Some of the wintering ducks at the wildlife drive include a blue winged teal couple, a female northern shoveler and a grebe.
The coots seemed to be in couples all over the drive.
A glossy ibis in the bur marigolds.
Some of the smaller birds include a flicker and many blue gray gnatcatchers.
I got out of the car and was walking around watching the ducks when this kingfisher flew right by.
Shooting right into the sun, the marsh looked like it had a layer of gold on top. Those tiny black dots were coots which were all over the place. It really looked like winter on my drive in late December with all of the leaves off the trees and bushes here. The wildlife drive is just north of Orlando and is a little hike from my house so I don’t get here often. It’s been worth the drive recently since I was trying to stay off my hip due to hip bursitis at the end of last year.
I’m standing along Marsh Rabbit Run trail at Circle B Bar Reserve trying to take pictures of the baby sandhill cranes. There were several other photographers there and we were all being quiet while hoping the cranes would get a little closer to the trail. All of a sudden we heard this loud crunch right behind us. We all turned around and saw this otter eating what we thought was a small turtle. He was chowing down pretty hard and making a loud crunching noise. It was almost as if he was saying “Hey guys, I’m back here.” He eventually finished it and swam off.
On Wading Bird Way, I see a great blue heron having a hard time with a snake. I took these right into the sun so they didn’t turn out to great but it was pretty funny watching him fight the snake.
He seemed to look back at me like “Can you help me with this?”
He kept shaking his head and the snake unwrapped around his beak but they continued to fight for a while. Eventually, the heron got the snake down. It made me wonder if the birds ever get bitten by a poisonous snake. Will they die if they get bite? And if they swallow the snake whole while it’s still alive, can the snake bite their stomach? It’s a tough life being a bird.
These blue winged teals didn’t get the memo telling them to go home for the summer. These were the only ones I saw in the park and they were feeding together in a tight group. The tricolored heron was sneaking by them, probably trying to see what they were eating.