Beyond the BackyardViera Wetlands

Lazy Morning at the Viera Wetlands

The summer heat is definitely here in Florida, and I was too lazy to go for a hot hike last Sunday morning. So I went to Viera Wetlands, where I can bird and photograph from the air-conditioned comfort of my car! I like how I can cover more ground driving than hiking. I’ll find a good spot, set up, and photograph there for a while. Running into friends was also nice, and it was great to meet a new one. :)

I arrived at the wetlands before sunrise. This Green Heron flew in on a palm tree just as I was thinking, “gee, wouldn’t it be nice for a bird to land there? It would make a great silhouette!” As I adjusted my exposure and aimed for the shot, the bird threw his head up. Perfect!

I was hoping for Black-Bellied Whistling Duck flight shots, and maybe chicks. The whistlers are one of my favorite birds to photograph, and their babies are so cute! I stopped and waited by one tree where the adult whistler was clearly tending to either eggs or babies within, but the little ones chose not to make an appearance. Maybe next time.

My best find of the morning was a small family of Red-winged Blackbirds. Several fledglings were perched in the reeds. They tested their wings, hopping from one reed to another. Then Mom brought in breakfast! The little ones flapped their wings and called in anticipation. The meal was a nice butterfly, and several fledglings got bites of it before Mom passed the remainder to her smallest chick.