Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lake Lancaster Variety

So, yesterday's dearth of birds at the gardens means I need a fix at a place I know has the birds right now. Back to Lake Lancaster. The usual birds were there and today I had a small flock of White Ibis right on the shore so I could get some great shots. All of the adult birds were in breeding plumage. In White Ibis it expresses itself with bright red facial skin.

White Ibis

You gotta love those blue eyes, too.

White Ibis

There was one juvenile in the mix. They begin their life a brown-ish gray and molt into bright white.

White Ibis

My favorite shot was this bird apparently looking for something on the ground.

White Ibis

Out on the recently exposed sandbar was one of the adult Great-blue Herons from the rookery group.

Great-blue Heron

There was another heron to the right and it took me a few seconds to realize that this was one of the juveniles! Compare the two and you will see the subtle differences.

Great-blue Heron

I was looking for the Spotted Sandpiper over at Lake Emerald the last couple days but it was not there. Too much human activity. Seems that made it fly the few blocks over here!

Spotted Sandpiper

One of the Muscovy Ducks wandered out by the shore. A lot of folks really dislike Muscovys. I think they can be quite pretty at times. Their chicks are flat out adorable. Yeah, I said it.

Muscovy Duck

Winds were picking up and the light was right for watching the shorebirds like the increasing number of Solitary Sandpipers and Lesser Yellowlegs.

Solitary Sandpiper and Lesser Yellowlegs

They were weary of me but actually got closer to me than the past couple weeks. Nice when they come to you.

Lesser Yellowlegs

Over on the far side of the lake Snowy Egrets wade through the water and pluck fish from the waves. Love these birds in breeding plumage, too. It was those fluffy feathers of breeding egrets that almost led to their demise back in the day. All for fashion...

Snowy Egret

Our last bird of the day is yet another Solitary Sandpiper. This is the bigger concentration of this species in Orlando that I have seen over the years. They won't be here much longer.

Solitary Sandpiper

Tomorrow is banding and a trip to Winter Park for dinner. What surprises await?

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