On my last visit to the south shore of Lake Apopka, I didn’t just see the juvenile Purple Martins feeding in mid-air. Plenty of other birds were enjoying the cool summer morning on the lake shore. Let’s go meet them!
The Alligator Flags were full of Purple Gallinules. This juvenile bird paused to stare at me. Look at his giant feet! I guess their large toes help them grasp the long poles of the alligator flags. I never get tired of watching these birds go pole-vaulting!
Remember the Purple Gallinule families from a few posts ago? I relocated the tiny black chicks a week after I first photographed them. They grow fast! Pretty soon this bird will look like the juvie above.
The gallinules weren’t the only ones raising a family on the south shores of Lake Apopka. I found a family of three Limpkins, with one adult and two mostly-grown chicks. They were right underneath the dock, so it was hard to get on a good angle, but I liked how this one turned out. Apple snail, anyone?
Later one of the juveniles was standing alone. He didn’t mind when I sat down and took a head shot. You can tell he’s still a juvie, but he won’t be for long.
Speaking of juveniles, it was impossible to miss the Boat-tailed Grackles nesting in the reeds. The babies are obnoxious. Some of the juveniles are bigger than the parents, but the juvie haven’t figured out how to feed themselves yet. So they pester Mom relentlessly. Here one amuses himself with a water lily.
There was no sign of the babies from the Red-winged Blackbird nest, which was empty. I did like this shot of a male adult red-wing singing in the alligator flags. He was in shade and his background was in the sun, making for beautiful soft colors.
A dragonfly perched close to me, and I couldn’t resist a quick shot. Hopefully this one doesn’t become food for hungry baby martins!
A Least Bittern started up a game of Peek-a-boo from within the reeds. A few minutes later, he flew out and circled around. I got a few clicks on him, looking forward to the day that the Least Bittern flies at me instead of away from me. Still, a flight shot is a flight shot, and this one was a great end to a beautiful morning!
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!