Beyond the BackyardLake Hancock Outfall Wetlands

Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands March Field Trip

In early March my dad and I had the opportunity to join a field trip into the Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands, a restricted-access SWFWMD property near the Circle B Bar Reserve.  The wetlands are home to thousands of birds.  You can see a great variety of species there.  It’s one of the best inland birding locations that I know in Central Florida.

The March field trip was slower than the days I spent there in December and January.  The wintering ducks had mostly left, and there weren’t nearly as many birds in the skies.  Still, it was a wonderful morning. My dad and I had a great time.  Thanks so much to Cole Fredericks for organizing the field trip!

My Favorite Photo Buddy :)
My Favorite Photo Buddy :)

The American White Pelicans were still hanging around the wetlands, although their numbers had decreased significantly since the Christmas Bird Count.  Then we saw several thousand birds.  In early March we saw several hundred.  This one made me laugh as he opened his mouth in mid-flight…

American White Pelican
American White Pelican

We saw a few Black-necked Stilts and three American Avocets at a long distance.  I wonder if the stilts will nest at the wetlands, like they used to at the Circle B Bar Reserve, where they used to build their nests on the edge of the Wading Bird Way trail.  That was before they put in the nature center and the park became so popular.  On this particular morning, I was excited when a stilt flew right past me, calling across the marsh…

Black-necked Stilt
Black-necked Stilt

My dad and I went on three field trips to the wetlands this winter, and the weather was pretty gray and gloomy on all of them.  Maybe next year will be better!

Osprey
Osprey

We saw several Osprey hovering over the water as they searched for breakfast.  Later, we spotted one carrying nesting material back to a tree.  The branch was twice as long as the bird!

Red-winged Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird

This Red-winged Blackbird was singing the song of springtime.  He sat tall on his perch and let me photograph him with his beak wide open.  He reminded me that it’s my favorite time of year!

One thought on “Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands March Field Trip

  1. Good photos in a place where it’s not so easy to find good photo opportunities!
    It was nice to meet you and your Dad. Hope the next visit will offer clear skies and posing birds!

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