly known as "Poor Man's Patch" because the leaves stick to your clothing, like a patch.
Why we don't wear flip-flops while hiking in Florida.
Not a good picture, but it was a life bird for me - the Nashville Warbler.
A slightly better picture of the Nashville Warbler, and at least you can see his field marks for positive ID.
Yet another shot of the Nashville Warbler.
Something about the look on this Cardinal's face made me laugh. "Heyyyy.... do I know you from somewhere? Aren't you the old battle axe that my friends the Swallows were picking on the other day?"
It wouldn't be a trip to Turkey Creek without a Gopher Tortoise!

Friday, April 14, 2017

More Tree Swallows

You ever feel like the birds are just messing with you? Today I went to Goodwin WMA again. I walked about 2 miles, but it was strangely quiet. I did get a pretty cool shot of a Turkey Vulture for my daily blog, but there wasn't much else out there. I saw a few dead snakes which made me sad, I wish people would drive slower on the berm Anyway, so I walked all that way with very few pictures to show for it. Then I got back to my car and saw this right beside my car. I swear they were laughing at me.

"Hahahaha the fat old lady just walked 2 miles to get a 'good' picture!" 
"Hahahaha and she carried that big camera the whole way!" 
"Hahaha she looks tired! Hahaha! And she is sweating! And it's starting to rain! HAHAHAHA"

I think Tree Swallows might be jerks.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tree Swallows!

I had a bunch of errands to do this morning, but stopped to do a short walk at Goodwin. Got some pretty decent Tree Swallow shots. It was weird, I took about 100 pictures, trying to get just on !@#!#! shot for my daily blog to no avail. Then I realized, that there was this one point on the dam where, when they passed by, almost every bird stopped to check out a hole. That is where I got my daily blog picture, as well as most of these. Click to see the big picture, they are amazing little birds, even if they are terrible posers!


 "My hole! You no can haz!"



Sunday, April 9, 2017

Fellsmere Grade Recreation Area

I went out on Saturday morning to get my daily blog, then got to help David lead a trip this morning. Today I learned something new, and then got not one, but two pictures of it. Keep reading for details, and don't forget to click to see the pictures full size!

Yesterday, I saw what appeared to be a dump truck crashed on the side of the canal. When I got closer, I realized it was this BA Alligator. Ok, I didn't really think it was a truck, but it was a very massively large gator.
See how this Black Vulture's eye looks grey? That is actually his nictitating membrane, which is a third, clear eyelid. All birds have this. I knew that pelicans and owls have it, I did not realize that all birds do.  Every time that I've captured this, I always thought I was just screwing up the picture and the light was hitting the bird's eye funny.
He actually has really pretty eyes when the nictitating membrane isn't down.
A close up of a different bird. This is the second time I've gotten a photo of the bird that clearly was at the lower end of the roost. Poor guy. I swear you can see the embarrassed resignation on his face.
A female Anhinga. You know she is a female because she has a brown head, where the male Anhinga has a black head.
In a more typical pose.

I love the baby sticking his head out from under the mom's wing. I got a much better shot for my 8 a.m. blog.
Notice the nictitating membrane on this female Boat-tailed Grackle.
And here she is with her eyes wide open.
Here she is again in a more dignified pose.
This was my favorite shot of the day. She just looks kind of adorably pouty.
A Turkey Vulture. To tell it apart from the Black Vulture in flight - look at the primaries. The Turkey Vulture has white all the way from the wing tips to his body. The Black Vulture only wears white gloves.
A Glossy Ibis,  looking particularly pretty in the light.

This isn't a great picture, but I thought it was cool that we had 59 species today, and I got four of them in one shot. From left to right, Little Blue Heron, male Blue-wing Teal, Glossy Ibis, Common Galinule, and female Blue-wing Teal.
A deer spine. It's odd, usually after a carcass has been picked clean, it is either dragged off or decays. These deer bones have been in this same location for months.