Orlando Wetlands Park, 5/25/2012

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Snowy Egret catching a Fish
I don't think I'll ever get tired of Orlando Wetlands Park, though this morning I tried. We decided to try an area I've never visited--the north-east quadrant north of Lake Searcy.  There's a trail there that goes to the northern edge of the park, and I thought it would be fun to walk the trail through the woods to observe a different kind of habitat. It became clear to me, though, as we approached the trail, that we were leaving the birds behind. And after walking the trail for a minute, I decided it was so muddy and mosquito-ridden to travel, so we decided to turn back.  This decision cost us perhaps an hour of good photography time.  The consolation prize, though, was the opportunity to observe a rookery of Cattle Egrets.  Easily 100 egrets were flying back and forth from a clump of trees gathering nesting material--a never ending line of Cattle Egrets with a mission.  One of these egrets found a branch with leaves that appeared to make him unable to see.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Cattle Egret
Once returning to the "birding loop" of the park, we never left it again until we made it back to the car.  We counted about 8 Least Bitterns and found all the usual Herons and Egrets.  I never tire of watching the Snowy Egrets fly low above the water catching fish during flight.  We also saw a Glossy Ibis and White Ibis standing next to each other, and the shot I think illustrates the relative size and bill shapes of these two species.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
White and Glossy Ibis

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Least Bittern
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Red-winged Blackbird
Here's a list of the 41 species we saw in the park this morning:

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 30
Wood Duck 2
Mottled Duck 2
Wild Turkey 1
Wood Stork 2
Double-crested Cormorant 1
Anhinga 10
Least Bittern 8
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) 7
Great Egret 12
Snowy Egret 7
Little Blue Heron 3
Tricolored Heron 4
Cattle Egret 100
Green Heron 3
Black-crowned Night-Heron 1
White Ibis 15
Glossy Ibis 2
Black Vulture 50
Turkey Vulture 15
Osprey 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 4
Purple Gallinule 2
Common Gallinule X
American Coot X
Limpkin 1
Sandhill Crane 5
Mourning Dove 5
Common Ground-Dove 5
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 5
Fish Crow X
Purple Martin 1
Carolina Wren 1
Common Yellowthroat 1
Northern Parula 3
Northern Cardinal 3
Red-winged Blackbird 8
Common Grackle X
Boat-tailed Grackle X