Continuing Quest for Least Bittern Flight Shots at LAWD

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My quest for Least Bittern flight shots continued in mid-June. I drove the wildlife drive to check on my babies, look for summer rarities, and of course, try for a bittern flight shot!

Remember the Black-necked Stilt nest and the baby I photographed on his birthday? I was happy to re-locate all three chicks the following weekend. They ventured closer to the trail, where I pulled over with my long lens to watch for a few minutes. Mom plopped down in the marsh to make insta-nest for the smallest baby.

Black-necked Stilt Babies
Black-necked Stilt Babies

I’ve watched several Purple Gallinule families grow up this summer, and I was pleased to find another one on this visit. Mom was foraging at the water’s edge and Baby came up behind her to beg for breakfast. Mom fed him, then hopped over to another patch to continue foraging. Baby showed off his big feet as he scurried to catch up to Mom!

Purple Gallinule Adult and Baby
Purple Gallinule Adult and Baby
Purple Gallinule Baby
Purple Gallinule Baby

I spotted a Least Bittern perched quietly in some distant reeds. After several minutes, he launched himself into the air to start fishing.

Least Bittern
Least Bittern

I spotted a juvenile Barn Swallow, and for one, he wasn’t hanging out on a power line! He perched on a branch and waited hopefully for Mom to bring him a bug. After a while, he gave up and started trying to feed himself.

Juvenile Barn Swallow
Juvenile Barn Swallow

A Little Blue Heron was fishing in the shallow waters. He reminded me of the wading birds at Fort De Soto. His reflect was nearly perfect in the still waters as he splashed and pulled out a fish.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

I finally got a bittern flight shot, pointed almost straight into the sun! This bird took off from a branch and flew towards my car. I clicked the shutter button and hoped I’d gotten the shot!

Least Bittern
Least Bittern

As I left, I spotted a Glossy Ibis still in breeding colors. His feathers shone in the morning light. I wonder if he has a nest somewhere? Maybe I’ll find out on my next visit!

Glossy Ibis
Glossy Ibis

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!

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