I'm Back - With More Birds & Reptiles from the Wetlands

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zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 30,334
I'm Back - With More Birds & Reptiles from the Wetlands

I've been on vacation this past week - took the usual summer trip up to Disney World with family from Thursday through Tuesday, and I've been just getting back to caught up again on the boards.  Still working on loading, sorting, and trying to get through both the photos from the vacation trip, as well as the prior weekend's birding photos which I never had time to sort through before I left on vacation.

In the meantime, I haven't posted a wildlife thread in some time now having been away, and wanted to try to stay no more than a month or so behind...this post has photos taken on May 5th and May 12th, from around Green Cay Wetlands and Wakodahatchee Wetlands.  Most outings have been rainy and overcast lately, normal for late spring and summer here...I've either just missed a rainstorm or gotten caught in one on 4 consecutive weekend trips to the wetlands.

All shots here were taken with the A6300 and FE100-400mm GM combo, and all are posted at 1400 pixels on the long side if you click the originals:

A juvenile grackle on lookout on a tall reed above the leaves...seeing if there's any sign of a parent returning with food

When a grackle landed on a nearby reed, juvie here decided it was time to start begging for food - whether it was his parent or not...someone just feed me!

A green heron, quietly and stealthily walking along a downed reed left behind from a passing alligator, to watch the waters for fish without making any splashing ripples in the water with his feet

The black-necked stilt, on the other hand, takes advantage of his abnormally long namesake legs to wade through deeper water slowly - then standing very still so his legs look like reeds

A snake was creeping through the reeds close to where this female grackle had a nest - and she started limping along the grass and reeds with her wing cocked out to feign injury, hoping to draw the predator from her offspring

Wood stork nests are usually up in trees, and when a baby wood stork falls out of the nest, there's really no way for the parents to lift it back in.  This baby wood stork had dropped out of the nest and was standing around on the mud confused - not sure if it was able to make it, but the parent did keep going down to give it food

The cruise missiles are back in town in May - the purple martins, buzzing about at high speed...they're difficult to catch in flight, but fun to try!  This one almost seemed to be looking towards me as he flew past

Another purple martin zooming past the pine trees

Honestly, who needs to search for extra-terrestrial life when there are things this strange looking right here on earth?!  This baby tricolor heron, fresh out of the egg, looks particularly strange when facing head-on!

From the side, he's part-dinosaur, part-alien, and all ugly.  In a cute way, of course!

Give him about a month to grow up, like this older tricolor heron juvenile, and they start to look much more like the bird we know...though rather than blue, the juveniles are mostly brown, and still have their peach-fuzz feathers left on their heads

A female anhinga flying past nice and low

An alligator, cruising low and silently through the algae-covered water

A little closer and more head-on with the beast

This basilisk lizard ran towards me as I got closer on the boardwalk, and jumped up on this boardwalk beam as if to defend the bolt sticking up - he really seemed to like it, and claimed it for himself - as I photographed him, he was bobbing his head up and down in a challenge...I kept hearing 'my precious' in my head!

Comments, questions, and critique welcomed as always!

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