Great Egret Nest – Gatorland

Eggs in Great Egret Nest Gatorland 02252021 by Lee

Eggs in Great Egret Nest Gatorland 02252021 by Lee

Just wanted to share a nest that we observed at Gatorland this week.  The Great Egret was standing and I was able to get a photo of the three eggs. Then I turned the video on while she inspected the nest and then settled down on the eggs.

After I had moseyed on down the boardwalk, I took this photo looking back at where I was standing:

Showing How close I was to nest Gatorland 02252021 by Lee

Showing How close I was to nest Gatorland 02252021 by Lee

If you make it larger, you will see how close we can get to some of these nest. This nest was the closest one to the rail. It is always enjoyable to journey over to Gatorland during the nesting season.

“If a bird’s nest happens to be before you along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, with the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young; you shall surely let the mother go, and take the young for yourself, that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days.” (Deuteronomy 22:6-7 NKJV)

We left both the mother and the eggs alone. I’m looking forward to more days in the future to go bird watching. Lord Willing!

More to come on this latest trip to Gatorland.

Gatorland Again – February 2021

Good News

Gatorland Again – February 2021

Me Showing What A Gator Will Do To You – Chomp -Gatorland

Today was a beautiful day for another trip over to Gatorland in Orlando, Florida. [About a 50 mile ride] It is still a bit early for the chicks to arrive, but some Great Egrets were nesting. It was a cloudless day, and from the next photo, you can see that there are plenty of birds in the distance on nest. Unfortunately, you cannot get very close to those.

Gatorland Feb 25, 2021 by Lee

Gatorland Feb 25, 2021 by Lee

Zoomed in – Gatorland

After we enter toward the bottom left of the park [see map], we proceed to the boardwalk where we take most of our photos [#24 and #25]. We come back to the front and usually stop by #39 and #40 where we take the photos of the Flamingos and the “taxi rides.” Stay tuned, I took some good videos today. [Later post]

Map of Gatorland Showing Boardwalk

By the time we make that loop, we have been there a couple of hours. Today I walked with my walker instead of renting electric wheels. Whew! Two hours was enough. It is over a mile around that loop. [I stopped to take lots of photos :) ] By the way, in a week, Dan and I will be getting our second Covid vaccine shot. Yeah! I’m tired of wearing masks! And not going birding very often.

While the photos and videos are being sorted and made ready, here is a new critter that has been added to the displays along the front of the park. It is a Serval Wild Cat. I have never seen it here, but it is a beautiful wild cat that comes from Africa. Serval – Wikipedia

Jabari the Serval - Gatorland 02252021 by Lee

Jabari the Serval – Gatorland 02252021 by Lee

Jabari the Serval - Gatorland 02252021 by Lee

Jabari the Serval

Jabari the Serval - Gatorland 02252021 by Lee

Jabari the Serval

What a creation from the Creator!

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:24-25 KJV)

If you missed the December trip to Gatorland posts, check these out:

Wordless Birds

Great Egret by Dan

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan in 2020

“…O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.” (Psalms 139:1-3 NKJV)

This Great Egret’s pose caused me to chuckle, but also to think about how their neck can be raised and lowered. “Up and Down” Egrets, Herons, and other birds with long necks seem to like to pull them down. Scrunch them!

At times, especially now, with so many things, like Covid, and other challenges of life, make us want to just go somewhere and hide. Here are a few verses I found about having ups and downs:

Great Egret by Dan at Gatorland in 2015

“I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.’ “Rain down, you heavens, from above, And let the skies pour down righteousness; Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, And let righteousness spring up together. I, the LORD, have created it.” (Isaiah 45:5-8 NKJV)

Great Blue Heron Lake Morton by Dan

“So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.” (Mark 16:19 NKJV)

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan (2014)

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They have bowed down and fallen; But we have risen and stand upright.” (Psalms 20:7-8 NKJV)
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:19-20 NKJV)

[bolding and italics mine]

Trust these photos and verses are an encouragement for you today. Lord’s Blessings

Dan’s Pix

Wordless Bird – Green-tail Sunbird

Birdwatching and More Photos By Dan at Gatorland

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan

My last post showed some of Dan’s photos he had taken, that were related to my previous post about Gatorland. I kid often about not knowing the difference from an “F-stop” or a “Stop Sign.” And it is true. I am not a photographer, just a Birdwatcher who takes photos of birds. That is what is so great about being a Birder. There are plenty of birds to go around, and it does not matter your reason for birdwatching.

Snowy Egret and Gator at Gatorland by Dan

Snowy Egret and Gator at Gatorland by Dan

Many of those who watch birds are super photographers, even laying on their stomachs to get just that “perfect shot.” Others, like Dan, enjoy taking photos with a really nice camera and lens, framing the bird, taking good photos, sharping them up. Some, like me, take photos left and right, discard many, and try to make them look half way decent, and placing them on a blog.

