Beyond the BackyardLake Morton

Early April at Lake Morton

On a quiet Saturday in early April, I escaped to Lake Morton for a few hours of springtime bird photography.  While most of the ducks had left already, a bunch of Ruddy Ducks were still around.  The males were sporting their bright blue bills.  One was splashing in the water not too far from shore.  I sat down and waited, knowing that a wing flap would follow…and it did!

Ruddy Duck Wing Flap
Ruddy Duck Wing Flap

A pair of Wood Ducks meandered in the grass.  The Wood Ducks at Lake Morton are very accustomed to people, but I was still surprised when they let me approach them to photograph them.

Wood Duck Pair
Wood Duck Pair

I settled down in the grass watching the lake on a good light angle.  A few American White Pelicans were still lingering at the lake.  A few of them were practicing their water-skiing skills…

American White Pelican Landing
American White Pelican Landing

The White Ibises were in their bright breeding colors.  I love their bright red beaks and legs at this time of year!  One flew by and obligingly gave me a good head angle. :)

White Ibis in Flight
White Ibis in Flight

It was quite a pleasure to run into Herman and his friends, who were also photographing at the lake that morning.  We had a good time with a Boat-tailed Grackle who had posed nicely at the top of a flowering trumpet tree.  His feathers shone a glossy blue as he sang a courtship song for all to hear.

Singing Boat-tailed Grackle
Singing Boat-tailed Grackle

Herman has always loved the “ugly” birds like Wood Storks and vultures.  After chatting with him, I spotted a Wood Stork standing quietly at the lake shore.  I spent some time with the bird doing some close-ups.  He has such an ancient, wise-looking face!

Wood Stork Portrait
Wood Stork Portrait

A juvenile Muscovy Duckling was out for a walk with his mom.  They walked all over the grass, biting at the mosquitos in the air.  I caught the baby with a bite in his mouth!

Juvenile Muscovy Bite!
Juvenile Muscovy Bite!

My dad recently informed me that his photography life list is lacking in certain common birds, like American Crow and Fish Crow.  We had a good chuckle over the fact that he can enhance his life list right in his own backyard!  So when I spotted a crow looking for nesting material, I laid down and got some good shots.  He finally decided that the moss was a little too much for him to carry off.

Crow Searching for Nesting Material
Crow Searching for Nesting Material

All in all, it was an excellent morning.  By the time I headed back to my car, I was a little tired from my early morning drive.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one who needed a nap!

Wood Stork Yawn
Wood Stork Yawn

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