It’s been too long since I made it to some of my favorite springtime photography locations! I recently headed to Lake Morton to check on the ducks and nesting swans. The sun came up shining bright in my rearview mirror as I drove, but when I arrived at Lake Morton, a heavy fog settled in over the lake. It turns out fog can make for good photos…
All around the lake, swans were nesting. Three pairs of Black Swans had cygnets in the pens, and a number of Mute Swans were sitting on nests around the lake. Hopefully I can get back to find some newly-hatched cygnets again!
It was a good morning for Wood Ducks. I found a pair on the edge of the lake. These usually skittish birds were not at all bothered by me. I dropped down and got on eye level with the male, who posed for a head shot.
A few minutes later, the male took his mate out for a swim in the fog.
I found some Great Blue Heron nests at the top of some cypress trees. Most Great Blue Herons started making their nests back in late November, but this heron waited until early April to start throwing his head up and courting a prospective mate. I loved this image of him peering down at me.
I continued my way around the lake, surprised to see fewer geese and swans that on my previous visits. I think the City sold some of the swans. I missed seeing Father Goose. He took such good care of the Muscovy Ducklings.
Speaking of Muscovy ducks, I spotted two of them in an unlikely place – sitting in a treetop!
I found a couple of Common Gallinule nests, nested in the vegetation at the edge of the lake. One nest had small babies in it! I could hear their calls. Mom was sitting on them, and it was really hard to get a photo. But meet my first baby gallinules of 2021…
A Double-crested Cormorant sat quietly on the edge of the lake. I got a few shots of his bright blue eye before a family arrived to feed the ducks.
Most of the wintering ducks have left. I didn’t see a Ruddy Duck at all. So I was extra-surprised to see two female Lesser Scaups swimming near the water’s edge. The sun had finally started to come out, so I got a hint of light on their dark brown feathers. Pretty!
As the sun emerged and the fog burned off, I started out on another lap around the lake. More on that in the next posts!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake Morton?
Check out my Lake Morton 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!