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Another Morning at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

You know it’s a slow summer morning at Lake Apopka when you end up photographing the Great Blue Heron at the lake!  The excitement of the pump house pond waned at last.  The pond was still full of gators, but they lazed quietly in the water.  The birds, too, flew over the pond without stopping to circle or swoop for fish.  So I drove on…

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

I did spot a coot by the pump house.  People laugh at me when I look forward to the arrival of the coots each fall.  To me their arrival signifies the beginning of fall migration.  This was just a lone coot, though, one of the few that spend the summer in the Florida heat.  He told me that he’s looking forward to the return of his friends.

American Coot

American Coot

An Anhinga was perched on some nearby branches, savoring a huge fish. He tossed it in the air, maneuvering it with his beak.  The fish seemed as big as the Anhinga’s body!  Finally the bird seemed to realize that he was fighting a losing battle.  He dropped the fish and went to find one that he could actually eat.

Anhinga with Fish

Anhinga with Fish

It was a slow morning.  I didn’t take many morning pictures until I was almost on Interceptor Road.  There I found the Barn Swallows around their usual spot.  It’s been such fun watching the babies grow up there this summer.  On this particular morning, instead of hungry mouths lined up to greet Mom, I found a flock of adults and juveniles perching in…<gasp!>…pretty vegetation instead of dead branches!

Preening Barn Swallow

Preening Barn Swallow

One swallow sat by himself, and a flash of wings made me realize that he was still being fed by Mom.  He seemed to be the only one.  It took 20-30 minutes of waiting, and several visits from Mom, before I got the feeding shot…and it was spectacular!

Barn Swallow Feeding Juvenile

Barn Swallow Feeding Juvenile

After the swallows left, I moved on.  The Interceptor pond these days is covered in vegetation.  It wasn’t so long ago that I spotted a late Red-breasted Merganser at the end of spring migration.  Now the juvenile wading birds gather there on a sea of green leaves.

Green Heron

Green Heron

The tiny Black-necked Stilts have grown up.  I spotted a family of five stilts flying over Interceptor.  It won’t be long before they leave Florida for the winter.

Black-necked Stilts in Flight

Black-necked Stilts in Flight

As I left, Forky was on the power lines by the sod fields.  I got a few pictures before he flew off.  He actually flew to the morning-light side of the road, but then he disappeared in a large tree.  I stood watching and waiting for some time, but he didn’t re-appear.  Maybe he was afraid of the Beast! ;-)

Fork-tailed Flycatcher

Fork-tailed Flycatcher

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Want to know more about photographing at Lake Apopka?

Check out my Lake Apopka page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!

2 Responses to "Another Morning at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive"

  • Wally Jones
    Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 11:19 AM

    Fantastic feeding shot! Love the coots, especially when they stand out of the water and you can see those feet (they look inflatable!).
    Very nice flight photo of the stilts.
    I just gotta get back over there……

  • Michael
    Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 5:51 PM

    A swallow on vegetation? Gasp!! Well done on the feeding shot. That’s certainly a keeper. I’m not big on coots, but if I had to get one, I’d want him on green like you did. Wonderful post.

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