Whoa!! From My Window

View Though Patio Door

When I showed the first From My Window, you could see this is just a neighborhood with a small retention pond behind our home. Well, the latest photo, taken by Dan, came as a surprise.

While I was finishing up my breakfast, I noticed, what I thought was a crumpled up paper on the other side of the bank. I kept watching as it “floated” toward our side of the pond. As it got closer, I mentioned to Dan that it looked like two eyes. I stopped eating and walked to the door so I could watch closer.

WHOA!!

Finally, my suspicions were verified. A back popped up behind those eyes. AN ALLIGATOR!!!

Alligator in pond between the yards. By Dan

Dan’s camera was handy, but he didn’t have his zoom lens on. So this is the best we could do. Here is the photo after I cropped it.

Alligator in pond between the yards. Zoomed By Dan

Alligator in pond between the yards. Zoomed By Dan

It was not a very large one, maybe four or five feet long. Just a guess. I have been watching for it since Thursday, but so far haven’t seen it again.

We have noticed all the ducks that were around the pond have disappeared. They must have flown off to one of the other ponds in the neighborhood. Playing it safe. I doubt that the gator could have eaten all of them in one day. We saw the ducks on Wednesday.

I did watch an Anhinga swimming with just his head up today. Typical for the Anhingas, but he came out after a while without getting eaten. Plus, a Great Blue Heron safely fished along the bank today. So, maybe Mr. Beedie Eyes [as I have named him] has left.

Stay Tuned!!

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (Galatians 5:14-15 NKJV)

“Then he said to them, “The LORD had better be with you when I let you and your little ones go! Beware, for evil is ahead of you.” (Exodus 10:10 NKJV)

 

Shoreline Action: Birds, Turtles, and a Gator

Shoreline Action: Birds, Turtles, and a Gator

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Again He turneth the wilderness into pools of water, and the dry land into water springs.   (Psalm 107:35, Geneva Bible)

Water is a universal magnet for birds and other animals, so “pools” (or “ponds” or “lakes”) attract wildlife.  So having a pond (or a “lake”) in one’s backyard is good for birdwatching — as well as for watching other kinds of wildlife.

Birds-Zim.Golden-Guides-series-1956

JJSJ’s first bird-book (from 2nd grade)

During the latter part of this month, for a couple days (May 20th through 22nd), I once again had the memorable privilege of birdwatching in St. Petersburg, at the hospitable home of Chaplain Bob and Marcia Webel.    [Regarding this favorite backyard birdwatching site, see “Appreciating White Ibises (and Other Birds in Florida)”, posted at https://leesbird.com/2016/12/06/appreciating-white-ibises-as-well-as-dozens-of-other-birds-in-florida/ .]   On Monday (May 21st), on or near that lacustrine shoreline, in addition to feeding some large turtles and a hungry alligator  (about 4 feet long! — who stayed on the other side of a metal fence), we saw a lot of birds  – osprey (a/k/a “fish hawk”), great blue heron, Louisiana heron (a/k/a “tri-colored heron”), white ibis, wood stork, mallard, Muscovy duck, snowy egret , great white egret, boat-tailed grackles, anhinga (a/k/a “snake-bird”), etc.  –  and we heard the eerie calls of limpkins (a/k/a “crying bird”). Onshore we also saw birds in the trees, including blue jay and some variety of sparrows, as well as frenetic grey squirrels.    [Regarding Florida’s shellfish-snacking limpkins, see Lee Dusing’s “The Disappearing Limpkin”, posted at https://leesbird.com/2017/11/04/the-disappearing-limpkin/ .]

CommonMoorhen-wikipedia-ShantanuKuveskar

COMMON MOORHEN (a/k/a Florida Gallinule, a/k/a Marsh Hen) — photo credit: Shantanu Kuveskar / Wikipedia

In error, then, I thought I saw a Purple Gallinules family, but Bob correctly identified these candy-corn-billed rail-fowl as Common Moorhen (a/k/a “marsh hen” and “Florida gallinule”), and Bob’s bird-book confirmed Bob’s identification.  Meanwhile, at one point, amidst a lot of tossing pieces of bread unto the birds and turtles (and alligator), Marcia tossed some less-than-fresh tuna fish salad upon the shore  –  and the tuna was quickly gobbled up by a Louisiana Heron! (Louisiana herons are birds that I don’t often see – I first saw one at Aransas Bay, in Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, on March 11th of AD1996, and I have rarely seen any since then.)  It rained quite a bit, later (on Monday and Tuesday), so I was very glad that we did our backyard birdwatching when we did  — here is a limerick to remember that time by!

Remembering Time (and Critters) at the Shore

Ducks afloat, hawks in the sky

Herons ashore, jays fly by;

Turtles near, some beyond

Gobble bread in the pond;

Busy critters catch my eye!


Happy birdwatching!