Orlando Wetlands Park, 5/12/2012

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Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Yesterday morning I went to Orlando Wetlands Park, and I had a wonderful time, despite not seeing some of the species I was hoping to see.  I missed seeing Black-crowned and Yellow-crowned Night Herons, though I found out that if I'd taken a different path when I arrived, I'd have seen some (so I know where to go next time).  I also missed seeing Waterthrushes where I'd seen several last year.  I did, however, find 5 Least Bitterns, and while I didn't come home with any presentable photos, it was great just to see them.  I also found many Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, which are always fun to see.

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Wood Duck
Plenty of egrets and herons were out and about, and I'm convinced that Orlando Wetlands Park is the best place in Central Florida to see and photograph just about any heron, egret or bittern.  The only exception is the Reddish Egret, which isn't generally found this far inland.  And I suppose I could add that, since the park closes in the winter, Viera Wetlands may be better to see the American Bittern, but still I've probably seen as many here as there.

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Great Blue Heron
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Great Egret
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Little Blue Heron
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Cattle Egret
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Tricolored Heron
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Snowy Egret

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Green Heron
Once you get tired of beautiful egrets and herons, there are other wading birds to which you can put your attention.  I saw several White and Glossy Ibis and a Sandhill Crane family, and Limpkins nest here.  Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks are often seen here as well.  Yesterday my best photos were of the White and Glossy Ibis.

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Glossy Ibis
Many raptors and perching birds are also here, but I'll have to put those in another post.  Here's a list of species I found this morning.

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly 1
Black Swallowtail Butterfly 1
Dragonflies (many species)
American Alligator 20
River Otter 3
Gopher Tortoise 1

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 20
Wood Duck 2
Mallard x Mottled Duck (hybrid) 5
Mottled Duck 1
Wild Turkey 1
Anhinga 5
Least Bittern 5
Great Blue Heron 25
Great Egret 8
Snowy Egret 5
Little Blue Heron 4
Tricolored Heron 5
Cattle Egret 50
Green Heron 10
White Ibis 12
Glossy Ibis 3
Black Vulture X
Turkey Vulture X
Osprey 2
Swallow-tailed Kite 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 5
Purple Gallinule 3
Common Gallinule 20
American Coot 15
Sandhill Crane 3
Killdeer 3
Rock Pigeon X
Mourning Dove 3
Common Ground-Dove 2
Chimney Swift 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Downy Woodpecker 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 2
White-eyed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 1
American Crow X
Fish Crow X
Purple Martin 1
Barn Swallow 2
Tufted Titmouse 2
Carolina Wren 4
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Gray Catbird 1
Northern Mockingbird 3
European Starling X
Northern Parula 2
Northern Cardinal 8
Red-winged Blackbird 15
Common Grackle X
Boat-tailed Grackle X