Wading Birds at Lust Road

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On my last visit to Lake Apopka, I birded the Lust Road entrance for a while, then decided to stretch my legs and walk to the Crazy U. This turned out to be a little annoying with all the cars on the drive. Still, it was a beautiful morning, and I saw lots of great birds.

LAWD-Canal
Lust Road Canal under Beautiful Blue Sky

I haven’t posted a photo of a coot this year! Long-time readers of my blog will remember that I post my first-of-fall coot as a hint of coming winter birds.

American Coot
American Coot

Blue-winged Teal mixed in with the coots and Common Gallinules along the Lust Road canal. The male Blue-winged Teal is so pretty, especially when the sun hits his feathers to reveal an irridescent glow…

Blue-winged Teal
Blue-winged Teal

Perched in the cattails, a Boat-tailed Grackle threw his head bang and sang. I noticed that the Red-winged Blackbirds seemed to be starting to stake out their nesting territories too. The early spring months are my favorites, with the winter migrants still here and the local birds starting to nest.

Boat-tailed Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle

A Double-crested Cormorant caught a fish, then swam in circles with it trying to drown it into submission. It’s much easier to swallow a fish who isn’t fighting back. What’s neat about this next picture is the cormorant’s bright blue eye and a hint of blue mouth, another sign of breeding plumage on the way.

Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant

I spotted one of the Gray-headed Swamphens out in the open, a bit before the Crazy U. The bird was wading for his breakfast. Every once in a while he’d pull up vegetation with his feet, then pick it out from his “fingers” and eat it. What big feet he has! His purple and blue feathers glistened in the sunlight. Such a pretty bird!

Gray-headed Swamphen
Gray-headed Swamphen

He didn’t get to enjoy his breakfast for very long. As I watched him through the viewfinder, he became very suspicious and started watching carefully over his shoulder. Then I noticed the alligator swimming by. All the birds seemed to give the alligator some extra room as he made his way through them.

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!

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