I Smell Fall – At Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

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It starts in late August. The color of the sunset begins to change. A cool breath of fresh air starts to come from the north. Even though it’s still sweltering hot in Florida, I whisper to Rich, “it smells like fall.”

Rich proceeds to tell me that I’m crazy. He’s probably right.

But on this sunny morning in late September, fall was definitely in the air at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. The warblers are back! The first thing I heard as I pulled onto Lust Road was their familiar chip-chip calls. I spent some time at the Crazy U watching the flitting movements in the treetops. I spotted several Yellow Warblers, a male and female Common Yellowthroat, and several Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.

Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Common Yellowthroat
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

As I drove along, I came across a small flock of Fulvous Whistling-ducks. They dabbled in the water, diving underneath to look for breakfast and them coming up to bicker with their friends. If you’ve never heard the happy calls of whistling ducks, turn up the volume to listen to the video below. They are such fun to listen to!

The Belted Kingfishers are back too. I spotted several of them perched high, watching the water below. The wetlands echoed with their calls as they dove for fish and came up with an empty beak.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

Near the sod fields, a small flock of Red-winged Blackbirds was roosting in the bushes. Mixed with their calls was an alternate call that I couldn’t quite place. I looked a little closer and found some Bobolinks mixed in with the red-wings. The Bobolinks are migrating through Florida on their way south for the winter. They were a great find and a nice way to end the morning. :)

Bobolinks
Bobolink
Bobolinks
Bobolink

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!

Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!

2 thoughts on “I Smell Fall – At Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

  1. Thank you for the “Introduction To Fall” tour! It’s been fun seeing a new bird here and there. Yesterday I encountered a gang of four Palm Warblers, tails pumping. Yep, fall is on the way!

    Wonderful photographs! (Great video clip of the ducks.)

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