You wouldn’t think it’s fall if you stepped outside in my hot, sunny FL backyard. But the birds know that it’s fall, and their migration is well underway. This morning I spent a few hours at the Crazy U at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. Just after sunrise, there was a nice mixed flock of warblers and other “tweety birds.” Photographing them was a challenge as they moved quickly, stayed mostly in the shadows, and tended to stay far above my head. But it was still a great morning to be outside, and I had several good finds. :)
There were several Yellow Warblers this morning. This one drew the attention of the photographers when he hopped over to the Balsam Apple vine and pulled out a red seed. Cameras went click-click-click as the bird posed out in the sunlight with his prize. Other birds preferred to stay in the shadows…
…while a third individual posed in the rays of the early morning sun.
The Yellow Warblers were curious little things. This one hopped out right in front of me.
While the Yellow Warblers were the most numerous in the bunch, they certainly weren’t the only warblers in the flock. I saw several Common Yellowthroats, including male, female, and first-year males.
A tiny Northern Parula found a sunlit spot to pose for a few short seconds. Warbler photography definitely tests the skill of the photographer in finding and tracking small moving objects!
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers came and went, hovering like hummingbirds and darting between branches with the agility of a gymnast. I never get tired of watching these tiny clowns.
My gray cat Squirt was happy to hear of my first-of-fall Gray Catbird. Mrrow! Go home and feed Squirt! Mrrow!
I only saw this Red-eyed Vireo for a few seconds, but I managed to get a few frames on him. I love how he turned and looked head-on at the camera. I’ve never seen his facial stripes looking straight at me before.
Possibly the “best bird” of the morning was a Northern Waterthrush. I heard him before I saw him, then I went poking into the underbrush, and he posed for me for a few seconds.
I spent so long at the Crazy U that I didn’t linger at some of my other favorite places on the wildlife drive. The winter birds are definitely arriving. Blue-winged Teal mixed with the Fulvous Whistling-Ducks. I spotted a few Northern Shovelers. I hope the ducks come in good numbers this winter and hang out in the ponds with good morning sun angles. But until they get here, my last shot of the morning was a Green Heron enjoying a nice minnow.
Find my birding list from today on eBird.
Want to learn more about nature photography 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. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
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