Whistling Duck Visitors

I glanced out our back door and saw two Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks just a few feet from the patio. I was so busy enjoying watching them, that I forgot to pick up my camera, which was right near me. By the time my brain kicked in and I got the lens cap off, they were heading back to the water.

The three photos are not good, but they at least “prove” they were here. :o)

Whistling Ducks in Backyard Feb 2021

Whistling Ducks in Backyard Feb 2021

Heading toward the water:

Whistling Ducks in backyard – Feb 21, 2021

We have seen Whistling Ducks landing on the other strip of water, but they don’t land on our water often. In fact, this winter has provided less avian wonders than last year. In Lack of Birds to Watch I mentioned them chopping down the forest right here by us. Well, it is completely gone, and they are just about ready to start building the 93 new home there. The streets are laid out, sewers in, etc. I am happy with any birds that stop by this year.

Here are a few facts about Black-bellied Whistling-ducks:

“In the family of waterfowl, the tropical whistling-ducks rank midway between geese and dabbling ducks. They are gooselike in appearance, with long necks and long legs; they graze grainfields, usually feeding at night. However their high-pitched whistling calls are typical of neither goose nor duck; and in flight, with necks and legs extended, they suggest a flock of ibises. Nesting colonies of the black-bellied whistling-duck occur in Texas, often around livestock water areas. When feeding in cornfields, they perch on mature stalks to glean the ears.” (Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds, Terres ,p214)

I find it interesting, that the Creator created these with just their own niche to fill. We each have just a niche to fill that the Lord has gifted us to do. Whistling is mentioned three times in the Bible. One in particular is when the Lord whistles for the dispersed Jews to return to their land.

“I will whistle for them and gather them, For I will redeem them; And they shall increase as they once increased.” (Zechariah 10:8 NKJV)

There was a flock that landed back in March of last year:

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks by Lee 3-15-20

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks by Lee 3-15-20

Now for a couple of really good photos by Dan. He went to Circle B Reserve, a few days earlier. He went early morning for just an hour. He caught a beautiful Female Cardinal and a Warbler, that I think is a Myrtle or the old Butter Butt kind. They split them up, and I am not sure what this bird is. So, leave a comment if you know.

Female Northern Cardinal at Circle B Reserve by Dan

“To be named” Warbler at Circle B Reserve by Dan

“Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.” (Psalms 91:14 KJV

“Therefore behold, I am going to make them know—This time I will make them know My power and My might; And they shall know that My name is the LORD.”(Jeremiah 16:21 NASB)

[Bolding and Italics – Mine]

Indecisive Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

Sunday Inspiration – Whistling, White-backed Ducks, and Geese

Birds of the Bible – Whistling Ducks

How Can We Know that We’ll Go to Heaven

Lake Hollingsworth 1/17/14

Lake Hollingsworth

Lake Hollingsworth 1-17-2014

Today we finally got out to do a little birdwatching. Dan wanted to check out something on his camera, so we stopped by Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland today.

After working on the update for the Birds of the World, I thought I would take Peter England’s advice on his comment and get out in the sunshine.

Peter England

Well done Lee, go outside and enjoy the warm sun. Wear a hat….! Birds have a strange way of congratulating people like you !
Still your friend ? Peter E.

Yes, he is still my friend. :o)  I did not wear my hat though.  :o(    But I received kind congrats from the birds, so all is well.

We saw mostly the normal birds for that lake, though there was a lack of birds today. It had been cold last night and maybe they were still under their blankets.

Ibises and Wood Stork

The White Ibises, about 40 of them, greeted us. They were looking for a handout, but we were just there to take a few pictures. So they walked back off. Some of the birds seen were the Mallards, Common Gallinules, Royal Terns, Ring-billed Gulls, Double-crested Cormorants (way out on the lake), Anhingas, Muscovy Ducks, Tricolored and Great Blue Herons, Red-winged Blackbirds and Boat-tailed Grackles. A flock of about 200 or more Fish Crows flew over, making their calls as they flew by.

Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum) yellow by Lee

Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum) yellow by Lee

The hardest part was trying to get a photo of the numerous Warblers that were flitting around the trees. They kept moving so much, I couldn’t get a decent shot. I did ID a Palm Warbler because it was standing on the dock. Also, some Yellow-rumped Warblers, because their yellow rumps showed up. Not sure if they are one of the split ones like a Magnolia or not.

Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata) by Lee at Circle B

Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata) by Lee at Circle B

Dan got a decent photo of a Yellow-throated Warbler and I have one that is yellow, but not sure what it is. So, it is right here. Maybe someone knows for sure and will leave a comment. We get most of our Warblers down here in the winter and I really do not know that many of them. (Update: It is a Pine Warbler thanks to a reader.) It is easier to photograph the big birds like Herons, Ibises, Egrets, Anhingas and Cormorants which we see often.

Unknown Warbler by Lee

Unknown Warbler by Lee

We also found a snake sunning itself. Dan got up close to get its picture, but I stayed back. It never moved the whole time we were watching it. We were down in the mid-30’s (F) last night, so it may not have been able to scurry away.

Not a bad birdwatching adventure for about 30 minutes worth of time. I just enjoy seeing the Lord’s neat birds out and about doing their thing.

You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created. (Revelation 4:11 NKJV)


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*** My original photos were hacked. These are not the ones used originally. ***

Birdwatching Trips

Lake Hollingsworth Birdwatching Trips


Birdwatching Without Going Birdwatching

Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) by Dan

Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) by Dan

Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches…. O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. (Psalms 104:12, 24 ESV)

It has been hard to find the time lately to go out on a birdwatching trip, but we have been seeing quite a few birds. Do you ever have times like that? Unfortunately, those are the times when you see some interesting bird, but you are not prepared to take a photo or have a notepad at hand. That has been the case with us recently. Though a true bird watcher is always on the lookout for avian friends to view.

Unknown Warbler by Lee

Unknown Warbler by Lee

We’ve had company, my sister and her husband, a short family reunion out of town, and a trip to South Carolina, and on and on. By the time we get a chance to go out with cameras in hand, all of our birds will have flown back north for the summer. Oh, well! Those of you who live north of us will be glad to see their feathered friends arrive and start their nesting season. Take good care of them and send them back to us in the fall.

We have seen some birds we don’t normally see here near the house. At my brothers, near Webster, FL, we either heard or saw Pileated Woodpeckers and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, Carolina Wren, Tufted Titmice, Mourning Dove, American Crow, and an unknown to me warbler. We watched the Red-bellied coming in an out of a nest. Did have a camera, but not the normal one. Not the best photo. At my feeder, I spotted a House Finch that was an orange variant. In our neighborhood recently I spotted a Pileated Woodpecker, Lesser Yellowlegs, and a baby Sandhill Crane with its parents.

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) by Lee

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) by Lee

Being at my brother’s house, which is in a very wooded area, helped me realize that I need more practice hearing and identifying birds by their sounds. It was hard to spot most of them, but they were there singing and calling, but my lack of practice, made it hard to put names on them. There are many good programs and websites that can help teach the sounds.

All of this was said to encourage you to stay alert to what is around you. Planned or unplanned, birdwatching is always interesting and many times surprises comes in to view or a sound comes into your ear.

The I.O.C Version 2.8 of the World Bird List is out and the Birds of the World is being updated.

P.S. If you know what that bird is, please leave a comment.