On a visit to Lake Apopka in early February, I didn’t feel like driving the whole wildlife drive. So I birded the Lust Road entrance. There are ton of birds in the bushes and trees, but you have to be fast on the camera trigger finger to get photos of some of them.
When I first arrived, I noticed this Common Ground Dove perched in the bushes. He looks cold! The sun was just beginning to shine and it warmed us both.
I finally saw one of the Song Sparrows who hang out in the bushes behind the entrance kiosk!! I’ve looked for these birds on multiple visits. They are harder to find than the more common (and similar-looking) Savannah Sparrows. I lucked out and saw the Song Sparrow perched out in the open when I first walked up. Then he dove into the bushes and hid for the rest of the morning.
A Swamp Sparrow rooted in the underbrush nearby. Every once in a while he would pop out, giving me a quick glimpse before he disappeared again.
The Northern Cardinals were busy, darting in and out of the bushes. The female is starting to look spiffy in her breeding colors. She brought in a snail to show off for the camera.
Across the canal, a juvenile Common Yellowthroat hopped along the rocks. His face is starting to darken as he gets his adult plumage with black mask. He popped out momentarily and then dove back into the bushes.
Another quick visitor was this little Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. He hopped up onto the fence, posed for a second, then darted along. It must be hard to find breakfast bugs on colder mornings.
The last visitor of the morning wasn’t a bird, but he was fast to appear and disappear! This otter charmed the photographers by swimming down the canal, offering a quick glimpse before he disappeared. What a fun way to start the day!
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!