Many of the birds were still sitting on eggs at the bird rookery at Gatorland in Orlando in mid-May.
Some were still flirting.
Lots of different wild birds hanging out at the park including the great egret above that stole a hot dog from an alligator. You can feed the alligators here but half of the time the birds get the food quicker.
The youngest baby birds at the rookery that morning. The baby snowy egrets were probably only a few days old.
The gators were getting frisky.
Seeing a baby gator up close.
This guy was taking a break before the crowds were on the boardwalk.
Sushi for breakfast.
Walking down the trail I could hear a baby bird calling overhead. Looking up I saw this juvenile red shoulder hawk up in the tree.
Then I realized that Mom was a tree over with a frog trying to get the baby to follow her over. The baby wanted Mom to come feed it but Mom was trying to get him to fly over.
These baby turkeys were very skittish. Mom was keeping an eye on me.
Lots of young alligators along the trail.
Everything was green when I last was at Circle B Bar Reserve in mid-May. Now it’s too hot to walk there and the main trails are usually closed due to alligators mating and nesting close by until at least October so I’ll be staying close to home or the coast.
I was very safe taking these shots from the boardwalk at Gatorland. These were all taken during the early morning hours at the bird rookery. It’s hard not to take pictures when they are moving around right below you. Mating season was in full swing so they were being very loud.
This great blue heron was hanging out in the exhibit. I’m sure he knew he could make a fast getaway if needed.
The younger alligators in the ponds at the front of the park all seemed to be smiling this morning. I think they had just been fed.
Views from the observation tower. The birds nest in the bushes all along the boardwalk. There were quite a few other photographers there that morning as well.
I knew it was going to be a beautiful morning when I walked out on the trail to this.
After 12 years of coming to Circle B Bar Reserve, I still love walking these trails even with all of the dead trees in the background.
Things close to the trail, although I cropped up the one with the big gator so he wasn’t that close.
An alligator cruises by a great blue heron.
The view from the blind on the dock.
Sitting on a bench near the nature center before heading home.
I had just replaced my old iphone with a new one days before so I was taking lots of pictures with it.
I had my first real close encounter with a big one recently at Circle B Bar Reserve. I’ve been visiting this park for over 10 years and until recently, I always joked that the gators were fake. They never seemed to move, just sleeping on the other side of the pond. I was at the park early and the water levels along the trails were high. The first picture was taken with my 300mm lens so I wasn’t that close. The second one was taken with my phone. That’s my shadow at the bottom. There were people coming up behind me and once the big guy crossed the trail, we all headed down together. Our theory was safety in numbers. By the time we got to were he had crossed, we saw him swimming half way across the lake.
Another big one on the same morning, taken with my 300mm lens.
A few tiny ones on the trail.
One of the “really” big ones across the lake, on the other side of the bank.
Otherwise, it was a slow morning with the usual turtles and warblers.
It finally looks like fall in late December.
Linking to My Corner of the World.
Plants along the trail at Circle B Bar Reserve in mid May.
Not as up close as it looks. They were swimming out in the lake.
It’s rare now to have quiet time on the trail here. Even early in the morning there are usually a lot of people out. I was there in mid May on a rare Friday off and it had been raining off and on. I got sprinkled on a few times but at least it wasn’t hot.
Saw the little piggies again on another trip to Circle B Bar Reserve in early March. They had gotten just a little bit bigger. They were venturing out farther away from Mom but she kept her eye on them.
Cute little bunny on the trail.
Tiny snake and big alligators.
This is a shot of the big gator above taken with my phone. He wasn’t too close and I was also up on a raised boardwalk.
Non-flying critters at Circle B Bar Reserve, although one day, pigs may fly.
Linking to Wednesday Around the World.