Beyond the BackyardLake Morton

Cygnet Watch at Lake Morton

On my way back from Fort De Soto last Saturday, I stopped at Lake Morton to see if there were any cygnets (baby swans).  I’ve been keeping an eye on the nests there for the past few weeks, as it is getting to be that time of year when tiny gray fuzzballs appear under the mother swans.  It was mid-day when I got there, and the light was really harsh, but the Beast and I took a walk around the light and still found plenty to photograph.  There weren’t any baby swans yet, but I did see some other cute babies…

Growing Up
Growing Up

The two little yellow ducklings are still at Lake Morton and they are doing well.  They’ve gotten so much bigger than when I saw them last, and that was just two weeks ago.  It’s so sweet to watch them stick together.  Pretty soon we won’t be able to distinguish them from all the other “stooges” (my name for the white ducks that come begging for food!)

Black-Necked Swans
Black-Necked Swans

The Black-Necked Swans were out on the lake together.  I loved how they swan together, and their necks would cross in a heart shape sometimes.  I was hand-holding the Beast and not quite fast enough to capture it.  Maybe next time!

Baby Limpkin
Baby Limpkin

The baby Limpkins are doing well.  I saw at least five of them as they took refuge from the sun under a clump of bushes.  I’m pretty sure the large family I saw last time is actually two families, since some of the babies have hit the “teenager” stage, and others are still in the fuzzy baby stage, like the one above.  Mom was taking two of the babies for a walk, and they started to play wing-flap with each other.  Look at those developing feathers!

Mallard Babies Under Mom
Mallard Babies Under Mom

I saw my friend Kim and she pointed out this Mallard with her big brood of babies.  I’ve never seen the babies all grouped under Mama Mallard like this!  I guess I’m usually at Lake Morton early in the morning, when Mom lets the babies run free.  During the heat of the mid-day, they seek shade under their mom.

Mallard Baby Crowd
Mallard Baby Crowd

Mom got up and revealed her little ones to us.  There were nine little babies snuggled up under her!  When she stood up, they were happy to run along the shore and eat at the grass.  Pretty soon, though, they seemed to want to get back under her.  The Florida sun is hot on little ducklings!