Tag Archives: Myakka River State Park

~Today’s Feathered Friend-Little Blue Heron

 

Little Blue Heron

A small heron, adults dark blue-gray with purple-maroon neck, immatures are unique among all herons in that they are white. Prefers to feed in fresh water and edges of grassy pools. Eats fish, frogs, lizards, snakes, turtles, shrimp and crabs. When water disappears they will eat grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, and other insects of the grasslands. Flight is graceful and strong, wing strokes quicker than that of larger herons.Flies with head drawn in on shoulders.

IMG_5457
Little Blue Heron (Juvenile)
IMG_5445
Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Florida
_MG_5691.jpg
Little Blue Heron (Myakka River State Park)

Sharing with Charlotte at Prairie Birder

~Today’s Feathered Friend-Wood Stork

Photos from Myakka River State Park, Florida – January, 2016

 

In many cultures, storks represent fertility, springtime and good luck.

 

Wood Stork
Wood Stork

Beauty I have none,

grace in flight I have plenty,

perseverance, I am proof.

 

_MG_5676

Interesting Fact:

This species seems to have evolved in tropical regions; its North American presence probably postdates the last ice age. A fossil fragment found might be of the living species; it is at most from the Late Pleistocene age, a few 10,000s of years ago.

 

Sharing with Charlotte at Prairie Birder

 

 

 

 

 

 

~A Snowy Egret and a little “this & that”

In the glimmer of late evening,
birds gather at water’s edge,
still as statues,
graceful as ballerinas,
they hunt with patience and persistence,
their beauty is mine to admire.
_MG_6010
Snowy Egret
_MG_5998
“Do you see my Yellow Slippers?”

 While staying at Myakka River State Park…

I captured these photos as the sun was setting. They were fishing where an inlet runs into a lake. This series of the Snowy Egret are some of my favorites; I never get tired of watching them.

A little “this and that”….

We are currently back at Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont, Florida. It has been rainy and cool. Not much going on here, and in between rain showers we take long walks, just enjoying the beauty of this Florida State Park.

Monday, I hope to go play Pickleball at the Clermont Recreation Center. When we were here a month ago, I got to play. Loving my new paddle!

Howard took this photo, before the start of the games. Four nets setup in the gym at Clermont. I got to play twice for several hours. Met a lot of nice people.
Howard took this photo, before the start of the games. Four nets setup in the Clermont gym. I got to play twice for several hours. Met a lot of nice people.

Yesterday we enjoyed a late lunch at World of Beer.

IMG_1018-2
This beer is called Midnight Oil. It is a very dark oatmeal, coffee stout! Yummy! It is brewed at a Florida brewery called Swamp Head Brewing.

Ham Radio and what’s coming up on our schedule…

Howard has setup his Ham Radio antennas and has spent a little time “on the air”. Wednesday we pull into the Orlando Fairgrounds, with a group of friends, for what is called HamCation.

HamCation is a huge convention of ham radio operators and other electronic vendors. Our group, FMCA, Amateur Radio Club, park our rigs on the grounds with easy access to all the activities. People from all over the world attend, shopping for bargains. It is a lot of fun and we are hoping for good weather, no rain!

Until next time, stay dry and warm!

 

 

Northern Mockingbird-a Tanka

~

atop a bush he sits

his gaze speaks to me

we share a note

through my lens I see

a twinkle in his golden eye

~

_MG_5779
Atop a bush he sits…
_MG_5785
A twinkle in his golden eye…

I captured these photos on January 6, 2016 while visiting Myakka River State Park. I captured a Mockingbird at this very spot last year; I wonder if it is the same bird.

~For Beth and Pam-Myakka River State Park

IMG_6085

This tells us, some of the park buildings were build during 1934-1941.

IMG_6070This tells us,the park was established in 1935 and 1,920 acres were donated by the Palmer family.

Notice the photo of the plaque above, it is attached to these old log buildings, currently being used as a restroom and a picnic pavilion. Again, letting people know when and by whom these building were constructed. Right behind these building is the river and some people choose to launch their kayaks there.

There is a small room attached to the open, covered, picnic pavilion that houses a  fireplace.  Benches are placed around the room for people to sit on while enjoying the fire.

