More from my drive along Lake Apopka.

I rarely see baby purple gallinules. They are very skittish. I caught this little one running in between the reeds. Look at those big yellow feet!

The parents were close by.

Two juvenile common gallinules (or moorhens) hanging out.

The only birds I saw along the drive were common ones.

Turkey vultures are also common along the drive but it’s not often you get to see one up close and with a snack.

Young tree swallows perching on the utility wire. It’s rare to see these guys resting.

Another common site along the drive, an anhinga with a fish.

A beautiful morning to be out.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

A hot walk around the lake in August.

Critters I saw on my walk around Crescent Lake Park.

This big beautiful old banyan tree is fenced off since it is starting to fall apart. It’s still blooming though.

Across the lake. You can barely make out downtown St. Pete behind the painted water tower.

SkyWatch Friday

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

The morning I drove through Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive in late June the lake was full of wading birds. Great egrets, snowy egrets, great blue herons, little blue herons and lots of alligators. But only at the start of the long drive.

While most of the birds were far out on the lake, there wasn’t a lot of them close to the trails.

There were lots of gators close to the trails including the bottom one that I spotted when I got out of my car to take some pictures. At a place like this, I always look around first before snapping. He wasn’t really as close as this seems, I cropped it up. But it still felt close.

The clouds started moving in. There wasn’t a lot of wildlife in this wildlife park on this particular morning.

Above is a pano of one of the side drives that I took just to get away from the traffic. The only thing I saw was the alligator above with his head poking out of the weeds. Even though I was there early on a Friday morning, the main drive was backed up with cars. There are places to pull over every so often but people tend to block the drive instead of pulling off and getting out to walk around. Patience is an extreme virtue at this park especially when it’s a quiet morning and there’s not a lot of wildlife to take pictures of. I spent half the morning answering emails on my phone. I would just park and walk the entire drive but it’s 11 miles one way and you come out at the other side of the lake. So needless to say, this isn’t one of my favorite places although people who live close by and go frequently get a lot of great pictures. It’s more than an hour from my house so I only go once or twice a year.

SkyWatch Friday

Everyone was eating except me.

Typical awkward teenager, this several month old sandhill crane was so funny to watch. He was trying to be brave and walk off on his own and then go running back to mom.

It looks like this great blue heron bit off more than he could chew but he got it all down. His neck was bulging for a while.

A grackle with a snack.

This night heron was trying to hide in the reeds along the pond but it was hard not to miss those bright red eyes.

It was weird seeing this purple gallinule hanging over the trail. He was eating something on this plant.

These hawks were across the marsh. Looks like they were fighting over a snail.

Breakfast was going on during my walk at Circle B Bar Reserve in mid May.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

 

Lots of babies at Carillon Park.

Two very young green herons were waiting for mom to come back with food. They were standing on the boardwalk rail. As soon as they saw mom come into the bushes they hopped back on the branches and headed deep in the bush to get fed.

A common moorhen family. There were at least 6 families along the ponds.

Young grackles and their parents were along the boardwalk.

The usual birds along the boardwalk, a blue jay, an osprey eating a fish on top of one of the office buildings and one of the many anhingas.

A walk around Carillon Park after work in early May.