Beyond the BackyardLake Parker Park

A Quick Stop at Lake Parker Park

On our way to see the swallow murmuration last weekend, my dad and I made a quick stop at Lake Parker Park.  It had been a while since I was there, and I’d heard it was good for Purple Gallinules and Snail Kites.  Well, at 3pm on a beautiful spring day, it was also really good for people!  We enjoyed our walk and resolved to go back early in the morning.

Anhinga in Breeding Colors at Lake Parker Park
Anhinga in Breeding Colors

The park offers a beautiful winding path along Lake Parker.  Some wading birds were nesting in the trees at the edge of the lake.  This Anhinga was proud to show off his breeding colors for us.  Look at that blue eye!

Purple Gallinule at Lake Parker Park
Purple Gallinule

We found a couple of Purple Gallinules.  They were exploring the water at the base of some reeds.  It was really windy that day, and the wind caught my Beast and repeatedly repositioned it for me.  It doesn’t pay to hand-hold in strong wind!  Between the wind and the harsh light, I wasn’t too happy with my photos.  Sometimes the not-perfectly-sharp shots make for good effect photos.  Fun with Topaz filters!

Pied-billed Grebe at Lake Parker Park
Pied-billed Grebe

A small stream made a great hangout spot for some coots, grebes, and gallinules.  This little Pied-billed Grebe was pretty as the light started to soften.  He did something we’d never seen before.  One second he was floating on the water.  The next second, a coot startled him and he dove–bottom first!–into the water.  I’ve never seen a grebe shoot downward in that way!

American Coot at Lake Parker Park
American Coot

Speaking of coots, this one got splashed by the grebe.  My dad laughed at me as I photographed the coots.  Yes, I like coots!

Power Plant! at Lake Parker
Power Plant! at Lake Parker

This last shot is for my parents.  Power plant!  When I was little, and we’d drive home from Dade City at night, I would see the bright lights of the power plant and start shouting about them.  I’d never take pity on my parents and nap until I’d seen my lights.  Now as an adult I see the power plant in the background behind bird nests.  Maybe next time it’ll be the background for a Snail Kite flight shot!

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