Bird Weekly – Photo Challenge – Birds in or Near the Water or Snow

Welcome to Week #28 of the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge. Week #28 challenge is Birds in or near the water or snow.

This is the last Bird Weekly Challenge of 2020. Can you believe it? Good riddance 2020! Week #29 will be on January 1, 2021. Please enjoy your holidays next week. I will do a round up for this challenge on Christmas Day so watch for that.

Hoping this challenge lends itself to everyone. If you are anywhere near a creek, river, pond, lake or ocean, you should have a bird to post this week. I’m fortunate because I live 23 miles from the Atlantic Ocean and only 5 minutes from the St. Johns River which runs northward or in my mind, uphill. The St. Johns River, located in Florida is a total of 310 miles long (500 km). At its widest point, it is 3 miles wide (5km). It is separated into three major basins and has two associated watersheds for Lake George and the Ocklawaha River. It is under major restoration due to pollution caused by a growing population of people. We spend a lot of time birding along this stretch of water, not just in Jacksonville, but throughout the state.

The feature image is an American Oystercatcher that I captured on January 2, 2020 at Fort Desoto Park in Tierra Verde, Florida near St. Petersburg. It was our last trip to Tampa Bay after Covid changed our lives. I haven’t been down there to see my kids or grandkids in almost a year.

Roseate Spoonbill

The Roseate Spoonbill in this photo was seen in the swampy area of Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa, Florida along the Hillsborough River. They are short distance migratory birds and are mostly seen in coastal areas. They will travel inland in parts of the U.S., South America and the Caribbean.


Double-crested Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant hiding behind some trees, hanging out with some ducks.

Hanging with the Ducks taking the term literally. Ducking behind these trees…I can still see you!


Willet

Willet feeding at Little Talbot Island State Park.

This Willet was feeding in the surf at Little Talbot Island State Park this past summer on a very warm day with high southeast winds causing some great wave action and a rough rip current. The Willet managed quite well in the tough circumstances. He was managing just fine.


Osprey

Osprey with a fish in its talons at Little Talbot Island State Park.

Different day on Little Talbot Island State Park when we watched this Osprey pluck this fish from 6 inches of water. The scene went on for about 20 minutes while he caught it, dropped it on the sand, circled back, played with it a while and then finally took off when the fish was secured.


Anhinga

Anhinga with a large fish. He beat it on the dock for about 30 minutes.

Talk about a fish catcher! This Anhinga caught this fish and spent about 30 minutes beating it on the dock. It is amazing how they can swallow a fish that size completely in tact and it go down that skinny little neck. This was taken on the St. Johns River.


Cinnamon Teal

Cinnamon Teal at Henderson Birding Preserve in Henderson, Nevada not far from the Las Vegas strip.

While visiting Las Vegas a few years ago, we went birding at the Henderson Birding Preserve just southeast of the Las Vegas Strip. We saw approximately 40 of these beautiful cinnamon colored birds. Interesting fact is that the males will molt these colors soon after they breed and become more of the brown colors like the female. They look very similar to other teal species and make it hard to distinguish what you are actually seeing. The Cinnamon Teal has a longer and wider bill than other teals to tell them apart.


American Wigeon

American Wigeon floating along at Sunset Park in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The American Wigeon gets around. While this bird is prominent in North America, it will migrate into Asia, Europe and South America. Even though they are quite common in the United States and Canada, their numbers are in decline. The best time to see these wigeons in the lower 48 states is between August and April. We spotted this one at Sunset Park in Las Vegas in April, 2017 on our last day of our Honeymoon.


Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in Orlando Wetlands in Christmas, Florida.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks plus an American Coot photobombing the scene at Orlando Wetlands in Christmas, Florida. Thought it appropriate to let you know they celebrate in Christmas 365 days a year. They are noisy ducks with a distinguished pink bill. They live in Florida year round but they migrate from South America to North America. They have began expanding their range further north in the U.S.


Little Blue Heron & Ruddy Turnstone

Little Blue Heron taking flight amongst the Ruddy Turnstones hoping someone will drop their bait on the dock at Reddie Point in Jacksonville, Florida.

Hanging out at the fishing pier at Reddie Point in Jacksonville, Florida along the St. Johns River. These 3 birds were hoping to get some dropped bait from the people fishing off the dock. The Little Blue Heron got tired of waiting while the patience of the Ruddy Turnstones maintained their stance.


Great Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron at Fort Desoto Park near St. Petersburg, Florida.

