Beyond the Backyard

Cloudy Morning Walk at Lake Morton

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Female Bufflehead Up Close!

Three days after Christmas, the weather forecasters promised us some sun.  It was a welcome forecast, as it had been cloudy for days.  So I got up early and headed to Lake Morton for sunrise.  I hadn’t been there to visit my swans in quite a while.  But it was another dull gray day.  You couldn’t tell when the sun rose because the clouds were so thick.  Yuck! When I first stepped out of my car, all sorts of ducks came running over to me, convinced that I had brought some bread to share.  I always apologize to them and tell them I’ll bring some next time.  Then I don’t.  It’s a good thing they don’t hold it against me. My juvenile swans were easy to spot as they waddled through the grass.  They are looking more like adult swans, but still have the dark markings of juveniles.  They were still making little noises to each other, too, much like they made on the day they hatched.  It’s so sweet to go back and visit them. Lake Morton is a great place to go photograph Wood Ducks.  Usually Wood Ducks are a very secretive species, but the ones at Lake […]

Beyond the Backyard

Frogs for Breakfast at Viera Wetlands

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Yesterday I wrote about my morning at the Click Ponds. Then I drove over to the Viera Wetlands, where the ducks are starting to come back. There were plenty of coots (10054 if you listen to Kathy!!), with a few Shoveler, Hooded Mergansers, and a Bufflehead mixed in. I should have started out at the wetlands. By the time I got there, the eagle had had his breakfast, and the Caracara had flown away. I joined some friends, teasing them about photographing the coots. Then a Great Blue Heron flew in with a frog! Mine wasn’t the only 500mm lens that was quickly focused on him. He kept leaning over to wash it off in the water before he tipped his head back for the final gulp. Caspian Terns were perched on palms throughout the wetlands. I usually see them in flight at Circle B Bar Reserve, so it was fun to see them a little closer. I was happy to see the Bufflehead, who has been hanging around the wetlands for the last week or so. I saw my first Bufflehead at Circle B a few weeks ago. The one came a lot closer – if only the light […]

Beyond the Backyard

My First Bufflehead at the Circle B Bar Reserve

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Dyeyo and I spent a nice morning at the Circle B Bar Reserve a few days ago. I can’t believe our Thanksgiving Week is almost over. It feels like it’s lasted only one day! The marsh continues to be covered in pretty yellow flowers, called Burr Marigolds. I had only taken the Beast, so Dyeyo lent me his wide-angle lens to take some landscape shots. We hiked the Heron Hideout trail out to the Wading Bird Way trail. There were lots of ducks mixed in with the coots! I thought they made a good backdrop for the yellow flowers. The best bird of the morning was this female Bufflehead, who was on the south side of the Marsh Rabbit Run trail about a third of the way up the trail. I’ve never seen a Bufflehead before. Now that I’ve seen the female, I really want to see a male. His bright head is gorgeous! This Eastern Phoebe posed for me on the Marsh Rabbit Run trail. Dyeyo chuckled when he saw me stack my teleconverters to get a closer shot. :) Two Double-Crested Cormorants made me laugh. One came up with a fish, and the other got jealous. He chased […]