Beyond the BackyardLake Apopka

Signs of Spring at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

It’s my favorite time of year – spring! All over, the birds are putting on their spiffiest feathers, pairing up, and raising cute little babies. It’s such fun to capture all those interactions. It’s been a while since I went to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, so yesterday I headed out to see what I could find…

This Anhinga posed right next to my car in gorgeous morning light and showed off his beautiful blue eye. He seemed to know I was taking his picture and even gave me a good head angle!

Anhinga Head Shot
Anhinga Head Shot

I was a little surprised to find this pair of Great Blue Herons building a nest. The herons at Viera have been nesting for several months, and already some of the nests have hatched. This pair was just starting out. One is a juvenile bird so I wonder if this is a “practice” nest. Or maybe we’ll get to hear the persistent “neh-neh-neh” of baby herons at this location in a month or two!

Nesting Great Blue Herons
Nesting Great Blue Herons

All the Pied-billed Grebes have the beautiful bright black markings on their faces and beaks. I didn’t spot any nests, but I’m hoping that they build some close to the road again this year. Watching the babies is such fun!

Pied-Billed Grebe in Breeding Plumage
Pied-Billed Grebe in Breeding Plumage

I still haven’t found the White-faced Ibis that I see reported on eBird, but there were plenty of Glossy Ibis along the drive. They too have beautiful blue faces at this time of year. I enjoyed watching this one stalk his breakfast in the tall grasses.

Glossy Ibis in Breeding Colors
Glossy Ibis in Breeding Colors

All over the place, Red-winged Blackbirds were giving the calls of springtime. They perch high in their nesting location to proclaim their territory. I love watching them fluff up their feathers as they call. I’m looking forward to photographing more baby blackbirds this year.

Red-winged Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird

A small flock of Caspian Terns was hanging out on Interceptor Road. Each time a car would go by, they’d take flight. I grabbed my intermediate telephoto and enjoyed each opportunity!

Caspian Terns
Caspian Terns

This little Green Heron also gave me some flight opportunities. I took his picture as I photographed the subject of my next post. You know it was a good morning when you get multiple blog posts out of it! Stay tuned… ;-)

Green Heron in Flight
Green Heron in Flight