On the morning after Rich and I took our afternoon walk at Lake Apopka, I returned with my bike for some exercise and some more birds. It was an unusually good June day for photography!
The Blue Grosbeak greeted me at the Lust Gate entrance. I heard him before I saw him. He was singing high in the treetop, showing off those beautiful blue feathers.
The Blue Grosbeak wasn’t the only blue bird who wanted to show off for the camera that morning. I heard the call of an Indigo Bunting near the Lust Gate entrance. After searching in the brush for a few minutes, I spotted him and got a quick snapshot. He’s in full bright blue breeding plumage!
Purple Gallinules were everywhere! They seemed to like the absence of cars. Adults crossed the trails as I biked along Lust and Welland…
…and I found some cute little black baby Purple Gallinules in the lily pads. They made a small wheezing noise and then glanced up curiously at the person on the bike.
It’s a little faster to stop and shoot when you’re on a bike. When you’re in the car, you have to do silly things like making sure you put it in park before hopping out, so you miss some shots. Like this pair of Fulvous Whistling-ducks that flew over the soft green marsh…
I was on a quest for Least Bitterns, so I headed along Welland where all the best dead snags are. Absence of bitterns in this post should hint that I scored big time – you’ll see the results in another post! While I watched for bitterns, I enjoyed seeing other birds in flight – like this Tricolored Heron who flew over my head.
Not all winged friends are birds. This dragonfly perched at the edge of the water near one of my bittern sites.
I also came across a baby Marsh Rabbit. He was cute! I suspect he wouldn’t have been out at all on a weekend day with all the car traffic. I love biking out there during the week!
I noticed this Osprey perched on a dead tree as I headed out. He was still there as I biked back. I guess he finished his breakfast and enjoyed just hanging out in the cool morning breeze.
I found this baby Black-necked Stilt. The parents were nearby, but they pretty much let the little guys run all over the place. It’s fun to watch the babies getting bigger. They grow up too quickly!
The sun was getting hot and the light harsh as I biked back along Lust Road. I didn’t intend to stop until I got back to my car, but the unknown call of a bird on a power line overhead changed my mind. I recognize the calls of most of the birds around here, so an unknown call was fun. It turned out to be an Eastern Kingbird. These birds usually leave Lake Apopka in May, so I was surprised to see him in June. His repetitive call reminded me of a juvie begging for food, and his beak was outlined in orange like a baby songbird. I wonder if he grew up near here?
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!