Before sunrise the next morning, in the wetlands next to our subdivision, the mini-Moon pierces the early fog:
I rush to catch the moon's reflection in the lake before it settles into the mist.
Birding has been slow, as some of the winter visitors are already diminishing in number and migration seems reluctant to get underway.
The local male Bald Eagle's new mate may be too young to start raising a family this season. He continues to bring sticks to the nest . As reported previously, they copulated successfully in late January. Although she has joined him in arranging the nest, she does not appear to be broody. Here she watches from a perch just above and to the right as Pride brings in a large branch which he snapped off the top of a dead tree:
Under her watchful eye he arranges it to his satisfaction:
He seems to say: "How do you like it?"
A White-winged Dove gathers twigs in our front yard and carries them to a flimsy nest in a neighbor's back yard:
This Brown Thrasher is singing his heart out, anticipating his northward departure. It feels as if spring is here already!
Here is a snippet of his unique song (If video fails to display, click here):
Male Red-winged Blackbirds stake out territories in the wet prairies, singing and displaying red and yellow epaulets to each other, awaiting the arrival of the females and hoping to attract them into their harems:
This blackbird could not have picked a more idyllic setting for his performance. Is that an old stump, or an exquisite sculpture of a fantasy island?:
The clear whistled songs of Northern Cardinals fill the air:
The quacks of Mottled Ducks betray their relationship to the Mallard clan:
This pair joins a Great Blue Heron resting on a boulder:
Another Great Blue enjoys a sound sleep..
...as a Great Egret takes flight...
...and rudely awakens him:
Belted Kingfishers will soon be heading north:
While I am photographing the landscape with my pocket camera, this adult White-tailed Deer doe suddenly appears along the road. Using the the same camera, I get a quick but blurry shot before she runs away, followed by two younger deer.
They stop to watch me from across the wet prairie. A young buck, his antler buds only starting to emerge, stands in front of a young doe:
Probably more playful than amorous, the buck attempts to mount the doe:
When birding is slow, the camera finds other interesting subjects, like this Green Anole. Facing competition from the exotic and invasive Brown Anole, these are quite scarce in our local wetlands. This one displays its dewlap but I do not see any others of its kind in the vicinity:
Butterflies abound, including this Gulf Fritillary:
Its under-wing pattern contrasts sharply with the dry grass:
A Halloween Pennant perches high:
Spring may be imminent, but here in South Florida we seem to have our brightest foliage just as the tomatoes ripen and winter wanes. This was the view along the north shore of the lake on March 3:
On the morning of March 9 the mini-Moon was waning, but shadows made its features more visible:
Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,
Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa).
Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James
Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display