There have been unusually high temperatures and humidity, and rain clouds regularly pop up overnight and in the morning hours. This was the view over the local wetlands just after sunrise:
Native Firebush flourishes in this climate, attracting butterflies and (in winter) hummingbirds. An ant seeks its nectar:
Water levels in the lake are rather high, discouraging long-legged waders. An immature Little Blue Heron transitioning from its all-white first year plumage into the dark adult plumage was often the only wader in sight:
Killdeer have finished breeding but occasionally forage along the lake:
One morning we were pleased to find two Least Sandpipers moving along with a Kildeer (out of focus in the background, to show size disparity):
Several mornings just around sunrise two Bald Eagles, an adult and a juvenile, passed overhead from the direction of the nest in Pembroke Pines, about 1 1/2 miles to the NW. The very dark young bird is almost surely the lone eaglet which fledged from the second brood after the first brood and its own nest-mate were lost:
Once, the adult deviated to make a pass over the lake. It splashed down but failed to catch a fish:
Another morning a Great Blue Heron flew in and then struck an unusual pose. I call it the "Trench Coat Flasher" posture, which probably serves the purpose of drying its feathers or assists in thermoregulation::
Back home another (or possibly the same) Great Blue Heron was loafing in our back lawn most ot the day. When I went out on the patio to start roasting a chicken on the grill, the heron strolled away but soon returned, allowing me to take its picture:
Later in the evening, Mary Lou noticed it was subduing a large fish:
I got my camera and watched the heron from inside the house as it walked from left to right, directly past our patio.
I recognized the fish as a catfish. Its four pairs of feelers and eel-like elongated dorsal and anal fins identified it as an exotic Walking Catfish (Clarias batrachus). Not wanting to disturb the bird, I continued to shoot through the windows. It finally stopped and swallowed the fish. Unfortunately, this took place behind our clump of Lemongrass, so I had difficulty focusing manually:
After it had eaten the fish, the heron drank water and then continued resting quite motionless at the edge of the lake, remaining there until well after dark.
Read more about the Walking Catfish AT THIS LINK
"Walking catfish possess a large accessory breathing organ which enables them to breath atmospheric oxygen. They are well known for their ability to "walk" on land for long distances, especially during or after rainfall...
"In the early 1960's, the walking catfish was imported to Florida from Thailand for the aquarium trade. The first introductions apparently happened in the mid 60's when adult fish, imported to be brood stock, escaped from Penagra Aquarium in Broward County and/or from a truck transporting brood fish between Dade and Broward counties.
"In 1967, the state of Florida banned the importation and possession of walking catfish. However, this led to another release of the fish into the wild. Fish farmers in Tampa Bay who possessed the fish purposefully released them so that they would not be found in violation of the new law.
"In 1968, this species was only found in three south Florida counties. However, by 1978, the walking catfish had spread to 20 counties in the southern half of the peninsula. The fish accomplished this migration by using the many hundreds of miles of interconnected canals across south Florida and by moving over land, typically during rainy nights. By the mid 1970's, the walking catfish was established in Everglades National Park and in Big Cypress National Preserve..."
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
Linking to Today's Flowers Friday by Denise
Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display