Beyond the BackyardLake Morton

June Morning at Lake Morton

After our last visit to Lake Parker Park, my dad and I stopped at Lake Morton one late June morning. We were greeted by the Three Stooges (peking ducks) and a flock of mixed Mallards, all begging for bread. “I’ll bring you some next time!” is what I always say. But I never do because bread’s not really good for birds. We started to walk around the lake, and we didn’t get far before we found the pair of Black-necked Swans.

Black-necked Swans
Black-necked Swans

It looks like the City of Lakeland allowed some of the Mute Swan cygnets to grow up on the lake this year. In previous years, they penned the babies or took them away to a remote location.  So it was so nice to see juvenile birds growing up alongside their parents and learning to live on the lake. This one was calmly preening and enjoying the summer sun.  Look at that big foot!

Juvenile Mute Swan Cygnet
Juvenile Mute Swan Cygnet

Lake Morton is a reliable location for Wood Ducks, and they are so accustomed to people that it’s fairly easy to photograph them. I spotted several juvenile birds that morning. This one gave me a wing-flap.

Juvenile Wood Duck Wing-Flap
Juvenile Wood Duck Wing-Flap

Speaking of wing-flaps, a family of Muscovy Ducks were bathing in the cool water. They splashed, and splashed, and splashed…and then finally there was the wing-flap!

Muscovy Duck Wing Flap
Muscovy Duck Wing Flap

After his bath, the biggest Muscovy came closer. So here’s a head shot!

Muscovy Duck Head Shot
Muscovy Duck Head Shot

It’s not a morning at Lake Morton if you don’t come across a Wood Stork standing in the grass. They are so dignified with those ugly faces. It’s like they carry the wisdom of birds from across the ages.

Wood Stork
Wood Stork

Then we spotted something that made me squeal…then break into a run…and then carefully approach…and then sit and photograph for the next two hours! You’ll see more in the next post, but here’s a sneak preview…the first time I’ve seen Common Gallinules at a nest! :)

Common Gallinule Nest
Common Gallinule Nest

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