Tag Archives: Purple Gallinule

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

I joined Kevin M. and Kevin K. on a trip around Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive last Friday. We got a late start and didn’t make sunrise, so you’ll have to be satisfied with a monochrome landscape this week.

Lake Apopka ShoreLake Apopka Shore.  Monochrome, IR

Black Point Wildlife Drive seemed quiet when I was there a week ago, but Lake Apopka is active.  We saw lots of people and lots of birds.  I don’t catch Black-crowned Night Herons that often, but we spotted several including this young one fishing in a canal.

Lake Apopka ShoreBlack-crowned Night Heron

A little later we spotted another that’d just caught a catfish.

Black-crowned Night Heron and CatfishBlack-crowned Night Heron and Catfish

This looks like a Sailfin Catfish.  I hadn’t heard about these, but Kevin M. filled me in.  They’re a type of suckermouth (or armored) catfish and a non-native, invasive species in Florida.  Originally from Venezuela and Colombia, they’re popular in aquariums.  Most  likely they escaped from tropical fish farms and / or were released here by people.

Now they’re abundant and widespread throughout Florida and bad for our ecosystem.  They dig burrows that cause erosion.  Because of their tough, armored skin and sharp spines, they can choke birds that eat them.  There were a lot of them in the canals next to the roads.  The St. John’s River Water Management District has an undesirable fish harvest each year that gets some of them out of the water.

In addition to the Night Heron, we also saw a Great Blue Heron and a Great Egret with one.  I hope they didn’t choke.

I don’t see many Purple Gallinules either, and I didn’t realize this was a young one until Kevin M. ID’d it for us.  Thanks, Kevin!

Purple Gallinule juvenilePurple Gallinule juvenile

We saw several other types of birds, dragonflies, butterflies, flowers, and the usual alligators too.  Lake Apopka is well worth a visit, even in the hot summer.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2018, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Orlando Wetlands Park, 5 February 2012

Orlando Wetlands Park has re-opened, and three of us from the Photography Interest Group met there before dawn last Sunday.  I was hoping for a sunrise photo, but fog and lack of color in the sky made those efforts a challenge.  Luckily I had my IR converted camera with me and made this 4 image panorama of the marsh.  I think the colors in the scene are interesting so I left it as an IR false color image instead of converting to black and white.  The IR sensor really brought out detail in the clouds that couldn’t be seen in visible light.

Misty swamp at dawn

Misty marsh at dawn – Orlando Wetlands Park, just before dawn. False color IR image.

If you haven’t been to OWP lately, you’ll be surprised at the changes.  There’s been extensive reclamation in cells 16A and 17, resulting in much more scenic views.  Check it out!

While we were there, we ran into a tour led by the Friends of Orlando Wetlands group.  Vermilion Flycatchers are rarely found in Florida, but two or more are being sighted regularly at OWP.  The group let us know about these birds and even led us right to them.

Vermilion Flycatcher
Vermilion Flycatcher – not a great photo, but another life bird for me.

We also ran across a very pretty Purple Gallinule – my second life bird of the day.

Purple Gallinule
Purple Gallinule

It was a good outing.  Birds we sighted included various Herons, Egrets, Sand Hill Cranes, Limpkins, Coots, Moorhens, huge numbers of Black Vultures, and others.

You can see other photos I’ve made at Orlando Wetlands Park here on Flickr, and you can use the blog category pull down to locate other articles I’ve written that mention OWP.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved