Lord’s Avian Wonders – Little Blue Heron – Searching

Little Blue Heron searching at S Lk Howard Park crop

Recently we were on our way home from shopping and stopped in the little park at the south side of Lake Howard. All we had with us were our phones. Not much was going on, but one Little Blue Heron was searching for his lunch. It was interesting watching him move his head from side to side. Not sure if the bird was looking around the plants or just trying to see better. It was an overcast day. Our special Avian Wonder this time from the creator is this Little Blue Heron.

The “Little Blues,” as I many times refer to them, are another favorite of mine to watch here in central Florida. This one just seemed so intent on what he was doing, that it reminded me of the verse about the lady who was diligently searching for a coin. How diligently do we search God’s Word?

Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? (Luke 15:8 KJV)

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV)

Little Blue Heron with catch at S. Lake Howard Park

Little Blue Heron with catch at S. Lake Howard Park

Bad photo, but you can see the results of one of his searches.

The Little Blue Heron “stalks its prey methodically in shallow water, often running as it does so. It eats fish, frogs, crustaceans, small rodents and insects.” (Wikipedia)

Find out more about them at:

Is There A God?

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Birdwatching – South Lake Howard Nature Park 7-28-12

Black-Crowned Night Heron at S Lk Howard

Black-Crowned Night-Heron at S Lk Howard

We spent about 25 minutes at the South Lake Howard Nature Park seeing what was around. I was trying to learn how to take photos “right-eyed” (See Anniversary and Other Things). Dan can shut one eye or the other, winking, but I can’t. I only can close the right eye. When I try to wink with the left eye, both eyes go shut. Oh, well, no one is perfect. Glad we stopped by the park to practice my new “technique.”

Little Blue Heron immature

Little Blue Heron immature

We were walking on the boardwalk on the Lake Howard side and spotted a Tricolored Heron and an immature Little Blue Heron. Just as we pulled up the cameras, a Black-crowned Night-Heron popped up on the rail between us and them. Wow! He was very close and we were able to get its photo. Dan kept getting closer to get better shots and the Heron just stayed there until I got too close. Most times we see a Night-Heron, they are hidden in the grass or not really visible. After he left, another Little Blue hopped up on the rail. An Anhinga was in a tree and one of the birds flew to a tree.

Red-winged Blackbird female

Red-winged Blackbird female

When we crossed the road to the pond side, we spotted a Great Blue Heron perched on a tree. The Osprey was up on the Tower checking out the normal Bald Eagles’s domain. I am including the 17 species that I turned in to the eBird.org listing service. It is a nice way to keep track of your birdwatching adventures here in America. It is only for our birds. Not sure if other countries have something like it or not.

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalms 37:3-4 KJV)

Enjoy the Slideshow.

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South Lake Howard Nature Park, Polk, US-FL
Jul 28, 2012 9:00 AM – 9:25 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
17 species (+1 other taxa)
Muscovy Duck (Domestic type) 3
Great Blue Heron 1
Great Egret 3
Little Blue Heron 2
Tricolored Heron 1 Juvenile 1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 1
White Ibis 5
Black Vulture 1
Osprey 1
Common Gallinule 3
Limpkin 1
Mourning Dove 2
Monk Parakeet 4
Blue Jay 2
Fish Crow 1
Northern Mockingbird 1
Red-winged Blackbird 3
Boat-tailed Grackle 2
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Birdwatching at Lake Morton and S. Lake Howard

With all that has been going on lately, we have not had much time or chance to go visit the birds. When Tropical Storm Debby came by, she dropped quite a bit of rain in the area. Some “true” birdwatchers were out and about seeing some really neat birds that were blown off course. We played the “fair weather” birders and stayed indoor where it was dry. Some areas had 12-15 inches, but we had about 6 inches of rain here at the house.

On the 28th we stopped by Lake Morton, in Lakeland, on the way to an errand. We took the cameras and knew the local birds would be there. Not too many surprises other than I counted over 30 Mute Swans. This is even with all the eggs that were stolen from the nests. Also, I found several Wood Ducks swimming around, an immature Wood Stork, and three “Aflac” Mallard Ducks sitting in the shade of a park bench.

On the 2nd, last evening, we took our cameras with us and spent a few minutes taking photos of the flooding at South Lake Howard Nature Park. The water has receded some from earlier. At one point last week, the “island” was under water completely. We saw it then, but didn’t have a camera with us as we drove by.

Decided to share some of the photos of the two visits. We saw – Mute and Black Swans, Wood Ducks and Wood Storks, Mallards, Ospreys, Laughing Gulls, Great Egret, Anhingas, Red-winged and Boat-tailed Blackbirds, Mourning Doves, Rock Pigeons, White Ibises, Great Blue Heron, Limpkins, Muscovy Ducks, Common Gallinules, and heard Monk Parakeets and a Red-bellied Woodpecker. Not bad for about 30 minutes at Morton and 10 minutes at the Nature Park. Some of the photos are just of the water. Trees are standing in water that normally are on dry ground.

He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. (Luke 6:48 KJV)

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All photos are by me. Dan hasn’t showed me his yet. Bummer, his are always better. If you know what kind of Gull that is, leave a comment, please. I think they are young and I am not the best at IDing them.

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Birdwatching and Still Updating

Eagle in nest feeding eaglets by Dan

Nest at South Lake Howard Park 2 years ago.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 KJV)

On the way to town today, we stopped by the South Lake Howard Nature Park again for just a few minutes. (15) It was a beautiful day. Surprised how few in number the birds were, but the variety of birds wasn’t bad. In the 15 minutes we were able to see the following:

Osprey, Little Blue Heron, Great Egret, 6  White Ibises flying by, Common Moorhens, Boat-tailed Grackles, Quakers (Monk Parakeets – they have a big nest there), Blue Jay, 3 Mockingbirds, Northern Cardinal, Palm Warblers and a black and light colored Warbler-not a Black-and-White though, Mr and Mrs Wood Duck swimming by, and up on the tower both Mr and Mrs Bald Eagle were perched. (They have a nest in the park) and a White Ibis on the ground walking around with the reddest legs and beak I have ever seen. Spring is definitely in the air here in Central Florida. Oh, yes, there was a nice sized alligator sunning on the bank. No camera with us unfortunately.

Also, I am still kicking up dust behind the scenes on updating the Birds of the World pages. It was a busy week-end and I didn’t get much done on it. See – Updating the Birds of the World Again 2/24/11 .

I am working on the Herons and have finished these Families since the last update:

As I have been working on the pages, I have been adding new photos of some of the missing birds. It is taking longer, but hope to make more species viewable.

Update – 3/17/11:

See – Birdwatching and Still Kicking Up Dust
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Birdwatching at South Lake Howard Nature Pk 11-24-10

Reflective View at South Lake Howard Nature Park

Reflective View at South Lake Howard Nature Park

Today we finally had a chance to go birdwatching for a little while. We drove to South Lake Howard Nature Park here in Winter Haven, FL. With all that has been going on, it has been almost a month since we have had a chance to bird watch (A little in Tennessee, come to think of it). I didn’t walk very far because of back and leg pains, but Dan was doing his photography while I just walked slow or sat and just enjoyed birdwatching. Not bad for about an hour and a half of watching. We counted 25 birds at the park or on the lake and a House Sparrow in the bush at the grocery store. There weren’t many groups of birds. Most of the birds were by themselves or with just one other member of their species. The water was very reflective this morning.

SLkHwd-Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) by Lee

Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) by Lee

Here is a list of the birds spotted, most having their picture taken:

At the Park

  • Anhinga – Sitting on a tree facing us. Normally you only get photos of their backs.
  • Wood Storks – 3 adults and 1 immature
  • White Ibises – 4
  • Wilson’s Snipe-1
  • Snowy Egret – 1
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler (need to figure which kind) “Butterbutts” – 7
  • Limpkin – 1 sitting on a Wood Duck’s house, another flew by
  • Fish Crows – 5 flying by making their racket
  • Redwing Blackbird – 1 on a treetop
  • Palm Warblers – 4 or so
  • Great Egret – 2
  • Little Blue Heron – 4
  • Tricolored Heron – 1
  • Cattle Egret – 2
  • Blue Jay – 1 heard carrying on about something
  • Osprey – 3 – 1 being chased by a Bald Eagle, 1 sitting on the tower with the moon sitting behind it.
  • Bald Eagle – 1
Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) Immature by Lee

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) Immature by Lee

By the Lake (Howard)

  • Pied-billed Grebe – 2
  • Purple Gallinule – 6
  • Common Gallinule (Moorhen) – 5
  • Rock Pigeon – 4
  • American Coot – 6
  • Great Blue Heron – 2
  • Boat-tailed Grackle – 10
  • Muscovy Duck – 8
  • White Ibis – 30+

Publix

  • House Sparrow – 1

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26 NKJV)

All in all it was a great morning for birdwatching here in Florida.

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