Taylor Creek Storm Water Treatment Center, Okeechobee, FL – Last of Series

(Taylor Creek Storm Water Management Center – Part 5 of 5)

A second visit to Taylor Creek yielded just as many photo ops as the first visit.  During the first visit, I did the top loop on the following map.  The second, I completed the bottom half of the map.  The trails on the entire map total just over three miles.  It doesn’t take much walking to discover all kinds of birds in this birder’s gem of a place!

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Here’s a few photos of the bottom loop areas that also hosted just as many birds and gators as the top loop.

(No gators this post, see Part 3 for those I photographed at both visits by clicking here.)

Many birds that I had seen the first visit were there again, many in large numbers.

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Common Moorhen

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Common Moorhen

_DSC0159-1 21716Snowy Egret

_DSC0238-1 21716Snowy Egret

_DSC0207-1 21716Double-Crested Cormorant

_DSC0171-1 21716White Ibis

_DSC0180-1 21716Great Egret

_DSC0181-1 21716Great Egret

_DSC0463-1 21716American Bald Eagle ( I saw one but missed capturing it the first visit)

I came across a lone Mottled Duck taking a bath, which looked like it was having fun.  A beautiful pose was given to me when he/she was done.

_DSC0005-2 21716Mottled Duck

_DSC0013-1 21716Mottled Duck (Thank you very much!)

The bird fly-bys were constant so I got many chances to practice that challenge.  Sometimes one would be coming/going before you knew it.  This Wood Stork did just that; he was passing by while I was trying to photograph something else, so I failed to lock on my focus.  I still liked the series with the movement and background colors though.

_DSC0114-1 21716Wood Stork

_DSC0115-1 21716Wood Stork

 

_DSC0116-1 21716Wood Stork

It was this second visit that I got my wish to capture a Roseart Spoonbill that I had posted separately.  Here’s a couple more photos that include a Glossy Ibis.  (another lifer for me!)

_DSC0078-1 21716Roseart Spoonbill and Glossy Ibis (another lifer!)

_DSC0101-1 21716Roseart Spoonbill and Glossy Ibis

Walking along a line of trees, I spotted two Great Blue Heron nests….

_DSC0342-1 21716Great Blue Heron Nest

_DSC0354-1 21716Another Great Blue Heron Nest

Also way up in a tree, I spotted a Hawk with my Eagle eye.

DSC_6940-1 21716Hawk way up in tree!

I quickly moved closer & took several photos in case a flight took place, then I kept moving closer & shooting, hoping I could steady enough to get a close focused shot.  Here’s my best; and it turned out to be a Red-shouldered Hawk, which I posted already this Florida trip as a new lifer for me.  These photos surpass my previous!

_DSC0325-2 21716Red-Shouldered Hawk

_DSC0334-2 21716Red-shouldered Hawk

This next photo I believe is an Eastern Phoebe, which I’ve photographed before.  Let me know if I’m wrong on this ID please!

_DSC0187-1 21716.jpgEastern Phoebe

I was fooling with my settings at one point and worked on a few butterflies fluttering around, not an easy species to photograph!  I only got one worth sharing, a Great Southern White.

_DSC0198-1 21716Great Southern White Butterfly

In one area where there were quite a few gators, I spotted many large fish (not sure what kind and how they even survive around the gators).  Of course, I had to take on the challenge of whether I could get any good photos, even with the pollen in the water.  Didn’t really, but going to share anyway, as this fish reminded me of something.

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Did you ever see Don Knott’s 1964 movie, “The Incredible Mr. Limpet”?  I watched it numerous times as a kid and even saw it a few years ago on cable.  A silly movie, but when I saw those fish lips, it reminded me of that movie, isn’t it funny how you remember things?  I kept expecting to see one of those fish surface with glasses on.  heehee

51A973ME0BL

The next two photos (if you can stand it!), are two more lifers for me.  The first is a Crested Caracara.  Not the best but good enough to identify, and I’ve since taken a few more of one in the sky from the campground I’ll share later.

_DSC0001-1 21716Crested Caracara

The second new lifer is the Little Blue Heron.  We have these around the Chesapeake Bay area, but again, one that has eluded my lens.  Nailed this species this time!

_DSC0267-1 21716Little Blue Heron

I got so many great photos of this one who was quite cooperative, I’ll share a couple more.

_DSC0228-1 21716

His mouth was open the whole time panting, see his little tongue?  I guess he thought it was a bit hot that day.  Geez, he needs to go north and find out just how wonderful the Florida temps are this time of year!

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You’ll get a kick out of this.  There were so many Egrets and Great Blue Herons with those beautiful bright yellow beaks, that when I first spotted the next photo op at a distance, I thought I had spotted another one.

_DSC0344-1 21716

Hey, at least it looked like a bright yellow beak at a distance!  Or maybe I was getting dizzy on bird overload.  There’s always a photo op for a good laugh!

Seriously not wanting to leave, I finally forced myself to head back to the truck.  I came around the last turn and upon a walker who was watching a Great Blue Heron.  Oh boy, one more op before I go!  The gentleman said it looked like a bird was eating a bird.  Through my lens, I could see it was a black fish.

