You know the rush of springtime rookery activity is starting to fade when you stand there in the heat, photographing the White Ibis wading in front of you. I went back to Orlando Wetlands in late March, and the boardwalk wasn’t full of photographers! The sun was hot and the birds were not very active. The calendar had just declared the start of spring, but here in Central Florida, it was already starting to feel like summer.
This Great Blue Heron caught himself some dinner. I think it’s a siren. It wasn’t ready to be eaten. It wrapped itself around the heron’s beak, and the heron fought with it for a few minutes before executing the final gulp.
It was pretty hot that afternoon, and I saw a small handful of Roseate Spoonbills. The “Honey I’m home!” nest was unattended. I hope that means that the babies fledged successfully. Other spoonbills were raiding the nest and stealing the sticks. Here a spoonie stands triumphantly with a stick before burying it deep within a palm tree.
A Turkey Vulture flew in and posed in the afternoon light. Yep, you know activity has waned when you are happy to see a vulture. He looked over the empty branches that used to house the Great Egrets and asked “where did everybody go?” I had the same question!
The Wood Storks were still pretty active, flying in sticks on a regular basis. You could hear the baby wood storks high up in their nests in the cypress trees.
The light was pretty as the sun started to set, and it shone on this White Ibis who was foraging in the water. His face is coming into his breeding colors. Look at that bright blue eye!
I ended up leaving before sunset. I have a feeling my afternoon visits to the park are over for a few months. Maybe this was just an off-day. I’ll have to go back soon in the morning on my bike and see what other little families I can find!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Orlando Wetlands?
Check out my Orlando Wetlands 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!