A bike ride at Lake Apopka is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get!
Last week I started pedaling down Lust Road to find myself stopping quickly to gawk at the beauty overhead. A juvenile Bald Eagle was perched over the power lines. Based on his coloring and eye stripe, my Sibley’s identifies him as a third-year juvenile. He sat quietly, unimpressed by the crazy photography below him. Then something caught his attention and he lifted his wings to fly.
I will confess to some Photoshop trickery in that image. Hoping that he’d fly off, I remembered to zoom out before he raised his wings, so I didn’t clip any of his beautiful wings. But I did remove the power line that cut diagonally through his wing. It just didn’t do justice to such a magnificent, powerful-looking bird!
I got a few flight shots as he left, and thought I was done photographing him for the day.
Then I heard him calling with his mate across the marsh. Intrigued, I looked far in the distance and found both eagles now perched in an old Osprey nest. (Wouldn’t it be cool if they raised their family there!?!?). I clicked a few shots, figuring that I would delete them as soon as I got them on the computer. The birds were just tiny dots in a distant tree. It wasn’t till I post-processed the image that I understood why the birds were fussing…
Yep, that’s my old friend the Peregrine Falcon. No wonder the eagles were getting defensive!
I continued down the trail, stopping again when I spotted some Northern Flickers on the wires. The soft morning light was gorgeous on this one as he looked down at me.
Then his buddy flew towards me, flashing those gorgeous yellow wings as he flew past. I did a little happy dance when I saw this next one on the computer screen.
My last flight shot of the morning was down by the lake. One of the many Ospreys was perched on a phone pole, watching the canal below for a sign of his breakfast. He suddenly took flight, and I loved the concentration in his eyes as he dived towards the water. Maybe next time I’ll get the splashdown shot!
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!