Tag Archives: Florida

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks Flying By

In flight the Black-bellied Whistling Duck shows off a snazzy wing pattern.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

This one opted to leave the pack and head off on his own for a bit…

Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Black-bellied Whistling Duck

showing off that bright bill, which will look more pink in breeding season.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck In Flight
Black-bellied Whistling Duck In Flight

Orlando Wetlands, Christmas, FL
January 18, 2023

Orlando Wetlands Park is 1650 acres of man-made wetland designed to provide advanced treatment for reclaimed water from the City of Orlando and other local cities.

Reddish Egret, End of Day Feeding

We arrived at Black Point Wildlife Drive about 45 minutes before sundown. The light was quite elegant on this feeding Reddish Egret.

Reddish Egret Feeding
Reddish Egret Feeding

The swirl in the water shows how quickly these wading birds change direction, darting back and forth.

Reddish Egret Feeding
Reddish Egret Feeding

And, how very little their prey is.

Reddish Egret Feeding
Reddish Egret Feeding

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Florida
January 16, 2023

Black-bellied Whistling Duck Kerfuffle

Several groups of 10-20 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were scattered around the first pond at Orlando Wetlands. Most of them were resting or quietly feeding. Then there was this group.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Black-bellied Whistling Duck – cowabunga!

They were creating quite a flap, one or two flying straight up a few feet then wham, dropping into the middle of the group.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Black-bellied Whistling Duck

It seems too early in the year to be a breeding/territory thing. And there appeared to be plenty of food to go around.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Black-bellied Whistling Duck

A couple of Coots were unperturbed by the action.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Black-bellied Whistling Duck

Orlando Wetlands, Christmas, FL
January 18, 2023

Black Skimmer, Late Afternoon Feeding

A lone Black Skimmer was fishing for his dinner at the end of the day.

Black Skimmer In Flight
Black Skimmer In Flight

Here you can clearly see the lower jaw extends much further than the upper…

Black Skimmer In Flight
Black Skimmer In Flight

…making it easier to snag prey from the water.

Black Skimmer In Flight
Black Skimmer In Flight

This is my favorite from this set, even though he got so close I cut his wings off.

Black Skimmer In Flight
Black Skimmer In Flight

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Florida
January 18, 2023

Sunset Black Point Wildlife Drive, 1

Just before the sun went down, wispy clouds seemed to materialize from nothing.

Sunset Black Point Wildlife Drive
Sunset Black Point Wildlife Drive

After the sun was below the horizon, looking a bit further north across another pond:

Sunset Black Point Wildlife Drive
Sunset Black Point Wildlife Drive

A bit further along the drive a Great Blue Heron stood in what had become a pink glow.

Great Blue Heron at Sunset
Great Blue Heron at Sunset

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Florida
January 18, 2023

Sandhill Crane Flyby, And a Caracara

I heard him coming…Sandhill Cranes are really loud.

From Cornell’s All About Birds:

“a loud rolling, trumpeting sound whose unique tone is a product of anatomy: Sandhill Cranes have long tracheas (windpipes) that coil into the sternum and help the sound develop a lower pitch and harmonics that add richness.”

Sandhill Crane Flying By
Sandhill Crane Flying By

And he flew right on by.

Sandhill Crane Flying By
Sandhill Crane Flying By

I could hardly make a post of this last, far off photo, but I was pretty amazed to see a Crested Caracara fly by just a few minutes before the Crane.

Crested Caracara Flying By
Crested Caracara Flying By

Orlando Wetlands, Christmas, FL
January 18, 2023

Purple Gallinule Runway

I thought I would be leaving Orlando Wetlands without seeing a Purple Gallinule, but finally spotted one out in the open, poking through the floating vegetation.

Purple Gallinule
Purple Gallinule Walking On Pond Vegetation

A half hour later another one, a bit closer, presented me with a reflection opportunity.

Purple Gallinule
Purple Gallinule

And then, wow–he was on the run showing off those massive feet and toes…

Purple Gallinule
Purple Gallinule

…and their ability to spring into the air.

Purple Gallinule
Purple Gallinule

Orlando Wetlands, Christmas, FL
January 18, 2023

Great Blue Heron Flying By

A Great Blue Heron starting to show some of the colored lures around his eye of breeding season was on a mission to gather sticks for his nest.

Great Blue Heron Flying By
Great Blue Heron Flying By

He went at a steady pace past some Coots.

Great Blue Heron Flying Over Coots
Great Blue Heron Flying Over Coots

Then he veered just a little before he turned away from me on his mission.

Great Blue Heron Flying Over Coots
Great Blue Heron Flying By, Palm Tree Trunks Reflected in Water

Orlando Wetlands, Christmas, FL
January 18, 2023