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan

Some birdwatchers, never use a camera, just binoculars and have a great time trying to see “how many” species they can identify. Others, see birds as they are just out and about, and enjoy them. There is room for all of us. No matter how we view the Avian Wonders that our Lord has created.

Here are some more of Dan’s photos from our last Gatorland visit in December. They are in a slideshow. [These have been compressed.]

What I enjoy are those Snowy Egrets with that concentration look on their faces. Dan captured it well, and I noticed that same look. Wonder what they were thinking about or focused on?  Humm!

Where is our focus?

“For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He ponders all his paths.” (Proverbs 5:21 NKJV)
“Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy,” (Psalms 33:18 NKJV)
“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.” (Psalms 34:15 NKJV)

You can see many of his other photos at: Dan’s Pix

Trust you have been enjoying these Gatorland posts:

The Wise Owl

Dan’s Photos – Wishful Thinking, Flamingo, and Vulture

Tricolored Heron by Dan

Finally, I was able to encourage Dan to share some of his great photos from our latest Gatorland visit. He is a much more busier than me, and processing photos taken in “raw format” take more time. My “JPEG” are a snap to get ready. That said, here are the first few that go along with some of the previous post.

Tricolored Heron by Dan at Gatorland

Tricolored Heron by Dan at Gatorland

Great Blue Heron by Dan at Gatorland

Great Blue Heron by Dan at Gatorland

See:  Wishful Thinking

Black Vulture by Dan at Gatorland

Black Vulture by Dan at Gatorland

See:  Black Vultures Up Close At Gatorland

These two almost took my breath away when I saw it:

American Flamingo by Dan at Gatorland

American Flamingo by Dan at Gatorland

American Flamingo by Dan at Gatorland

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16-17 NKJV)

See:  Flamingo Filtering at Gatorland – 12/30/20

Needless to say, Dan has a really nice lens on his camera, and he does not shoot in “program” mode like I do. He actually know all about those “f-stops” and “things” that I have no clue what they are. We make a great team.

Stay Tuned! I have some more of his photos.

You can see many of his other photos at: Dan’s Pix

The rest of our Gatorland trip in December:

  1. Flamingo Filtering at Gatorland – 12/30/20
  2. Gator Tail Anyone?
  3. Our Gatorland Welcome 12-30-20
  4. Put Your Best Foot Forward
  5. Black Vultures Up Close At Gatorland
  6. Wishful Thinking

Wordless Birds

 

Wishful Thinking

Tricolored Heron at Gatorland

Many times when we are young, we wonder or try to imagine what we will be like when we grow up. (Notice the bird in the upper right corner)

Great Blue Heron at Gatorland

This Great Blue Heron may be trying to remember his days of youth. (Notice the bird in the lower left corner)

Tricolored Heron and Great Blue Heron at Gatorland

Our smaller Tricolored Heron can wish all he wants, but he will never become a Great Blue Heron. The Lord, the Creator of all these Avian Wonders, made each of them slightly different.

Just as we in our lives have different talents and abilities, we should not try to be something that we were not created to be. The Lord has given each of us, as Christians, different areas of service. It may a small task, or it could be an enormous task.

“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NKJV)

Each of these birds at Gatorland, are all created different, yet they all seem to enjoy hanging out there. Many of us enjoy being with others at our places of worship. We all have something we can do to help others.

Wood Stork at Gatorland

White Ibis at Gatorland

Great Egret at Gatorland

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

Other Gatorland Post from the December 30th visit:

  1. Flamingo Filtering at Gatorland – 12/30/20
  2. Gator Tail Anyone?
  3. Our Gatorland Welcome 12-30-20
  4. Put Your Best Foot Forward
  5. Black Vultures Up Close At Gatorland

Wordless Birds

Black Vultures Up Close at Gatorland

Black Vulture in tree watching Stork arrival

On our last visit to Gatorland, see articles below, there wasn’t an abundance of avian wonders as on previous visits. Yet, there is always something to discover. The alligators, Flamingos, and a few Parrots are permanent residents, but the birds are free to come and go. The different families of birds build their nest during various times of the year, and late December seems to be void of nest.

Yet, not to be discouraged, the Black Vultures were staking out the trees. Soon they would create their nest, and raise their young. In late January, February, and March, the Herons and Egret will start their families.

Since there were so many of the Black Vultures around, and so close, I took some interesting photos, at least to me, of these sort of ugly, but amazing flying “landscape improvers.” :) They gather beside highways to feed on road-killed animals and other dead animals in fields, or wherever they find them.