_DSC0609-1 21716Great Blue Heron

A few more walkers came around the corner, oooohhing and aaaahhing.  Too many humans for this fella!  He took flight right past me.

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I was very excited with the flight shots and was hoping for a good one.  Chatting with the walkers, someone hollered he was coming back.  He landed exactly back to the spot where he stood previously.  Guess that was where he wanted to eat his dinner!

_DSC0639-1 21716

Well, no such luck for this fella.  Now with four people standing there, it still made him nervous and he took off again in the other direction.

_DSC0648-1 21716

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I’m sure he found somewhere to eat that nice size meal!

Whew, sorry for the long post!  I promised in my last one I’d finish the Taylor Creek series but didn’t realize I had so many to still share.  But this does wrap up my two visits to Taylor Creek.  I still have oodles of bird photos I took at the campground and along the road and lake piers, and do I dare say more lifers too?  🙂

I do have one more share.  In Part 1 of this Taylor Creek series, I shared a couple photos of the cows who were at the fence in the parking lot.  Laura with CreateArtEveryDay has created another one of her Face Challenges using one of those photos.  Here’s my photo and her #49 Face Challenge.

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022316 cow                                                      ©Laura @ CreateArtEveryDay.com

 

Isn’t he whimsical and “udderly” beautiful?!!!  Thank you again, Laura, for your jazzy, artistic work!

And thank you, everyone, very much for following me along on my Florida adventures, your comments have been wonderful and humbling.  It’s not possible to wipe the smile off my face!

 

20 thoughts on “Taylor Creek Storm Water Treatment Center, Okeechobee, FL – Last of Series

  1. Great images one and all, but the birds in flight are really super! It’s also nice to see signs of nice sunny warm weather someplace as it’s been snowing hard here all day. I can’t wait to see the photos that you shot in the campground!

    • Thanks, Jerry! I saw that blizzard out your way, and the East Coast with terrible t-storms. We were supposed to leave today but waiting out all this bad weather before we drive back up the coast. Hope the snow lets up soon for you, Spring is supposed to be around the corner! Be safe!

  2. WOW! They are all great photographs. Poor fishes how they were caught… Amazing photographs, and I can imagine the feelings of these moments… so exciting. Thank you dear Donna, loved them all. Love, nia

    • I had the best time here at Taylor Creek, even with the gators there. 🙂 I’m tickled pink to have gotten so many kinds of birds so easily here. Feels like I cheated somehow! LOL Glad you loved them all, Nia, thanks so much! ❤

  3. Amazing photos Donna! No wonder you were excited, your flight shots are beautiful! Love all the pics, looks like a place to visit should I visit Florida. Thanks for sharing:-)

    • Thanks Ashley, what a time I had at Taylor Creek, especially for only two 2-hour visits! I could have stayed all day each day, but hubby just isn’t into birds like me, which is cool. He does tolerate a lot of my whims and wishes! 🙂 To have a significant other to be just as excited as you, well, the visits would be endless, lol. I love that you and your wife love birding together! 🙂

    • What a way to end my visit with that Great Blue Heron, it was awesome! The number and variety of birds was almost surreal to me with the warm temps here in Florida. At home, to get large numbers and variety, our temps are usually around freezing or just above, requiring coats, gloves & hats which are all so burdensome, lol. It’s enough to just carry all our camera equipment! 🙂

  4. I’m really amazed at your birds in flight, Donna! Wow, it’s like we’re flying right alongside! I just can’t get over them. So many wonderful captures for you this trip. How many birds did you add to your lifer list in Florida? Incredible! And thanks for the mention, too. I was feeling slightly crazed watching the election returns while painting that cow, which is why I went a little kaka with the colors lol. Glad you enjoyed it. I may try that cow again, just love that photo! Happy weekend to you, and I hope you have a safe journey back home. 💚

    • Thanks so much, Laura, for all your lovely comments! I’ve been telling myself I need to count how many new lifers I’ve gotten here but haven’t yet. Got a few more to share, hee hee. I’ll do a tally in next day or two, once I’ve finished going through the thousands of photos I’ve taken since arriving in Florida. I super-love your cow’s colors. I mentioned before, I love pinks & oranges together, was my daughter’s craze as a teenager. She also did a stamp-repeat painting in high school (I’m sure there’s a name for that type of artwork) of dolphins in pink & orange, which I had framed and hung in my office. Hate to leave Florida; we’ll be meandering back tomorrow with a stopover in South Carolina a couple days, then it’s home to a chaotic fiasco of catching up life at home! AND getting to my arms around my new grandson who was born mid-January. I’ve had to survive on photos and his little snoring and crying via cell phone! Can’t wait to hold him again!!!! 🙂 Happy weekend to you too!! ❤

  5. I think my favorite shot in this series (though they were all wonderful) was the little blue heron since he posed so nicely next to the daisy-like flowers. How sweet is that?

    • Glad you spotted those little daisies too, I was tickled with them in the photo-shoot. Back in my gators’ post, there was a gator laying also among the little daisies, kinda gave him a little softness maybe? lol

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