Saturday, January 18, 2014

Walking Lake Davis in the Chill

We are entering the chilly season here in Florida. Glad I am not up North where temperatures are below freezing all over the place! We got to sleep in a bit and then I decided to take a walk around Lake Davis. When I got to the shore I first spotted one of the many Anhingas out today soaking up the morning sunshine.


I heard some knocking overhead and finally found the cause. A female Downy Woodpecker was exploring the upper reaches of one of the palm trees.

Downy Woodpecker

Quickly grabbing my attention was a few Forster's Terns fishing around the lake. Now I just had to get in the right lighting position. With the stiff winds, the birds were moving quickly and were hard to focus on. I finally zoned in on one particular bird and waited to shoot. Here, the bird wheels after spotting a fish and begins to dive.

Forster's Tern


Forster's Tern

The Forster's Tern soon emerged from the water. If you look closely, you can make out the fish in the bird's bill.

Forster's Tern

While I was waiting for the tern photo-op, a dozen Yellow-rumped (Myrtle sub-species) Warblers were moving in to feed along the water's edge. I even managed to get a shot of one in the tree.

Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler

A lone Eastern Palm Warbler joined in on the feasting before heading into the oaks along the road.

Palm Warbler

I stayed as still as possible as a Yellow-rumped Warbler began its hunt. I could tell it was moving toward me so I froze in place and clicked away as it inched closer and closer.

Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warblers move pretty quickly as they feed and getting shots of them is sometimes a chore. I was happy that this bird did not see me as a threat and it got so close that now the problem was being able to focus on a subject just feet away with the zoom lens. Any closer and the camera would not even be able to lock on for any more images.

Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler

Nearby, a couple of turtles basked in the morning light.


I moved around the lake and soon saw a flock of White Ibis resting in the water.

White Ibis

Over by the reeds, Blue-winged Teal began to come out from their shelters as the wind dropped a bit.

Blue-winged Teal

Blue-winged Teal are usually sleeping or digging their heads into the lake shore which makes for pretty boring shots. Today I got some nice profiles in the sunlight.

Blue-winged Teal

I didn't think about it when I was shooting, but this male Blue-winged Teal seems to have an added white stripe across the top of his head.

Blue-winged Teal

A large flock of ducks ended up in the windless corner of the lake and I noticed a different bird in the mix. Soon, I realized this was a Gadwall. I found two more quickly and figure they were the same three I had at Lake Weldona a bit ago.


Now at the other end of the lake, a couple of Muscovy Ducks moved toward me. Probably looking for a handout but then they noticed I was more interested in photography instead of duck feeding and headed back away from me.

Muscovy Duck

I was actually trying to ease down the lake bank to get in position for one of my favorite birds. A Green Heron was seeking shelter from the wind behind a bunch of reeds and tolerated me as I crouched for some really close shots.

Green Heron

Green Herons are usually skittish around people. I knew one wrong, quick move and this bird would bolt for another location. I stayed quiet and low and we exchanged glances for a while.

Green Heron

A few minutes later, the bird began to scan the water and grabbed a tiny fish from the lake and gulped it down.

Green Heron

I wasn't expecting too much from a windy morning and was pleased I got some nice shots as I took a short stroll. Where to next?

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