More from my drive along Lake Apopka.

I rarely see baby purple gallinules. They are very skittish. I caught this little one running in between the reeds. Look at those big yellow feet!

The parents were close by.

Two juvenile common gallinules (or moorhens) hanging out.

The only birds I saw along the drive were common ones.

Turkey vultures are also common along the drive but it’s not often you get to see one up close and with a snack.

Young tree swallows perching on the utility wire. It’s rare to see these guys resting.

Another common site along the drive, an anhinga with a fish.

A beautiful morning to be out.

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

So many birds at Circle B Bar Reserve – Skywatch Friday

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Right as I got on the trail this glossy ibis went flying over my head.

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Female anhinga. She was posing too nice not stop and take a picture. She was so close to the trail and I only had my fixed 300mm lens with me so this was all I could get of her. She was not skittish.

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I would like to think this is a savannah sparrow with that small yellow streak over her eye.  Let me know if this is wrong. All info says these are pretty common but I haven’t seen one before with the yellow on the face that I can remember.

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Pretty limpkin posing for me.

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This glossy ibis was too busy to be bothered by me. When the sun hits their feathers you can really see the color.

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Blue gray gnatcatcher high up in the trees.

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My attempt in getting a flying shot of a tree swallow. Those little buggers are fast. They were buzzing all around my head. I was torturing myself for a while before I gave up.

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I walked right past this pileated woodpecker at first. I heard his high pitch call and walked back a few trees. He was high up in the trees.

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There were baby great blue heron sightings that had been reported earlier in the week. I got to the nest first thing in the morning and waiting for a half hour for the mom to stand up.  I left the nest and walked the other trails and came back and stood another half hour. It was cloudy and cold so I think she was hunkered down for the morning. I snapped this just for the record.

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When I got home and zoomed in on the above photo, I realized the baby was peeking out of mom’s rear end. The baby is pretty big at this point. By the time I get back there he should be standing up pretty good.

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On the road to spring migration – Skywatch Friday

I heard the birds were here. After work I headed for Fort Desoto to get in an hour or two of looking for spring migration birds. Of course, I get stopped on the bridge waiting for a sailboat to pass. While waiting, I pulled out my camera and shot the above from my car window. Sunshine Skyway bridge is pretty far away.

I first stopped at the East Beach turnaround. I had heard the mangroves there had some migrating birds. I only saw a few shorebirds including the one above. I think this is a least sandpiper.

This female red breasted merganser was strutting the beach. She should be heading north by now.

My first tree barn swallow picture. There were tons of these flying high around the turnaround. For the first time I actually saw one land in the bushes. Thanks, Michael and Steve for the correct id.

Big barge heading under the Sunshine Skyway bridge. I didn’t stay long at the turnaround. I quickly headed to the mulberry bush woods to see if there was anything there I hadn’t seen before. Boy, was I in for a treat. More to come…

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My friend Michael mentioned that it was 32 years ago yesterday when an outbound freighter hit the original Sunshine Skyway bridge causing it to collapse and close for good. Thirty five people lost their lives.  The new bridge was opened in 1987 and part of the old bridge was taken down in 1990. Part of the old bridge is used today as a fishing pier. The above picture was taken sometime in the late 80’s by my dad with both bridges still up. I found his old picture this past weekend when I was looking through his  slides that I had scanned to digital.