A walk around Lake Morton

The Lakeland swans get fed at Lake Morton by the city through stations around the lake. The ducks can’t reach the station but they hang close by hoping to get some droppings.

In the winter you can usually find a few ring billed ducks with the swans.

The lake is mainly full of mute swans but there is also a pair of black neck swans. There are several fully gray swans that people think they are a hybrid of the mute and black swans.

White pelicans were circling around the lake during my recent walk.

Someone was feeding the ducks. People come to feed the ducks and swans but it’s the ibis that steal the food. A few ibis show up and all of sudden tons of them come flying across the lake to get in on the free food. They started attacking the people so they got in their car and left.

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Zooming or snoozing?

Why do the cardinals sit right in front of you and pose while all of the other little birds drive you crazy by not sitting still for a second?

This yellow throated warbler drove me crazy. Would not sit still at all.

The spoonbills were moving slow this morning. So were the ring neck ducks that were hanging out with the spoonies.

The alligators and turtles were lumps on a log, sleeping soundly,

Tree swallows are another bird that never sits still. These guys zoom back and forth non-stop all morning. Right before I was leaving I saw some of them land on dead branch across the marsh. It was the first time I had ever seen them rest.

Another trip to Circle B Bar Reserve in mid March.

The usual stuff near my neighborhood

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Lots of ring neck ducks floating in the channel near my neighborhood. The all brown ones are the females and the ones with black heads and gray bodies are the males.

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Alligators are everywhere.

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I hadn’t seen a horned grebe in a long time. This one was all alone across the channel.

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Two more alligators in the grass.

Old ducks and a new one.

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My first gadwall. I haven’t even heard of them being in the Tampa bay area before. I didn’t know they were at Circle B Bar Reserve until I was standing on the trail thinking that these ducks didn’t quite look like mallards. I asked another birder standing by that I knew was an expert birder and he told me what they were. It was a cloudy morning and if the sun had been out I would have only gotten a blob taking this right into the sun. The male is in front, female in back.

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A male ring neck duck was swimming in between the gadwall couple.

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There was a little confrontation over space between the two males.

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Two males and a female swimming together.

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They are pretty with all of the different beige color patterns.

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Ring neck ducks trying to rule the pond.

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The usual black bellied whistlers.

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Whistler duck butts. Even their bottoms are cute.

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Busy preening before a nap.

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Standing at attention.

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The marshes were full of them.

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A sora rail sighting. They aren’t very common at the park. This one was pretty far out in the marsh so this is heavily cropped.

These were taken right after Christmas. After a week of sun and warm weather, I finally had a chance to head out to Circle B Bar Reserve and a dark blanket of clouds stayed over the park the entire 4 hours I was there. At least it was not hot out and I was excited to add a new duck to my list. I keep hearing there are bufflehead duck sightings but I can’t seem to find them anywhere. I’ll keep looking.

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Ducks at Lake Morton

By late October, ring neck ducks were sighted at most lakes. This was at Lake Morton in Lakeland.

There was a large flock of ruddy ducks floating in the middle of the lake. Ruddys are a little more rare to find than the ring necks.

Waving his foot while preening.

One of the male ruddy ducks came close to the edge of the lake. Most of the time they stay right in the middle.

Female ruddy duck skimming the water.

Not a rare duck but some type of hybrid. There’s a lot of ducks, geese and swans at Lake Morton and they tend to mix quite often. Could be a mix of mallard and a white duck.

Lake Morton is a good place to check for winter duck arrivals. In late October, the lake was full of coots, ruddy ducks, ring necks. I didn’t see any redheads yet. Last winter there a few hanging around. I’ll check back there later to see what else shows up. I’ve seen pictures of an eagle that hangs out around the lake in the mornings and I still haven’t seen him yet.

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