When I heard that a Least Flycatcher was hanging out near the entrance to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, I grabbed my camera and went to search for my first lifer of 2021! Unfortunately I heard the flycatcher and didn’t see it. But I did have a good time wandering around the Lust Road area. Lots of little birds posing for my camera!
The first birds of the morning were a flock of Cedar Waxwings. Their shrill calls echoed as they flew back and forth, gorging themselves on berries in the treetops. They attracted quite the photographer fan club below as people oohed and awed over seeing these beautiful birds up close.
Lust Road has always been a great hotspot for birding, and now that it’s the entrance to the wildlife drive, it’s birded very heavily. There are trees on each side of a canal, grasses that make good sparrow habitat, and bushes that provide cover for little birds. I love to just wander around. Which is what I was doing when this Red-shouldered Hawk showed up…
The Eastern Phoebes didn’t care about the hawk. They also didn’t care that they were driving me crazy, darting around like flycatchers! Even though I know the differences, I still checked each one of them in hopes of seeing the Least or the Ash-throated!
There were lots of Swamp Sparrows hopping around in the bushes that morning. A couple of them posed for the camera before resuming their search for breakfast bugs.
The rocks on the edge of the canal are good place to watch. I often see little birds there, from Palm Warblers to sparrows to this little Common Yellowthroat.
Towards the end of the morning, I spotted a male Painted Bunting in the bushes near the entrance. My camera didn’t seem to bother his search for seeds. What a gorgeous bird!
Well, if at first you don’t succeed in finding your lifer Least Flycatcher, you have to try, try again!
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!