“‘And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard,” (Leviticus 11:13 NKJV)

Yep, I wouldn’t want to to eat one of these birds, but yet, they are beautiful in their on right. Their feathers are still very interesting, and definitely help them soar.

Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus) are members of the Cathartidae Family.

Black Vultures in tree

“The communal roost is an important focus of the social life of Black Vultures. It serves as a meeting place for adults and their young and as an assembly point for foraging groups. The communal roost also appears to function as an information center, a site where unsuccessful foragers can locate food by following roost mates to carcasses.” (©Birds of the World)

They were okay until a Wood Stork landed

Wood Stork arriving in the Vulture’s Tree

on “their” tree:

Black Vultures in tree watching Stork arrival

One of the Vultures tried to “stare” the Stork down.

Black Vultures in tree watching Stork arrival

Black Vulture in tree watching Stork arrival

Further along the path, there was a another tree of vultures that caught my attention. It was right along the boardwalk and I was able to observe them from a closer range. Here is a slideshow of these. I was amazed watching this Black Vulture preening up-close.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What an amazing Creator who provides for each of His Avian Wonders.

Birds of the Bible – Vulture

Cathartidae – New World Vultures

Other Gatorland Post from the December 30th visit:

  1. Flamingo Filtering at Gatorland – 12/30/20
  2. Gator Tail Anyone?
  3. Our Gatorland Welcome 12-30-20
  4. Put Your Best Foot Forward

Sharing The Gospel

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Snowy Egret standing with one foot forward.

While we were at Gatorland, I was watching the Snowy Egret, and was amused by his stance. I am always amazed by their yellow feet, and this tickled me. I love that the Lord used such variety in the birds when He created them.

Of course, I had to zoom in on his feet:

Snowy with his best foot forward!

I was then off to the lagoon or pond, whatever they call it, to see what the birds and gators were up to. Compared to other times, it was rather quite, except for a Great Egret strolling out from under the boardwalk:

Quieter than normal. No nesting birds.

Great Egret emerging from under the walkway.

I was sitting in a motorized unit when another Snowy Egret landed on the rail right beside me. He then proceeded to walk down the rail with those yellow feet.

On rail right beside me.

Look at that concentration!

Snowy has something in sight.

Showing off those feet. Has a good grip on the rail.

“For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God In the light of the living?” (Psalms 56:13 NKJV)

What the Snowy had in sight was an alligator, of which he flew off to check out. By then, “feet” were fascinating me, and I was watching how well those feet stayed planted on the gator’s back as he walked up and down it.

Heading for a ride.

Landed on the other one.

Zoomed in a bit

Steady as he goes!

Well balanced!

“Unless the LORD had been my help, My soul would soon have settled in silence. If I say, “My foot slips,” Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” (Psalms 94:17-19 NKJV)

Catching a ride.

Feet holding fast!

Feet holding fast!

“But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside.” (Job 23:10-11 NKJV)

I trust you have enjoyed this part of our visit to Gatorland. There are still more sights to see, so, STAY TUNED!

  1. Flamingo Filtering at Gatorland – 12/30/20
  2. Gator Tail Anyone?
  3. Our Gatorland Welcome 12-30-20

Gideon

Our Gatorland Welcome 12-30-20

Christmas Tree and Sign - Gatorland 123020 by Lee

Christmas Tree and Sign – Gatorland 123020 by Lee

When we visited Gatorland on our last trip, the end of December, we were greeted with Christmas decorations and some interesting characters (birds and other).

Vultures and Egret setting in there normal welcoming rail.

Vultures and Egret sitting on there normal welcoming rail.

Vultures Surveying a Gator near entry of Gatorland

Vultures Surveying a Gator near entry of Gatorland

Dan looking at the avian wonders.

By the way, that sign in the first photo is this warning!

Then of course, you meet one or two brave or stupid birds trying to con food from the Gators, like this Snowy Egret.

Crazy Snowy Egret at Gatorland 123020 by Lee

Crazy Snowy Egret at Gatorland 123020 by Lee

Crazy Snowy Egret at Gatorland 123020 by Lee

Crazy Snowy Egret at Gatorland 123020 by Lee

Crazy Snowy Egret at Gatorland 123020 by Lee

Crazy Snowy Egret at Gatorland 123020 by Lee

What I was not expecting, was this new “creature” found roaming around the entrance. Never seen “it” before and trust it is only a rare sighting!!

Some sort of an “Ape”, but also must be related to a “Skunk” somehow! :0)

Skunk Ape at Gatorland 123020 by Lee (16)

Skunk Ape at Gatorland by Lee

Thought he could scare me!

Skunk Ape at GatorlandYou just never know what might show up there at this wild place. Other than this “critter”, it was a great sunshiny day. Stay tuned!

