My good friend Kevin M. was in town a week ago and wanted to visit LAWLD. We also invited Lutfi and the three of us met and drove up together.
It’s about the same distance for me as Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and has a wide variety of birds to see (especially at this time of year). It’s one of my favorite places but I struggle to make landscape photos there. I think this is mostly because I like the light before sunrise and the gate doesn’t open until 7am. Anyway, I did make this one shortly after we arrived. It’s two RAW iPhone frames, stitched together and processed in Lightroom / Photoshop. I like the color contrast of the winter Cypress trees against the blue sky and water.
Small birds were plentiful near the entrance. Here are a couple I was able to make reasonable photos of:
And here are two more that we spotted near the Pump House:
The marshy area across from the Pump House parking is a very good spot to watch birds nesting. Last year, we saw Anhingas, Cormorants, and Great Blue Herons nesting in April. It must be early for all but the herons – I spent several minutes Saturday enjoying this couple’s home renovations:
Raising offspring is hard for most every species. Seeing these birds cooperate to bring new life into the world is spellbinding and makes for a great photo op. I think my favorite photo of the trip is this gentle, back-lit handoff:
There’s almost always other action on LAWLD too. The Anhingas are adept anglers and with a little luck you can freeze action like this:
LAWLD is the only place I’ve ever seen Fulvous Whistling-Ducks, so I was happy to spot them this time too.
We also saw: Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, a Painted Bunting, a Common Yellow-throat, Black-crowned Night Herons, Northern Harriers, a Red-shoulder Hawk, Tree Swallows, and many of our more common birds.
The header image title is “A very wild smile”. It’s a 3 frame panorama and looks impressively close. But I made it with my long lens from across a canal. You can see a larger version here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/edrosack/52612944732/in/dateposted-public/
Winter’s such a fabulous time to visit! If you’ve been thinking about it go! It’s open to cars between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and federal holidays. You can find much more info at this link: https://www.sjrwmd.com/lands/recreation/lake-apopka/. And you can view many more of my Lake Apopka photos at this link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/edrosack/albums/72157656060310175. Finally, this eBird page lists bird species that’ve been observed there.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I hope all of you are doing well and that you have a wonderful 2023! Stay positive, be kind, take care of yourselves and each other. And if you can, make a few photos!
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