Party in the marsh

 

This spring we had a drought here in central Florida. The marshes at Circle B Bar Reserve had all dried up except for a tiny few spots. This one marsh still had some water in it so all of the birds were feeding in the same spot. I guess the bugs were plentiful in this spot. I’m not sure how long they stayed there feeding but the morning I was there in late April they were packed in and fighting over space. The crowd was mostly great egrets, snowy egrets and spoonbills but there were a few tricolored herons, little blue herons, great blue herons and green herons.  Oh, also glossy ibis, white ibis and wood storks. It’s been years since we’ve seen that many water birds congregate like that so everyone was taking tons of pictures including me.

Spoonbills at Lettuce Lake Park

Due to the drought we’ve had in April and May, the water level was very low at Lettuce Lake Park in north Tampa. Before I got to the boardwalk I noticed a lot of pink near the shoreline of the lake where the canoe launch is. There was a handful of spoonbills feeding close to the shoreline. They didn’t seem to mind me, kept right on feeding with barely a glance.

Crabs for breakfast

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There’s nothing better than sitting on a beach on a Saturday morning watching a white ibis eating crabs. I sat down on the sand and he just kept getting closer and closer. Didn’t seem to care at all that I was taking his picture. I was tired after a long walk but didn’t want to leave the beach just yet. It was a great way to rest up before heading home.

Spring has sprung

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The moorhens were playing “Leapfrog” in the channel.  Soon we’ll have “Leapfrog” babies.

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A snowy egret photobombed my spoony picture.

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The spoonies were trying to eat in peace but the ibis just kept following them. The spoonies in the last picture are very young. They don’t have their adult breeding bright pink feathers in yet.

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Here comes more ibis.

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Ibis coming in from across the lake.

Spring had sprung when I went to Circle B Bar Reserve in late March. The ducks were getting frisky, the adult spoonbills were sporting their bright pink feathers and the white ibis have their bright red beaks and feet.

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Fighting over food

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You would think these guys never get fed. People around Lake Morton in central Florida come to feed the ducks and birds here every day.  On the weekends, there are people all around the lake feeding them. Someone pulls out one slice of bread and the white ibis, coots and gulls come flying over and fight over every scrap. A lot of the regulars to the lake do feed them corn or bird seed instead of bread which is much better for the animals.  The white ibis are pretty harmless and aren’t very aggressive. It’s the geese that you need to watch out for. They will attack if you don’t give them food. Once before I was taking a picture of a swan and felt a hard banging on my foot. I looked down to see a goose wanting food. I usually stay far away from those guys.

Lake Morton at lunchtime

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I’m thinking this baby blue heron and wood stork were watching that eagle that was circling high over the lake.

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Great blue herons cruising by.

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Feeding frenzy.

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Some of the white pelicans that spend the winter at Lake Morton. They seemed very relaxed.

A few of the wildlife that hangs out at Lake Morton in Lakeland in the winter.

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