Duck, Duck, Ibis

People come to this lake to feed the ducks and swans but it’s mostly the ibis that get fed. They fly in by the hundreds and attack the person holding the food.

A few random ducks.

You can always find wood ducks at this lake.

There was a pair of coscoroba swans (smaller swan with the bright pink beak) but I think there is now only 1.  I think the mute swan has become friends with the coscoroba.  They were hanging out together and flirting.

It’s mating and nesting season for the mute swans at Lake Morton.

White and bright

There’s a small flock of white pelicans that spend their winters at Lake Morton in central Florida. I think they may stay there all year round now. They have become acclimated to having a lot of people around since this is a busy park. In mid April I stopped by to take their picture and they ignored me. Kids were running around and they slept through it. I guess it’s good that they feel comfortable here.

Bright flowers were blooming everywhere.

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Beautiful “ugly ducklings”

Sometimes things just work out. I was heading home after a long walk at Circle B Bar Reserve and decided to stop by Lake Morton near downtown Lakeland for a quick walk around the small lake. I was hoping to find some baby wood duck families since there have been a lot of wood duck couples hanging around the lake.  I got even luckier. This was the first time I’ve seen baby swans that young swimming with the parents.  The little twins were very curious pecking at everything but they stayed close to the parents. I sat down on the grass and took a ton of pictures. All of these were taken in late April with my 300mm lens and were extremely cropped.

Pretty duck at Lake Morton

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This is one of my favorite ducks at Lake Morton. Looks like some type of hybrid mallard. Beautiful colors and very different from the brown mallards. He swam right up to me and started taking a bath.

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As I was shooting the duck above, this swan walked in front of me and started pulling weeds to add to his nest. He was so close I could only get his neck in the shot.

Wood duck explosion at Lake Morton

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A female wood duck with a snack.

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A male wood duck watching over the lake.

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A happy couple floating around.

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This couple was hanging out under a tree near the edge of the lake. She wanted to nap and he was getting frisky.

There’s been an explosion of wood ducks at the lakes in downtown Lakeland. Lake Mirror had 3 families with babies and Lake Morton had at least 20 adult wood ducks hanging around. One of the cypress trees had 6 males sleeping up in the trees. Two or three years ago you would be lucky to find more than 3 or 4 at the lakes. I’m not sure why they started hanging out in the busy area, maybe for the handouts.