I headed to the south shore of Lake Apopka in early March to do some flight photography with my new R5 camera. I wanted to know if the autofocus is as great with birds in flight as it is with close-up shots. It is!!
The resident Snail Kite offered to help me learn to use my new camera. He flew closer than usual. I was amazed at how well I could focus on him. The camera stayed locked on the bird, despite the trees in the background. That beak certainly looks sharp. I’m glad I’m not an apple snail!
A Bonaparte’s Gull was seen at this location the previous week, so when I saw a gull take off, I quickly aimed and focused. But this was a common Ring-billed Gull. I loved how his wings glistened in the early morning light.
Two black birds hanging out by themselves turned out to be the uncommon Bronzed Cowbirds that have wintered near the lake. One of the birds has a bright red eye and a beautiful blue sheen to his feathers. A few minutes later, he hopped up onto the fence and started to sing for me!
The huge rafts of ducks in the lake were gone, a sure sign of spring. A Double-crested Cormorant flew by. I was surprised to see his bright blue eye from a distance.
It was a slower morning, with activity levels lower than usual. I settled on a park bench to watch the Boat-tailed Grackles in their springtime nesting behavior. The males were sitting tall, throwing their heads back, and calling loudly to impress the ladies. The females were busy, carrying nesting material and getting their nurseries ready. Their feathers glistened in the morning light. They made good flight shot targets…
As I prepared to leave, the Snail Kite came by to say goodbye. He asked me to come back soon! :)
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!