Saturday, November 1, 2014

Finally back in Florida

Following a stay of over 6 weeks at our second home in NE Illinois, I was anxious to get out into our local wetlands here in Florida. As usual, we had to give priority to the expected backlog of tasks such as opening the hurricane shutters, shopping, doctor and dentist appointments, weeding, bringing out the patio furniture, etc. etc. 

In contrast to the rather gloomy mornings in Illinois, the sun prepared to rise into a placid blue sky.

Sunrise 20141027

We did keep an eye out on our back yard lake, and on the day of our arrival were greeted by herons, ibises and this Pied-billed Grebe:

Pied-billed Grebe 20141026

The grebe, usually a rather shy creature, swam right up to the edge of our lawn:

Pied-billed Grebe 2-20141026

White Ibises foraged in the turf...

White Ibis 20141026

...and perched on our neighbors' roofs.

White Ibis chorus line 20141028

White Ibises on roof 20141028

An Anhinga dried its wings while roosting on our neighbor's goose decoy, which serves as a float for the intake of their lawn irrigation system. 

Anhinga on decoy 20141028

Another neighbor's Snow Goose decoy had broken loose and greeted us at the water's edge:

Snow Goose Decoy 20141028

A Double-crested Cormorant sat on our duck decoy and allowed me to approach rather closely.

Double-crested Cormorant 20141028

Finally it became alarmed by my presence and launched clumsily into flight...

Double-crested Cormorant 1-20141028

...splattering and splashing before gaining altitude.

Double-crested Cormorant 2-20141028

Double-crested Cormorant 3-20141028

On our way to the Post Office we visited the local Bald Eagle nest, where we found both adults. The female was sometimes deep in the nest, leading to speculation that she had possibly laid the first egg, an event that usually occurs in early to mid-December. However, she did not stay down consistently, and when we checked again neither adult was visible on or near the nest.

Bald Eagle pair at nest 02-20141030

After a three-day delay, we set out for the wetlands before sunrise. I captured a glimpse of the pre-dawn color through the space between our house and that of our next door neighbor. Next week I'll have a full report of our sightings.

Before sunrise 20141028


  1. Hi Kenneth I did not know you were due back to Florida yet so it was great to see all the birds waiting for you. Loved the White Ibis on the roof. I am sure you will be watching that Eagle;s nest quite closely now and be bringing us up dates. How wonderful to have this water at the bottom of your garden however I am looking forward to hearing about the sightings you made at the Wetlands. That last shot is gorgeous.

  2. love your pied-billed greeter! and so cute how the birds will perch on the decoys. :) welcome back to florida!

  3. I love the cute Grebe and the Ibis! Cool shots of the Eagle and a beautiful sky.. Happy weekend!

  4. What a wonderful welcome back to Florida. Those birds are incredible! Love the decoy shots also.

  5. Lovely birds you have there in your little slice of Florida paradise. It's snowing here today, just flurries, but snow all the same.

  6. The pictures of the cormorant on the model ducks is great! I really like them.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  7. Love all the ibis on the tile roofing.

  8. Those decoy pictures are so funny with the birds using them for perches ... And not similar birds to the decoys at all! Glad to know you made it back toParadise and looking forward to being there next month ourselves. We have pie billed here, but am amazed this one came up so close .. They're very shy and spooky as you say! I miss my Ibis.

  9. I like the Pied-billed Grebe and the decoys are great.

  10. What a beautiful welcome home! The sunrise and all the amazing birds probably made you feel so happy to be back!

  11. Looks like the perfect time of year to bird. The weather is getting to be that perfect temp. Wonderful shot of the DCCO on the decoy:)

  12. Wonderful birds in your backyard. The grebe is very cute.

  13. What a beautiful welcome home.

  14. Stunning photos, the Ibises are great.

  15. could only dream of having Ibis on the roof and Bald Eagles nesting down the road......


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