Lake Morton in Lakeland is a good spot to find white pelicans in the winter besides Fort Desoto. There are a lot fewer at Lake Morton but you can usually get closer. They hang out on the brick retaining walls around the lake. Most of the time they are sleeping when I’m there but on a recent trip they were moving around a little. I think two of them were fighting over space on the floating pole.
A coot swimming by.
Wood ducks were napping up in the cypress trees and some were swimming around the lake.
There’s always turtles sitting on the cypress knees.
The city of Lakeland were selling swans in late October. When I was there they were in holding pens on the lake. I felt bad that they were leaving their home but there have been banner crops of babies over the last few years and the lake is over-run with swans. Swans were getting hit by cars and fighting with each other. Hopefully they’ll go to homes that have more room for them. If I had a small pond on my property I would buy a pair. The money goes back into the fund to feed the swans at this lake.
Since mid-October there’s been a wild turkey hanging out at Lake Morton near downtown Lakeland. At least everyone thinks she’s wild. There’s a few parks and preserves close by so she could have wandered far off her path and ended up here. The neighborhood did a naming poll and the name Morton stuck. She seemed pretty domesticated to me. I found her as I was walking around the lake and she came pretty close to me. People have probably been feeding her. All of the turkeys I’ve seen out in the woods are very skittish and run away pretty quickly. She better be hiding this week.
She was strutting around like she owned the lake. There are brick retaining walls in a few places around the lake and the white pelicans along with the ducks like to nap there. She walked up to the pelicans which are much bigger than her and chased them off the wall.
She then strutted over to another wall and chased the ducks away. The pelicans had moved on and were climbing up onto another wall and she went over and chased them again. She was causing a lot of chaos this morning. It will be interesting to see how long she’s there.
I found some very young mute swans preening at Lake Morton at the end of July. These young adults were born early this year and were acting like they own the place.
Juvenile male wood ducks. Just starting to get their male colors in.
I also found some female wood ducks.
This cute little limpkin family stole my heart. Both babies were staying close to Mom.
I ran into cuteness overload at Lake Morton in mid-May with two baby swans.They were staying close to the parents. They grow up in a big fenced-in pen right on the lake so the babies have a better chance of surviving at the lake and then are let out once they are big enough to take care of themselves. Ducks, other swans, hawks, eagles, alligators and snakes are just a few of the dangers there.
Two juveniles black swans were about to be released.
Older baby wood ducks were taking a nap.
Safety in numbers. These muscovy babies were all huddled together.
Mom was watching over these babies.
I stopped by Lake Morton in Lakeland on the way home from Circle B Bar Reserve in mid-May. I usually see one or two wood duck couples there but on this trip they were all around the lake. Sleeping in the grass, hanging out on the swan fences, chasing each other. They must have been gathering for a baby making convention. I have not made it back over to the lake since then so I’m not sure it there were a lot of babies but I would hope so..
All of the usual suspects were there.
Feeding the fowl is encouraged at the lake although bread is extremely discouraged. They have feeders that are filled with pellets that you can buy a handful for a quarter. This lady was feeding them cracked corn.
Clouds were rolling in and it was time to go home for lunch.
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.