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; … A time to weep, And a time to laugh;…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 NKJV)

Flamingo Filtering at Gatorland – 12/30/20

Gator Tail Anyone?

Good News

Gator Tail Anyone?

Here in Florida, there are some restaurants that serve Gator Tail. Usually, it is served as an appetizer.

Gator Tail Appetizer ©Skipper Fish Camp

While we were walking around Gatorland on our last trip, I noticed some Black Vultures very near the end of an alligator. They were across the pond, so I zoomed in to see what they were doing.

I’m thinking to myself:

#1 – These birds are crazy being that close to the gator.

#2 Maybe they are picking bugs or weeds off of its tail.

Cropped after I got home.

Before I tell more, let me continue on with the rest of the visit. When we got to my favorite part where the birds ride on the alligators (See Gatorland’s Taxi Service), I was again videoing the activities. I noticed on the little island that some more Black Vultures were again at the tail of another large alligator.

Egret on Gator Taxi and Vultures at Gator’s Tail by Lee

Vulture at Gator’s Tail – Zoomed by Lee

Vulture at Gator’s Tail – Zoomed by Lee

Here is a crop of the crop. You can see him actually eating the meat right out of a living alligator. He couldn’t even wait for them to batter and fry up a piece for him.

Zoom of a zoom

I also took a video of some of this:

Now I see why Vultures are on the “Do Not Eat” list! They are a Bird of the Bible after all.

“‘These, moreover, you shall detest among the birds; they are abhorrent, not to be eaten: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard, and the kite and the falcon in its kind, every raven in its kind,” (Leviticus 11:13-15 NASB)

Birds of the Bible – Vulture

Birds of the Bible

Good News Tracts – Various Topics

 

Flamingo Filtering at Gatorland – 12/30/20

Surface Filtering

Today Dan and I finally went on a short birding trip. We drove over to Orlando’s Gatorland (45 miles). I finally have something to write about besides the birds seen through our back patio door.

It was sort of quiet, as far as the number of birds, this time of year. We normally go over in late January or February. Then there are nesting birds. I never saw even one nest today. Yet, what we did see was great, as always. So, this is the first post of some of the interesting sights today.

We were watching the Flamingos, which is almost at the end or the path we take around Gatorland. What impressed me today was watching this Flamingo filtering on the surface. Here is a video of what I saw:

I didn’t know what that was actually called until I came home and looked it up. Normally, they put their necks down in the water and “filter” along the bottom. Less often they “filter” on the surface, which this Flamingo was doing today. It gives a great way to see how they are actually filtering. I was amazed just watching.

“Flamingos filter-feed on brine shrimp. Their oddly shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they eat, and are uniquely used upside-down. The filtering of food items is assisted by hairy structures called lamellae which line the mandibles, and the large rough-surfaced tongue. (Wikipedia – Filter Feeders)

“Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.” (KJV)  or the ERV says, “You guide the people, but you are blind! Think about a man picking a little fly out of his drink and then swallowing a camel! You are like that.” Matthew 23:24

Here are some more of the photos from the Flamingo pond:

A Few Other Flamingo and Gatorland Articles:

Phoenicopteridae – Flamingos

Tickle Me Tuesday’s – Flamingos

Sunday Inspiration – Flamingos and Tropicbirds

“F” is for Flamingos and Frigatebirds: “F” Birds, Part 1

Gatorland’s Taxi Service

Gatorland’s Fearless Egret

Gatorland From Dan’s Camera

Sharing The Gospel

 

Bad Feather Day

“He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.” (Psalms 135:7 KJV)

First Woodstock had a Ruffled Feather, now he is grumbling because he is having a Bad Feather Day.

We were at Gatorland on Friday last week and it was quite winding. Some of their feathers were whipping in the breeze also. I did not see Snoopy there with a can of “Feather Spray”. Those bird just had to preen and get thing straighten out.

Great Egret on a windy day at Gatorland by Lee

Great Egret on a windy day at Gatorland

Great Egret on a windy day at Gatorland

Cattle Egret in Breeding Plumage and Wind

Cattle Egret in Breeding Plumage and Wind

Cattle Egret in Breeding Plumage and Wind and not happy about it. Where’s the Feather Spray?

Great Blue Heron before gust on a windy day at Gatorland

Great Blue Heron with gust on a windy day at Gatorland

Great Blue Heron with gust on a windy day at Gatorland

Wind is mentioned over a hundred times in the Bible. Here are two verse that show who is in control of the wind:

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” (Psalms 1:1-4 KJV)

“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:39-41 KJV)

Smoothing A Ruffled Feather

All Our Gatorland Birdwatching Trips