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Showing posts from May, 2016

Virginia Opossum with Young

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Yesterday morning I drove out to the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive.  It's one of my favorite places for birding, and I was hoping to photograph a Yellow-breasted Chat that had been located there the day before. I heard two calling and singing in different places, but neither was interested in coming into view so I could get his photo.  Still, it was a fun drive.  My favorite moment, though, had nothing to do with birds. I saw an opossum walking towards me.  At first I thought it had some sort of deformity. It looked like it had a growth coming out the left side of its head.  But as it came closer, I noticed she had 4 little ones clinging on to her!  Because one was covering her eyes, I think she was more concerned with her young than with me. So I crouched down and remained motionless to let it get closer. When it came closer than my camera could focus, I backed up. She seemed totally unconcerned with me until I stood up to walk away, at which point she wandered into the taller gras…

Ruff at Marl Bed Flats, 5/3/2016

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This morning I drove out to Marl Bed Flats. It rained last night, and I was hoping something interesting might show itself out on the flats.  I got my wish when I saw a couple Semipalmated Plovers in the muddy areas along the lake shore.  I also flushed a Wilson's Snipe--a common species in March, but pretty rare this time of year. I would have arrived at work happy just to see these.

However, down by the shore of Lake Jesup I came across a loose flock of yellowlegs and Black-necked Stilts. As I was taking photos of the yellowlegs, one turned its head and the bill was too short for a yellowlegs. Then I saw a profile view of the bird and a flight shot, and I was blown a way.  A Ruff, practically in my back yard! This bird is about 20 minutes from my home.  I still can hardly believe it.

Another highlight was about 150+ Bobolinks in the same area.  I got one pretty fun flight shot of them, mostly males with a few females sprinkled in.  It was fun to find a couple Least Sandpipers m…