A prothonotary warbler. They nest here in the summer.
I heard whistling and saw the black bellied whistling ducks on the top of the observation tower, only because there weren’t any people on the tower yet.
I snuck up the first flight of stairs and saw them looking down at me. I didn’t want to scare them off so I went back down and headed away from the tower. After a few minutes someone came down the boardwalk and headed up the tower so they flew off.
Some of the little critters at the lake.
Some young limpkins hiding under a tree near the boardwalk.
The lake was full of coots down from the north for the winter.
This guy was right over my car. I took this hanging out the window.
“Stop lady, don’t drive into the lake” said the great blue heron.
The black bellied whistlers near the end of the drive stayed far out in the marsh.
This lady anhinga had a big gulp.
These big guys were all along the drive. I stopped the car and got out to take these but they were actually across the water.
There’s a lake north of Orlando that has a driving trail along the north shore. I decided to take my sister up there when she was here over the holidays. It was a good way to get out with doing a lot of walking. She had foot surgery recently so she wasn’t up for a long walk. We drove an hour and a half on the Saturday after Christmas to get there early that morning. At first there wasn’t too many cars there but the closer to lunch it got, the more cars were on the drive. I did see a few more birds than the ones above but only got distant blurry shots of a northern harrier, several bald eagles, a merlin and lots of tiny birds far out in the marsh.
I was out running errands on a recent Saturday and decided to swing by a pond that occasionally had interesting things floating around in it. I got lucky this time with a family of black bellied whistling ducks. I had my camera in the car so I parked and walked over to take a peek. They were all settling down for an afternoon nap. I sat down on the sidewalk for a few minutes when they all popped their heads up and looked surprised. It was because the below had invaded their napping spot.
The soft shell turtle came up and wanted to hang out with the ducks but they wanted no part of him. They all jumped up and looked and him and the poor turtle took a dive back under the water and left.
I walked into a black bellied whistling duck convention at Circle B Bar Reserve in late January. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a lot of them there and even now there’s not as many as the past years. They don’t hang out in the trees anymore. At least not on Saturday mornings. The trees use to be dripping with them as you walk down the trail.
Not a perfect morning or was it? I had a rare Friday off and hit the trails at Circle B Bar Reserve. Top animal on my list was the bobcat. No luck on seeing one again. There was zero chance of rain according to the weather people but the closer I go to the reserve, the darker the clouds got. I checked the radar on my phone and it didn’t show any rain. As I started down the trail, it started to drizzle. It drizzled the first two hours I was there. I kept walking. The light was bad. Not many birds out. No snakes, raccoons, otters or bobcat. But hey, even a rainy, hardly any animals day is better than a day in the office. The highlight was seeing white pelicans flying high up in the sky. I didn’t see any in the lake or marshes but the sky was full of them.