I returned to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive in mid-June, this time in my car. I saw all the usual summer suspects. Let’s meet some of them…
This pair of Downy Woodpeckers was hanging out on the power lines near the Crazy U. The bird on the left is a male (red on back of head), and the bird on the right is a juvenile (red on top of head). The juvie was begging for food, and he eventually chased Dad into the bushes below.
I checked on my Purple Gallinule families. The adults were foraging like usual at the edge of the water. The little black baby was a little bigger than my last visit, and he danced energetically while begging for breakfast.
The Black-necked Stilts are growing quickly! This baby is a few weeks older than the newborn that I photographed at a different nest. He foraged quite independently – I didn’t even see his parents.
I can’t go to LAWD without photographing Least Bitterns. It never gets old. I’ve been on a mission to get a good flight shot of these beautiful birds. This summer has been really good for Least Bitterns.
Along Laughlin, I came across a White-winged Dove. It’s been a while since I’ve seen one at LAWD up close. This one was looking for nesting material. He tugged and tugged at the dead twigs in this bush. He finally detached a twig, then dropped it! Gathering nesting material is hard work.
My last photo of the morning was of a Ring-necked Duck at the Laughlin pull-off. Red-necked Ducks are a good find in Florida in mid-June. A couple of coots were out there too (summer residents, but in low numbers). In the hot summer sun, these birds reminded me of the fun we’ll have in a few months when the winter birds start to return!
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!