Beyond the Backyard

What Took Me So Long? Lake Mirror Is Great!

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Mandarin Duck (Male)

I often visit Lake Morton in Lakeland, but I had never ridden over to nearby Lake Mirror.  Several photographer friends keep asking me if I have photographed the Mandarin Ducks there.   The City of Lakeland introduced the mandarins and a couple of Shelducks, which are both exotic species (not native to Florida).  I finally stopped at Lake Mirror this weekend.  It was great!  I can’t believe it took me so long to finally visit. Lake Mirror is smaller than Lake Morton, fully surrounded by downtown Lakeland.  The city has a nice little sidewalk and park around the lake.  I was surprised to see a flock of Black Skimmers in the middle of the lake when I first arrived.  That familiar call is unmistakeable after spending so many hours at the Black Skimmer nesting colony!  The skimmers flew back and forth between the lake edge and the landing in the middle of the lake.  It was fun to find them so far inland. Though not as birdy as Lake Morton, there were plenty of winter migrants on Lake Mirror.  I found coots and Ring-necked Ducks.  The first ducks that I noticed were actually the Shelducks.  They are a very pretty […]