Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Bevy of Birds on the Bike Ride Today

It's back to bike riding now that the holiday feasting days are over....Sparky found another route to take all around the neighborhoods of Bradenton and Sarasota. This one was sixteen miles from Sparky's house to Lakewood Ranch, one of the largest planned communities in the nation. Something like the 9th largest. What's so pretty about these rides are the wetlands everywhere and the large ponds and lakes. Almost every residential area has one or more large ponds or wetland areas. This particular route has large lakes on both sides of the street in one section and TONS of wetlands along the way, guaranteeing bird sightings every time on a ride.

On her way to the Lakewood Ranch area, Sparky saw a Cooper's hawk....So hard to hold the camera still on a zoom stretched all the way out! She should take her little Gorilla tripod with her on her bike rides.
Sparky saw a wood stork...He was very cooperative having his photo taken......
He just posed and posed.....
And stood still for the longest time....
Such a prehistoric looking bird, don't you think?

She saw this cool interplay of shadows on a large palm leaf from the late afternoon sun. Doesn't it look like a bird flying?

Further down, Sparky saw two pairs of hooded mergansers! She had never seen these before.....Because it was so late in the day, the photos of the ducks are a little blurry, but they were so cool the way they mirrored each other!

Sparky kept moving around the pond trying to get a little closer, but they kept moving around, too!
Finally, the light was rapidly diminishing and the photos were getting worse, so she took one more and headed back home....

Onn the way home, there were some gorgeous flowering trees that perfumed the air with an intense scent. The flowers were actually a deeper, rosier shade of pink, but the setting sun gave them and orangey tone....The smell was wonderful!

Sparky continued to see birds along the way home......a tri colored heron....
A crane preening....They seem to be doing that all the time around here... And they are always in contorted positions as they clean their feathers!

A little blue heron (?) fishing for something.....

A female anhinga drying herself off....Good thing the water fountain wasn't running today!

And Sparky was just about back home...Quite the views today....She was a happy camper....Until next time......


  1. I always smile when I see them drying their wings.

  2. Great bird pictures. Was that 32 miles round trip. wow!

  3. You are doing fantastic riding that bike. Lots of terrific shots of the birds and flowers too.