This beautiful young mute swan was taking a bath at Lake Morton in late November.
The white ducks are cute but aggressive, looking for a handout.
One of the black necked swans at the lake.
A wood duck and a ring billed duck couple.
The cypress trees were turning orange.
A female wood duck up above and her 4 juvenile babies hanging out on a rock.
It’s always fun to see the baby swans.
Across the street from the lake, in front of the library in Lakeland, there were still 2 swans sitting on nests. At least they had a good shady spot away from the crowds and a nice view of the lake.
Two butterflies together on the street. Where they mating? I’ve never seen this before.
Flowers were blooming in early March.
One great blue heron wagging his tongue. The other had his pretty breeding colors on his face. You can see the color difference in the one above that’s not ready for a girlfriend yet.
After a bath.
There’s several fully grown gray swans. Might be a hybrid of the white mute swan and the black swan? They are really pretty.
Baby swan up close. The original “ugly duckling”.
Looking at the feet of a wood stork. It looks like his toenails are painted.
A quick walk around Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland before lunch. I only found one baby swan and not many swans nesting. Maybe they are nesting late this year.
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.
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.
I quickly found the mandarin duck couple at Lake Mirror in downtown Lakeland. I had heard the city had received two mandarin couples for the lake. I only found one of the couples but did not know there were two until later after my visit.
They were napping while I was there but something up in the sky caused them to look up for a few minutes. Hawks and eagles sometimes cruise through there so they might have seen something high up in the sky.
Lake Mirror has a small floating deck in the middle of the lake which is probably used for seasonal decorations. The two fake owls are there to keep the real birds off the deck but you can see how much the real birds pay attention.
I headed over to Lake Morton, a couple of blocks away to see if any of the swans or geese were nesting yet. I found this funny looking mallard. I know he’s saying “Stop staring at my funny feathers on my head.”
There were two swan couples building nests.
The usual “limpkin with a snail” shot.
The black swans were posing for me.
And staying busy preening since mating season was starting.
Snowy egret in the early morning.
A handful of shots of the baby swans at Lake Morton in Lakeland. There were 3 families there on the Saturday morning I stopped by. This was in late May so by now they are probably pretty big. They are so cute and inquisitive. They were swimming around and sticking there beaks in the water. They would peck at leaves or sticks floating by.