Lots of cormorants cruising across Lake Morton.
Cleaning up for the ladies. It’s nesting time around the lake.
Seven swans a sleeping?
Posing for me.
“Got a cigarette lady” Talk about timing. I was taking pictures with my long lens of the swan preening far out in the lake when I heard a noise right in front of me on the edge of the lake and saw these two getting frisky. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and snapped these. More baby swans coming around the lake.
Beautiful wood ducks hiding under the cypress trees.
Baby black swans staying close to their parents.
White pelicans were preening and stretching.
A lone goose with a striking face and beak. There use to be a lot of geese around this lake but I only found 2 on a trip in late February.
Various beauties around Lake Morton in late November.
Lots of turtles.
One of the many swan statues in the downtown area in Lakeland.
Even in late November, it was warm enough to want to jump in the fountain. As tempting as that is, there’s always the chance of a gator in that lake.
This beautiful young mute swan was taking a bath at Lake Morton in late November.
The white ducks are cute but aggressive, looking for a handout.
One of the black necked swans at the lake.
A wood duck and a ring billed duck couple.
The cypress trees were turning orange.
A female wood duck up above and her 4 juvenile babies hanging out on a rock.
It’s always fun to see the baby swans.
Across the street from the lake, in front of the library in Lakeland, there were still 2 swans sitting on nests. At least they had a good shady spot away from the crowds and a nice view of the lake.
Two butterflies together on the street. Where they mating? I’ve never seen this before.
It’s always fun to see baby swans. Both mute swans and black swans had babies at Lake Morton in early May.
A tiny limpkin baby hiding in the reeds while mom looks for food.
Baby mallards looking for bugs.
An older baby mallard.
Pretty ducks and swans.
White pelicans were still hanging around the lake.
Pretty weeds growing along the bank of the lake.
One place I consistently see wood ducks is at Lake Morton. Someone put a nest box right on the edge of the lake but I haven’t been back over there since early April to see if they had babies in the box.
Moorhens and coots at the lake. Moorhens have red beaks and they live here all year long. Coots have white beaks and are only here during the winter and early spring. They go back up north for the summer but there were a few stragglers in April.
One of my favorite ducks at the lake. Some type of hybrid mallard.
Across the lake, something had spooked the ruddy ducks and caused them to start scooting across the lake.
They all started taking off and landed on the other side of the lake. They are pretty skittish and don’t come close to the edge of the lake.
It’s rare to see a white pelican in Florida outside of the winter months. Even in the winter you have to hunt for them in central Florida. There’s usually a few that hang out at Lake Morton in Lakeland. These guys were still here in mid-March. They usually leave to head north for the summer in late April. Some of the older ones had already developed that bump on their beaks which they only get during breeding season.
A young one was posing.
Once in a while, a few would take off flying, circle the lake and land back on the lake. I’m going to miss them when they leave but hopefully they’ll be back in fall.
The swans at Lake Morton were showing off in early April. It was mating season for all of the critters at the lake.
Lots of couples floating around together.
No “rooms” for these couples. They were getting frisky right there at the lake.
Even the geese were getting frisky. Although, not sure what was going on with this threesome. They are always together.
Later, they were strutting around looking very proud of themselves.
Lots of action at Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland. It felt like a warm spring day and all of the ducks, geese and swans were feeling it.
I saw the famous green winged teal from the street as he was floating along the shoreline with his girlfriend.
He climbed out of the water and seemed comfortable with several people standing there watching him. It’s pretty rare to see a green winged teal in central Florida, even in the winter. This couple must have stopped by for a rest on their way back north for the summer. Word got out quickly that they were there and I was able to get over to Lake Morton several days later. There’s a lot of foot traffic around this lake since so many people come to feed the ducks, geese and swans. Feeding stations line the lake so you can buy food for them but I think most people bring their own which is usually not good for them.
As in most ducks, the female is not as striking as the male.
They eventually headed under a tree and settled down for nap.