One cool morning while on a walk, we discovered that a fire had been started, and it was nice to stand there for a few minutes gazing into the flames. The last photo above is an outdoor amphitheater.

Lots of paths in the park to choose from. On this day a walk through moss covered oaks and palms, some covered with ferns.

Also, while out walking the paths, you are guaranteed to see Black and Turkey Vultures, and Herons fishing along the banks of the Myakka River.

 

The sites in the Palmetto Ridge area at Myakka River State Park are all full hook-up, some are pull-through, some are back-in, and even a few are drive-in, such as the empty one above. There are two bath houses, both with washers and dryers. All roads in Palmetto Ridge are paved, all sites are gravel. And, when it rains really, really hard, like it did on Friday, you will have your very own pond!

IMG_5870

This state park is unique and gorgeous. A lot of people come to see the alligators; I come to see the birds and the sunsets. Each of us have their own reasons for wanting to walk along the Myakka River.

_MG_5977

I took the photo of this gator while standing on a bridge looking down at him.

 

 

 

~Birding in Myakka River State Park

Myakka River State Park, Sarasota, Florida

We have spent the last few days hanging around the park. Taking walks, birding and enjoying other hobbies. It has been cool, temperatures in the 60’s. We are loving the lower temps!

Remember my header photo of the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks? The reason they were able to rest with their eyes closed is, because they always have one watching for signs of danger.

_MG_5885

A beautiful Northern Cardinal, daily visitor to our site.

_MG_6014

_MG_6029

A late evening walk along the river gave me these two gifts above.

Great Blue Heron

Look closely at the Great Blue Heron photo above. The two additional Anhinga photos are of it trying to dry its feathers after hunting.

A few additional Anhinga photos from walks around the park.

Little Blue Herons, Tri-colored Herons, Great Egrets, all seen in Myakka River State Park.

Along with Black-crowned and Green Herons

_MG_6026

Glossy and White Ibis, another late evening shot.

Myakka River State Park is a wonderful place to visit if you enjoy birding, biking, hiking, kayaking, or just the peacefulness of being out in nature.

Coming up, a late evening photo shoot with a Snowy Egret.

_MG_5998

Have fun everyday!

~A Walk

Myakka River State Park, Sarasota, Florida

Last Thursday, Howard and I  took a walk down a path in the park.

We ran into a naturalist, on Wednesday when we arrived, and he told us about this path, saying he has seen Barred Owls in this area.  We met him last year when we visited the park for the first time, and found him to be a real character and very knowledgeable.

I was sharing with him my lack of never having seen a Barred Owl in the wild. Saying, “it would be a nice Life List bird for me”. So off we go in search of this elusive owl.

It was a pleasant walk with temperatures just about perfect. The path we were walking on was slightly higher than the forest floor with swampy areas between us and the trees.

As we walked along enjoying the scenery, we saw something fly across the road up ahead of us. We tracked it to where we thought it entered the forrest. We were looking up into the trees and this Red-shouldered Hawk had landed on the ground next to the water. Seeing it standing there, near the water, was a surprise. It appeared to be digging in the moist earth. Of course as we approached it flew up into the trees.

Sadly, no Barred Owl sighting for me on this day, just a beautiful hawk. I will keep searching.

We continued, over the next 30 minutes or so, to watch this hawk as it hunted along this path. After observing,  it fly into several different places and its behavior, I believe it was gathering nesting material; however, I can’t be sure.

Here are several photos as it flew from the ground to tree to tree.

cropped-mg_5811.jpg

The hawk flew to this stump and sat there looking around. Notice its muddy beak.

 

_MG_5822
~
_MG_5825

It took to higher ground landing on this tree branch.

 

_MG_5846

This spot was near the ground; a low branch over the swamp.

_MG_5873

Last location, was back into a tree. This photo is blurry, but it shows this beautiful Red-shouldered hawk snapping small twigs.

~

The feathered photo above shows a Palm Warbler with its back to me. I took this photo while watching the Red-shouldered Hawk.

Later in the day, in a different location, I took this photo of another Palm Warbler.

_MG_6055

The header photo above shows Black-bellied Whistling Ducks catching a few winks.

Life is good, Happy Birding!