Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My first spoony babies!

"Listen Mom, I have to tell you something."

"I can't get comfortable."

"Who's your favorite, Mom?"

"Look at my pink wings!"

"Three's a crowd."

"Don't poop on us Mom."

I stopped by Lowry Park zoo for a quick visit to check on the spoonbill nest. What a nice surprise to find 3 babies on the nest. They were so cute! I spent about an hour taking pictures. If I had my camera pointed at the nest, people would stop and notice the nest above the alligator pond. If I wasn't taking pictures, most walked by without even noticing the nest. People where noticing the big alligators laying below. They were mesmerized by how big the alligators were. The babies were my first spoonbill babies. They were light pink and fuzzy. I hope they don't outgrow that nest too fast. I'm going to try and stop by each weekend to keep track of their progress.

Check out more birds at CLICK THIS PICTURE!

Monday, May 30, 2011

More wild birds at the zoo

Roseate spoonbill scratching.

Spoonbill sitting on the nest.

She's crying "It's your turn to sit on these hard sticks."

Carolina wren. I don't see these too often here.

Great egret flying by.

Just a few more pictures from my last recent trip to Lowry Park zoo.  I'm really keeping my fingers crossed on seeing spoonbill babies. I'm going to stop by there every weekend to check on them. It's only 10-12 minutes away and I have a membership so I may just stop in and run back to the rookery to see if any babies are present. Although, I sometimes get distracted by other cute animals.

Go and check out more MyWorld images at the MyWorld Site! My World

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Baby birds at the zoo

Baby tricolored heron. I took this right into the sun. I do like the way it lights up his white fuzz.

Adult blue heron. Standing on the alligator boardwalk. Taking a break from the screaming babies.

Baby blue heron profile.

Screaming baby blue herons.

Great egret feeding it's baby. This family was high up in the trees.

Baby night heron staring at me.

The Lowry Park zoo in Tampa has a great little bird rookery at the alligator exhibit. It's not as big as the one at Gatorland in Orlando, but hey, it's 12 minutes from my house. As you walk along the boardwalk you can hear the babies crying. It's mostly blue herons and great egrets but there are a few night herons and tricolored herons there as well. There is one spoonbill couple and I'm hoping they have babies soon. I'm going to check back again for that one.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Random stuff at the zoo

Grasshoppers are popping up everywhere.

Dragonfly at the zoo.

Baby penguin trying to get out his playpen.

The new baby penguin is so cute. The keeper kept the baby close to her. It's still a little young to be out running around with the grown ups but soon it will be out officially on exhibit.

One of the resident manatees. You can see the boat marks across it's back.

Lots of flowers everywhere now.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Boat trip in Tampa Bay - Skywatch Friday

Hubby getting the boat ready. He didn't realize he had a visitor sitting by the lamp watching him. This is the first time I've seen an egret get so close. I guess he heard the boat motor and thought we were coming back with some fish.

Ibis and 2 laughing gulls fighting over a dead horseshoe crab.

Spotted sandpiper bobbing up and down the beach. He stayed pretty far away.

Osprey looking for lunch. That's the Bucs football stadium behind the airport parking deck in the background. We were on the other side of the bay.

Mallards swimming by.

Osprey catching a fish in the bay.

I noticed this bulldozer tearing down mangroves along the water.  I thought it was now illegal to do that. Not sure what they're doing.

Tampa from across the bay.

We took our boat out recently and heading for a small lagoon near the St. Petersburg/Clearwater airport. It's usually quiet there and we rarely see any other boats. There's a small beach there and we call it the "horseshoe crab graveyard". The beach is always littered with dead horseshoe crabs. I don't know why they end up here. Maybe the tide and the way the waves are flowing. Sometimes there are shorebirds hanging around. We anchored and swam over to the beach and walked around. Although, as soon as we start swimming onto shore the shorebirds take off. I hate scaring them away from their small piece of paradise. Last time we were there it was still a little cold and the water near the beach was full of stingrays so I stayed in the boat. I'm all for the stingray shuffle but when there's not even an inch to put your feet down I get creeped out. We stayed for a while and watched the small commuter planes land and take off at the small airport. I was a little disappointed we didn't seen any dolphins or manatees this trip.

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Baby ducks growing up

I peeked out the dining room window and saw some ripples in the water. At first I didn't see them but the ripples looked like something big. I grabbed my camera and went out the back door as the mallard family went swimming by. They come close to the dock hoping to be fed. Some of the neighbors feed them but I'm restraining from it. They shouldn't grow up on stale bread. This mom had her webbed feet full with 8 babies. They stayed pretty close together.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Baby hawks and the usual birds at Circle B.

Limpkin eating a snail on Alligator Alley trail.

This looks like an immature red shouldered hawk.

Immature little blue heron turning blue.

Two of the smaller baby red shouldered hawks.

The older sibling.

My first hawk babies were seen at Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland. A red shouldered hawk couple had built a nest behind the barred owl's nest. The barred owl babies had flown the coupe when I got there but a nice surprise was behind the nest. I could hear the baby hawks screaming. The birds were very far away across a river so the above pictures are highly cropped. Things are starting to slow down at the reserve. It's getting hot there and all of the migrate birds are almost gone or will be gone soon. All of the babies are growing up fast. I'm going to try and head out there one more time before the summer heat sets in. Then it's more trips to the coast where at least you get a sea breeze.

Go and check out more MyWorld images at the MyWorld Site! My World

Also, check out more birds at CLICK THIS PICTURE!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Baby crane is growing up

"Mom, let's do our stretches."

"Not another photographer!"

"I'm getting tired of eating bugs."

"This is way more comfortable than standing."

The baby sandhill crane at Circle B Bar Reserve is growing up fast. I took these a couple of weeks ago so by now he's probably almost as big as his parents. He's still so much fun to watch and seemed very curious about everything.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Carillon Wetlands

Female anhinga panting in the heat. This one has pretty colors on her face.

My first brown thrasher. They're suppose to be fairly common but I haven't seen one before. It was getting dark and even with a flash I had a hard time getting this bird.

Alien duck!  (Baby moorhen)

Another alien duck in the shadows right before dark.

More alligator food.

There's a small wetlands park in the middle of an office park very near where I work. There are two small lakes, one is surrounded by office buildings and has a boardwalk around it. The other is surrounded by townhomes and has a walking path around it. I had heard there were bitterns there so I stopped by after work last week. I didn't find the bitterns but I found a few other things. Right before dark I found a moorhen with a baby. They are the funniest looking babies. Yes, both lakes have alligators so that rabbit better watch out!