Orlando Wetlands Park, 5/16/2012

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Black-crowned Night Heron
I went to Orlando Wetlands Park this morning hoping to photograph night herons and bitterns. I was pleased to find both night herons right where they were "supposed" to be.  I saw two juvenile Black-crowned Night Herons that posed for me where they had been roosting, and I saw two adults in flight.  The Yellow-crowned Night Herons were less cooperative, but I saw four, and I was able photograph one in flight and one perched, both a long way off.

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Yellow-crowned Night Heron
As I walked around the park, though, there were many other fun sights: all the normal herons and egrets, plus three Limpkins, and six Least Bitterns.  The biggest highlight, though, was completely unexpected.  I was photographing a Least Bittern, and a King Rail walked out of the reeds about 6 feet away from me--he was so close I could not focus on him.  He walked away from me, and I finally got off a couple shots as he was beginning to disappear again into the reeds.  I've heard King Rails here several times before, but I've never actually seen one here.  I suspect I'll never be that close to one again.

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Least Bittern
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Least Bittern
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Green Heron
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Little Blue Heron
Here's a list of the 46 species I saw this morning:

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 25
Anhinga 10
Least Bittern 6
Great Blue Heron 10
Great Egret 12
Snowy Egret 4
Little Blue Heron 9
Tricolored Heron 7
Cattle Egret 8
Green Heron 15
Black-crowned Night-Heron 4
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 4
White Ibis 8
Glossy Ibis 2
Black Vulture X
Turkey Vulture X
Osprey 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 3
King Rail 1
Purple Gallinule 1
Common Gallinule 25
American Coot 5
Limpkin 3
Sandhill Crane 3
Black-necked Stilt 3
Royal Tern 1
Mourning Dove 5
Common Ground-Dove 3
Chimney Swift 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Pileated Woodpecker 5
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
White-eyed Vireo 3
Blue Jay 1
Fish Crow X
Barn Swallow 2
Carolina Wren 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2
Northern Mockingbird X
European Starling 2
Common Yellowthroat 1
Northern Parula 3
Northern Cardinal 8
Red-winged Blackbird 12
Common Grackle X
Boat-tailed Grackle X


  1. Awesome image of the Least Bittern with raised crest.  It is so cool when you get surprised on an outing, e.g., the King Rail.  What a great time you must have had.

  2. Wow, that piebald Little Blue came out great, considering the tricky light, well done.

    Least Bitterns make me salivate. Awaiting images of The King.


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