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!
Here’s a few photos of the bottom loop areas that also hosted just as many birds and gators as the top loop.
Many birds that I had seen the first visit were there again, many in large numbers.
American 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.
Mottled 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.
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!)
Roseart Spoonbill and Glossy Ibis (another lifer!)
Roseart Spoonbill and Glossy Ibis
Walking along a line of trees, I spotted two Great Blue Heron nests….
Great Blue Heron Nest
Another Great Blue Heron Nest
Also way up in a tree, I spotted a Hawk with my Eagle eye.
Hawk 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!
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!
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.
Great 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.
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
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.
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!
Little Blue Heron
I got so many great photos of this one who was quite cooperative, I’ll share a couple more.
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!
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.
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.
Great 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.
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!
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.
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.
©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!