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.
Everyone was eating breakfast at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive in late October.
A great blue heron off in the distance.
A young purple gallinule showing off his big feet.
A kingfisher sitting still. I took this from the car since I knew the second I opened that door he would be gone.
A tricolored heron guarding the sign.
A few of the smaller gators along the drive. I never seem to see the really big ones there.
More along the drive. I was having hip pain in late October so I decided to head over to the wildlife drive in Apopka and stay off me feet for a while. I ended up with hip bursitis which has slowed me down for a while in early November. It was taking forever to heal since I can’t seem to sit still very long.
Some of the sightings in our backyard this past spring. A crow gathering nesting material. The last time I saw our neighborhood kingfisher before he headed back north was in early April, Hooded mergansers were a common sight but they leave in early spring as well. A starling looking for bugs.
One morning as I was leaving for work I saw these robins in my neighbor’s driveway. Luckily I had my camera with the long lens in my car and snapped these out of the car window before leaving.
A creepy caterpiller on my car in the garage. I think this is a Sycamore Tussock moth. While it’s doesn’t sting, the fur could cause hives. I’ve read it’s best not to touch prickly caterpillers.
Things in the sky including this fireball that appeared when the sun started peaking out of the clouds after a storm right before sunset in the backyard.
Wild hogs hiding in the bushes. Not sure where the term “pigtails” comes from?
One of the main trails, Alligator Alley, was finally back open after closing in September of 2017. When Hurricane Irma came through, the trail was washed out and a lot of damage was done to that part of the park. The raised trail across the marsh was finally rebuilt and it was great to walk down it again in late January.
Out on the dock you could see the bald cypress trees going bald for the winter.
In late spring, I heard some birds screaming in the backyard. I peeked out the bedroom window and saw the above, baby starlings being fed by the parents. I ran and grabbed my camera and took the above through the window. I didn’t want to go outside and spook them. These almost fully grown babies were very aggressive, almost attacking the parents to be fed. This went on for 20 minutes. They must have wiped out all of the worms, bugs and caterpillars we had in the backyard. Maybe I should have scared them off.
This was the last I saw of my neighborhood kingfisher back in late April, sitting on our dock. Hopefully she’ll show back up in late October again.
Now we get a lot of house sparrows on our dock.
A little blue heron walking through our yard.
Blondie and her babies came by the house recently. This beautiful cream colored mallard lives in our neighborhood. She usually has 2 sets of babies each year.
This lady kingfisher has been a regular visitor this past winter. She’s either on the dock or on the boat lift poles.
Mr Grumpy (great blue heron) sometimes naps on our dock.
An anhinga paid a visit recently.
My resident osprey has been spending some time on our neighbor’s sailboat mast. I took this right before the sun went down. He usually comes in right before dark and sleeps there.
One day we had a hawk on the same mast.
We have a spotted sandpiper that hangs out in the channel in the winter. I went out on the dock to take this picture. He let me get pretty close. It was during an extreme low tide so he was walking around in the muck.
A couple of weeks ago we had a pelican on our dock. This is the first time I’ve ever seen one here. I rarely see them come into the channels. They usually stay out closer to the bay.
One night right before the sun went down I went outside to get something and saw a flock of robins hanging out in our tree on the side of the house. They stayed long enough for me to run back in the house to get my camera and come back out and snap a few shots.
We get a lot of squirrels in our yard.
Pretty flower on the fence.
A few of the critters passing through our yard in the last few months.
My first common goldeneye from very far away. I had to stand on a picnic table to catch him when he swam away from the tall reeds in front of the lake. This was taken with my 300mm lens and extremely cropped up. Bad shot but at least I can add him to my list. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of one being in the area.
These little grebes were looking at me like I was crazy. Standing in the drizzle looking for a duck.
After a while, the clouds started to disappear. This kingfisher was watching me watching him.
Now watching me on a pole in the lake.
This spoonbill agreed with the grebes. I think he was laughing at me.
Moorhen with the big yellow feet.
The goldeneye had been reported for a few weeks at the lake that Boyd Hill Nature Preserve sits on. It was across the lake from the park at a boat ramp. I finally made it over there in late January. It had been raining and I almost didn’t go. Luckily it stopped raining and the sun came out. I’m glad I braved the weather since now I have a new duck for my list!