Friday, January 6, 2017

Christmas in Florida

For the second year in a row, I drove to Florida over Christmas. Last year, Connie and I drove down after Christmas. This year, I drove down with Diane and Barbara. Had a great time swimming, eating, drinking and shopping. Dave rented us a golf cart so that we could scoot around for fun. We decided to decorate it for the holidays. Here are Diane and Barbara getting ready to cruise.

Decked Out
Peanut spent her time on the lanai chasing lizards. I caught this one and put it outside for its own safety much to Peanut's disappointment.

Peanut's toy

Barbara and I managed to get out birding a few mornings. We scooted over to an area known for birds. We got to see this Red-shouldered Hawk up close. It sat in a cypress tree for a bit and then flew off. You can see the red shoulder on this photo.

Red-shouldered Hawk
On our way back to the house, we came across this Osprey sitting next to the golf cart path. I got really close and the bird didn't care. In fact, he/she was so bored with me, he/she let out a big yawn.

Bored Osprey
We ran across another birder. She was really happy to meet us since there aren't that many birders in the Villages. She gave us great advice about where to find the Egyptian Geese that live here. Egyptian Geese are, as you can imagine, not American birds so therefore not countable for ABA records EXCEPT in Florida where they breed freely. I have seen them before but it would be a life bird for Barbara.

We went after the geese the next day. Boy, the directions were perfect. The birds were right where the other birder said they would be. Boom - lifer for Barbara and ABA bird for me. Win-win.

Egyptian Geese
We took a look around the pond and found a few other birds to photograph. Here is an Anhinga drying its wings on the edge of the pond.

This Snowy Egret was taking a risk. The Alligator moved closer and closer. Moving so slowly that it was almost imperceptible. The Egret didn't notice.
Snowy Egret and Alligator
We didn't stick around to see who won the stand-off. We headed back to the house for more Christmas merriment.