Sunset at Newton Park

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Rich and I headed to Newton Park for sunset last week. It was our first sunset visit there. The park was certainly busier at sunset than when I visited at sunrise! The last rays made a starburst through the trees as people gathered to watch the sunset.

Sunset over Lake Apopka
Sunset over Lake Apopka

As the sun slipped below the horizon, it seemed to light the clouds on fire.

Sunset over Lake Apopka
Sunset over Lake Apopka

I traded my birding lens and my wide-angle lens as I took close-ups of the clouds.

Sunset over Lake Apopka
Sunset over Lake Apopka

Common Gallinules laughed at me as they splashed near the cattails. I took my last photo as the sky lit up with color in the afterglow. What a pretty sunset!

Sunset over Lake Apopka
Sunset over Lake Apopka

Afternoon Walk at Oakland Nature Preserve

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Oakland Nature Preserve

It’s been ages since I visited Oakland Nature Preserve. Rich asked for a walk on Yellow Thursday, so we headed to the trails. I took my intermediate telephoto, re-discovered a place I used to love, and determined that I needed to return in the morning with my Beast! :)

Our first bird was a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. There were two of them, chasing each other from branch to branch. Rich stood patiently while I waited for them to come out in the open.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

I think I saw my first Blue-headed Vireo at ONP many many moons ago. So it was fun to see another one saying hello from the top of a tall tree.

Blue-headed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo

A flock of Chipping Sparrows was active in the grasses and treetops. It took a little while to get close enough to one to get a good picture.

Chipping Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow

A flash of yellow went by and caught our attention. It turned out to be a pair of Pine Warblers. They posed on a small pine tree as they searched for bugs.

Pine Warblers
Pine Warblers

After meandering the trails for a while, we headed back to the car. Rich spotted a trio of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and we watched them dart in and our of the bushes. They told Rich he should join me on nature walks more often!

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Yellow Friday

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Lake Apopka

The day after Thanksgiving was Yellow Friday at Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. The landscape is covered in burr marigolds – it’s beautiful! Plus there were some great yellow birds.

Fields of Yellow Flowers (Burr Marigolds)
Fields of Yellow Flowers (Burr Marigolds)

Yellow Warblers are typically found in Central Florida during spring and fall migration. But this year, a Yellow Warbler seems to be wintering at the Crazy U. I spotted him high in the treetops between Palm Warblers. It took a few minutes for him to come out in the open for a photograph.

Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warbler

Flocks of ducks are also here for the winter. Among the Blue-winged Teals and the Ring-necked Ducks were a bunch of American Wigeons. They spent most of the morning with their heads under the water, but they did briefly pose for the camera.

American Wigeon
American Wigeon

Nearby, a Belted Kingfisher flew in to a tree branch. This is a female, as she has rusty spots on her stomach. She stood watching over the marsh until she spotted a fish, then she took off and grabbed it from the water.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

There are so many Fulvous Whistling-Ducks at Lake Apopka these days! The sky is full of them. They are really pretty when you see them up close near the trails.

Fulvous Whistling-duck
Fulvous Whistling-duck

A Vermilion Flycatcher has been seen regularly at LAWD for the past few weeks. I didn’t see her on that particular day, but as I watched for her, I spotted this Swamp Sparrow. He stayed mostly hidden in the reeds but hopped out for a quick photo op.

Swamp Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow

This Eastern Phoebe knew it was Yellow Friday. She showed off her yellow parts as she posed in front of the fields of yellow flowers. She waved goodbye as I left and congratulated me for visiting the wildlife drive instead of the mall! :-)

Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe