The Least Bitterns are back for the summer! I was there on a foggy morning in mid-April, and I found tons of Least Bitterns along the wildlife drive. They seem to enjoy cloudy weather.
It’s been a while since I drove the wildlife drive. It’s very crowded these days. But it was good to bird from the air-conditioned comfort of my car. It’s fun to check on the bird nests, like this Great Blue Heron who’s just about ready to fledge…
I spotted several Black-necked Stilts along the canals of Lust Road. Since it was cloudy, they weren’t backlit as they would have been on a sunny day.
A Purple Gallinule surprised me when he popped up on a lilypad near my window. Pretty soon he’ll have tiny black babies to look after.
I came across several marsh rabbits that morning. They too seemed to enjoy the cloudy, foggy weather. This one was too busy feeding his face to pose properly for the camera!
My next Least Bittern was stalking a fish. He crept along, staying close to the ground, very intent on his target. His motions were barely perceptible until his neck shot out as he captured his prey.
The Anhingas are in full breeding plumage this time of year. I hopped out of the car to get a good low portrait of this female…
…and then laughed out loud when I saw this male having what appeared to be a very difficult hair day!
The Red-winged Blackbirds are also getting into nesting mode. The males sit tall in the bushes and sing loudly, while the females scurry to build a good nest.
The last bird is another Least Bittern. He posed out on an open branch, which was rather unusual for this relatively secretive species. I want to go back in a few weeks when they are in their full breeding plumage – and maybe this year I will find a nest! :)
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!
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