The weather here in Ocala, Florida has been absolutely beautiful - probably the best winter since we've been coming to Florida. But, the last couple of really cold winters has taken its toll on the bird populations. We are not seeing the numbers of birds that we've seen in the past.
On a recent trip to Cedar Key for some of Tony's world famous Clam Chowder, we stopped at a rest area where this adorable Carolina Chickadee was begging to have his picture taken.
I made Bill turn around so I could get a better look at this group of ducks. I was pretty sure they were Scaups - but had no idea if they were Greater or Lesser Scaups.
Lesser Scaups have a slightly different head shape - it comes to a very subtle peak near the top. I decided these were Lesser Scaups - then checked my Stokes Field Guide to Birds and noticed that Greater Scaups are not seen this far south - which confirmed my identification. The males are black and white while the females are brown with a white marking at the base of their bills.
We have dozens and dozens of Goldfinches this time of year - but Bill noticed this one was different; he's white! I don't know if he just hasn't gotten his yellow feathers yet or if he is part leucistic - without color.
I finished my practice Bargello quilt top. I was originally going to make placemats - but I changed my mind and put them together to make a small lap quilt. I may use it as a wall hanging. I'm pleased with the result and the process was not as difficult as I thought. Now I have to get working on one for Bill. His fabric is waiting.