The majestic Great Blue Heron was patiently waiting while a Great Egret was indulging in someone’s bait bucket. I suppose trying to decide at what moment he would strike. Taken at Fort Desoto Park in Pinellas County near St. Petersburg, Florida. Fort Desoto is a must see if you are in the Tampa Bay area. Hot spot for birding.

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican perched on the pilons under a bridge for some shade on a warm day in Tampa Bay.

Mr. Brown Pelican was hanging out under the bridge. I guess he forgot his sunscreen and needed to get into the shade. This is a juvenile so maybe he had been out trying to catch fish unsuccessfully. Either way, he was posed up beautifully for me to photograph.

Upcoming challenges can be found on my Bird Weekly Challenge Page.

Next time…Week #29 – Birds with Long Wingspans on January 1, 2021. Happy Holidays everyone!

85 Comments on “Bird Weekly – Photo Challenge – Birds in or Near the Water or Snow

    • Thank you Alice! I hope you get to come down here soon too. I wanted to go to Merritt Island for New Years, but our B&B booked the only dog friendly room they have. We can’t leave our dog with anyone because she is almost 14 and having some issues. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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    • Thanks Deborah. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family as well! We are staying home and my BFF & hubby are coming from Tampa. First time ever for the holidays. Looking forward to it. Not seeing my kids or grandkids. Shipping their stuff. They are too integrated with people for me to go down there. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • It will probably be one of the only times. We usually spend Christmas at their house and then at my kid’s house after Christmas. We have always done Christmas here in Jacksonville with my BIL family. Not doing it this year so it sets up for a different fashion. We can do it because they work from home and don’t go anywhere or see anyone except to get necessities. Otherwise, we wouldn’t see them either. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s why I can still see my kids and grandkids. It’s a blessing I’m so grateful for!

        I’m sure your Christmas will be merry even though it’s different this year! I’m counting my blessings a lot more this year more than I have in the past. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ditto to that! I’m thankful for being able to get through this year and still healthy. I’m so glad you get to spend times with your kids and grandkids. It’s really important! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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      • Very good thing.
        You’ve heard the saying ‘pipped at the post’, I’m sure?
        I enjoyed all the photos but my favourite was the oystercatcher.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I learn something new everyday. Hadn’t heard that before so thank you for expanding my vocabulary. LOL! So glad you liked the oystercatcher. It really is one of my favorite photos ever. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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    • Thanks Terri! Did you get moved? Guessing you did given the comment. It’s been chilly here for North Florida. We almost hit freezing yesterday morning. We didn’t have a fall. It went from extreme summer heat to cold. Hoping to start writing a little more. In the past week, I’ve only written for Bird Weekly. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, we did, Lisa, it’s plenty cold here! What you describe sounds like our climate in Sacramento. We had 80 plus temps in early November then a minute of Fall. By the day we drove away on Dec 13, the lows were in the 30s. Hope to see you for Sunday Stills. I know how a weekly post challenge can keep one busy!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad you are starting to get settled in. We had freezing temps this week, but today is in the 70’s. It’s actually supposed to be chilly for Christmas this year….whaaattt? I’m going to be able to do Sunday Stills this week. Probably in the next day or two. I’m excited to get back to blogging some. Missing everyone! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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  8. Roseate Spoonbill would be on my must have list. My Whistling Ducks are prettier than yours 😀 😀
    I love how it looks like the Heron has tripped over the Turnstone.
    Great gallery of photos Lisa 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You will have to come to Florida to see the Spoonbill. I literally laughed out loud on the Whistling Duck comment. They are all pretty in their own way. LOL! The LBH gives a great illusion. I guess I could say my Oystercatcher is prettier than yours, but they pretty much look the same. hahaha!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think so too but until I was doing this challenge, I never knew they existed like so many birds you share. I’ve spent the last several years getting acquainted with US birds and now I’m excited about what is out in the world. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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  13. Considering that we live in a river valley which isn’t far from the coast, have a lot of water bird pictures, a lot of BIRD pictures in all four seasons. BUT we had a BIG snow earlier this week and i took about 400 pictures. I’ve been processing relentlessly, but I’m losing to the sheer VOLUME of material, much of it better than I expected. Nothing world-class, but most of them sharp enough so if there’s something in the pictures, i can find a way to use it. Birds have been the best part of this whole year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is so exciting! Content…content….content! Birds have been the best part of this year! Totally agree! I’m taking a week off to go birding after Christmas. So excited I can hardly stand it. 🙂

      Like

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  16. Good shot of the little blue heron leaving the turnstone in its dust. I always love seeing ospreys catching prey. And cinnamon teal add a pinch of spice to the scene whenever you see them.

    Liked by 1 person

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