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.

Showing off on Lake Morton

Lots of pretty swans on Lake Morton.

The cormorants were getting all their “ducks” all lined up.

In a flash, I saw the male northern shoveler flying away. He was very skittish.  Then a ring necked duck came in for a landing.

A lady was feeding the ducks some cracked corn (which is what they should be eating instead of bread).

Drying off on the lake.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Bad pictures of a new duck.

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I found the American wigeon that had been spotted at Largo Nature Preserve. A first for me on this fairly common duck. All in front of the picture, they were hanging out with some coots and moorhens. Of course, they were on the river where I had to take the picture right into the sun. I couldn’t go around since there are houses along the other side of the river.

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Northern shoveler with an itch.

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Northern shoveler with a mallard in front. They look alike except when you see them together. That big old beak gives the shoveler away.

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They were all busy feeding.

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A great blue heron panting on the boardwalk.  It was warm on the first weekend in January. No jacket needed.

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He kept flying back and forth as people were walking along the boardwalk.

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“Baby blue” A young little blue heron all alone. He started looking up and freaking out. I realized it was because the below had just flown by.

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As I was taking a picture of the baby blue, I saw something fly overhead. When I looked up this eagle was already past me and off into the wild blue yonder.

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A very typical scene. A cormorant silhouette into the sun while drying off.

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This was taken with my 300mm lens. He was in his usual spot along the boardwalk.

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Same guy but taken with my iphone. Someone said he was 11 feet long. What do you think? I think he was exaggerating over the length.

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Green parrots kept flying back and forth across the park. I never could see them landing. I think they live and nest at the electric plant near the park.

A beautiful morning on the first weekend of 2015.

The usual winter ducks

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I made my annual duck sighting trip to the duck  ponds outside Fort De Soto in early December. As usual this time of year, the pond was full of redheads and ring necked ducks. They were all still sleeping when I got there.

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A few of them had their eye on me. We only get redheads in the winter.

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A juvenile white ibis tries to land in the middle. He did not stay.

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There were a few northern shovelers floating as well.

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A male shoveler came by pretty close.

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The female was trying to sleep in.

DSC_9988This one might still be a juvenile. The colors in his feathers were not quite bright yet. He seemed curious.

The pond will hopefully stay full throughout the winter. I’ll keep checking if they do in case something unusual shows up. I had heard there was an American wigeon there but I couldn’t find him. It will be a lifer if I can find him.

Camera Critters