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.
Goose shaking off the water.
A cute goose couple.
I had read recently that Lake Morton had two black necked swans hanging around the lake. I didn’t hear where they came from. Several weeks later hubby and I stopped by the lake on our way home from Orlando. We did a quick walk around the lake and only saw one of them. I don’t know if something happened to the other one or it was hiding somewhere. The lake is not that big.
It was smaller than the other mute swans that were there.
A mute swan coming out of the water.
This great blue heron was panting, even though it was chilly that morning. He has an interesting looking tongue.
Just a few things we saw on our walk around Lake Morton in Lakeland. It was a fairly cool morning even before lunch.
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.
Black swan napping.
I saw lots of swans sitting on nests. The lake is really pretty right now. It’s lined with those tall purple flowers and there are white swans floating around or sitting along the side. Kind of magical, until the swans come attack your ankles because they want food.
Interesting mallard with that white throat.
A mallard mixed breed of some sort.
Two male wood ducks floating together. I didn’t see any females around.
There are always gulls around looking for a handout.
I had seen a picture of a baby swan at Lake Morton on flickr so I thought I’d stop by there on my way home from Circle B Bar Reserve. It must have been an old picture that someone had just posted. I didn’t see any babies yet but there were a lot of swans sitting on nests along the lake. Last year, the pictures I took were in late April but since baby season had started early this year I thought I would check. Oh well, I’ll check back in a few weeks.
The morning was very productive though. I met a fellow bird blogger. Lee was there walking around the lake with her husband. We started talking about the ducks we had seen that morning and she had mentioned that she had blog, Lee’s birds. I said “Hey, I follow that blog.” I didn’t realize she was local. We talked a while about our favorite places to see birds. It really is a small world.
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