Only in the winter

White pelicans are true “snow birds”. You only see them in Florida in the winter and even then it’s rare to see them. For the last several years there have been a few hanging around Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland (also know for their resident swans that live on the lake). I had seen a few earlier in the winter but when I stopped by to see if any of the swans had babies yet in mid-March, the lake was full of white pelicans. They were busy fishing and didn’t notice me at all standing on the side of the lake.

They seemed to be herding the fish into the vegetation and then scooping up the fish. You would think that after doing this all day they would eat all of the fish in this little lake. I went back several weeks later and all of the white pelicans were gone. I”m assuming they moved on to another pond or left to head up north. I realized when I cropped that last shot that there was a northern shoveler swimming in front of them.

Many of the pelicans were busy preening or flying around.

White pelican ballet

It’s rare to see a lone white pelican. This guy was actually in the group below.

It’s beautiful to watch the white pelicans gracefully float around the water and feed. They don’t dive in head first to catch the fish like brown pelicans. They work in a group to herd the fish into shallower water. Bobbing up and down they look like they are synchronized fishing. I found them in a small lake in central Florida. They only stay here in the winter.

One swam under a water fountain in the middle of the lake.

Several flew over my head.

Linking to Wednesday Around the World

So many babies, so little time – at Lake Mirror

DSC_1116 DSC_1112 DSC_1086 DSC_1088 DSC_1081 DSC_1070 DSC_1066 DSC_0931 DSC_0930 DSC_0929

So many babies, so little time.  This seems to be a big baby duck year. I’m seeing big families everywhere.  Getting them all lined up for a family portrait wasn’t easy. The babies are very curious and were running around all over the place.  Eventually they tired out and settled down for a nap hiding under mom.

DSC_1014

They grow up so fast. One of the first duck families this year at the lake.  They are still sticking close together.

Linking to Saturday’s Critters

Turtle day at the lake

DSC_5754 DSC_5760 DSC_5769 DSC_5789 DSC_5791 DSC_5802 DSC_5807 DSC_5809 DSC_5811

The turtles at Lake Morton are usually extremely skittish. If they see me across the lake the dive under water. For some reason they stayed out on the rocks in late December. Maybe they just liked the warm sun too much that morning. There were several on the rocks along the lake. They all have slightly different patterns on their face and neck. They didn’t seem to mind the ducks coming close or even me so I snapped a lot of pictures of them that morning.

Saturday's Critters

A stop by Swan Lake during the holidays.

DSC_0135

Which one doesn’t belong?

DSC_0138

Gotta itch!

DSC_0140

Floating through the lily pads.

DSC_0144

Imagine using your mouth to clean your foot.  Or maybe he’s using his foot to clean his mouth?

DSC_0147

Taking a bath.

DSC_0157

Friends hanging out together.

DSC_0158

Lady ruddy duck floating by.

DSC_0162

Time to take down the tree.

DSC_0163

Last one there is a rotten duck.

DSC_0169

“I’m the man!”

DSC_0165

Getting pretty.

DSC_0172

Gulp!

Another stop on the Christmas tourist tour. My sister had not been to Lakeland before to see the swans so we stopped by Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland on our way back from Bok Tower Gardens. The lake was busy with people feeding the ducks, swans and geese so we hung out for a while and enjoyed the day.