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.

Pelicans and swans at the local downtown pond

DSC_3025 DSC_3031 DSC_2802 DSC_2788 DSC_2792 DSC_3022

The pretty white pelicans will be gone soon. They will be heading north for the summer. I’ve only seen one at this lake all winter until recently. They must be stopping over for a rest before their long flight home.

DSC_2929

DSC_2983

DSC_2791

DSC_2805

The resident swans are all priming and flirting. Several couples are already sitting on eggs.

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.

Finding fuzzballs around the lake.

DSC_8316

I think that lizard isn’t going to make it.

DSC_8318

I thought all of the winter ducks had gone north by now but this ring necked duck was still hanging around.

DSC_8329

Black swan preening.

DSC_8295

At first glance I didn’t think there were any baby swans yet. All of the moms were sitting down on the nest. Then a swan got up to move around and I could just barely make out the little fuzzballs under her. They still looked wet so they must have been born that morning. It was around lunchtime when I stopped by the lake. She still had two more to hatch.

DSC_8344

One of the little babies was pretty wet and fumbling around.

DSC_8359

Mom was right there watching them. Dad was close by right next to the nest. I took these through the reeds so they are a little fuzzy.

DSC_8347

How cute is that face???

DSC_8387

Across the lake was another new mom.  This nest had 3 eggs and only one has hatched so far.

DSC_8398

I was sitting on the grass and zoomed in on mom’s beak. Yuck. It almost looks like she has tiny teeth.

It feels like spring when the baby animals start popping up everywhere.

Linking up to Saturday’s Critters

Shine the Divine

Cutest fuzzballs ever!

DSC_0055

Mom keeping an eye on everyone.

DSC_0091

The gray one on the left was born only 18 hours earlier. The beige ones were born the day before.

DSC_0116

Snuggling together.

DSC_0136

“You guys make good pillows.”

DSC_0151

The youngest one is ready for a nap.

DSC_0155

“What am I suppose to do with these big feet?”

DSC_0188

“Is there a bug on my neck?”

DSC_0224

Parting butt shot.

baby swans

A shot of the nest with my phone.

I hadn’t planned on stopping by Lake Morton. I was on my way to Circle B Bar Reserve which is only 10 minutes away. It was drizzling on the way to Lakeland and I was thinking I didn’t want to get out on the trails and it start to rain. As I got closer to Lakeland I decided to stop by Lake Morton first and then see how the weather holds up an hour later. I got to the little lake around 8am. I was driving around looking for a good spot to park when I saw a group of people hanging around a swan nest. I thought “There must be babies there.” I parked and walked over and there they were. Three of the cutest fuzz balls ever. Not even 2 days old. The park was taking the babies and raising them offsite due to the thefts of eggs and babies last year so these little ones were probably going to be gone by that afternoon. I was lucky to spend an hour watching them move around. They did not leave the nest while I was there. Both parents were close by. There is also a camera high up in a tree keeping an eye on the nest as well so everyone was on their best behavior. Many people stopped by for a few minutes to get a look at them. How could they not melt your heart?

The sun started to peak out after an hour so I left and headed to the reserve.

Too see more amazing swan family pictures, check out Kim’s blog. She lives near the lake and has caught many wonderful moments of the babies with their parents.

Check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention for