Sunday, February 25, 2007

Orlando Wetlands

I had heard from some birders that they had seen a Gull-billed Tern out at Orlando Wetlands so I thought I had better get out there. It was seen in a part of the Wetlands I had never been over to. Just didn't even know it was there. I always stayed so focused in the main sections.

This other part is just across the road you drive in on as you approach the parking lot. How I missed it all these years, I don't know.

Got there at dawn and made my way across the berm from the parking lot. I did hear a Virginia Rail in the cattails so at least I would have one Lifer no matter what. As directed earlier, I took a turn at the Red-shouldered Hawk's nest and crossed to the other side of the road.

Up a slight incline there was indeed a whole other world over here! I wouldn't have time to walk all of the trails but decided to at least head around the main pond/lake in front of me. Once the sun was up and just after a sundog display, I turned around to face the wetlands for this shot.


There were a lot of Palm and Myrtle Warblers along with scores of Boat-tailed Grackles. Small flocks of Blue-winged Teal and Hooded Mergansers moved nervously from shore to shore. No Gull-billed Tern in sight.

I did manage to find a few Green-winged Teal and a few Lesser Yellowlegs. A Forster's Tern cruised overhead. Ibis foraged in the swallow water. Away from the water was very few birds sounds in the bushes.

Most evident were Common Yelllowthroats and every now and then a Savannah Sparrow or Catbirds would make a brief appearance.

Grey Catbird

There was a warbler type bird that flew out across the path as I rounded the far side of the water. I tried to track it down but could never get a clear look before it vanished into the woods. I had to settle for a curious Swamp Sparrow instead.

Swamp Sparrow

My time was up so I had to walk faster back to the car. Next time I hope to make it around a few more trails. I always consider a day at the Wetlands an excellent way to spend some time. Might have to take the bike next time to cover more ground.

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