Birdwatching – Lakes Hollingsworth and Morton in September

Ladies feed the birds at Lake Hollingsworth

Ladies feed the birds at Lake Hollingsworth

Dan and I finally found a little time to go birdwatching, and since I was sore from a fall, decided to just go to Lake Hollingsworth and Lake Morton in Lakeland, Florida. Neither require a lot of walking, but we can always find something worth looking at. Both lakes had some great finds.

Lake Hollingsworth had the usually Mallards, White Ibises, Boat-tailed Grackles, Common Moorhens, “Aflac” Ducks being fed by a couple of ladies. We heard several Blue Jays, Red-bellied Woodpecker, and a Red-shouldered Hawk. A flock of about 50 Fish Crows made their noisy flight over and around for several minutes. We also saw a Great Egret, Osprey, Wood Storks, Great Blue Herons, Cormorant, Limpkin and a Purple Gallinule.

The best find was to watch an Anhinga trying to stay cool. I video taped the bird vibrating its throat. Birds do not have sweat glands, so this is one of the ways they cool down. It actually wasn’t too hot, 79°, but the humidity was at 85%. We all were warm. Below is some of that video.

And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. (Luke 16:24 KJV)

After that we drove about a mile north to Lake Morton. Again, the birds were gathered around a family feeding them. (These are the only two places we go locally where they feed wildlife.) This time the Mallards, White Ibises, and Boat-tailed Grackles were joined by 8 Wood Storks, Gulls, and Common Grackles. Also spotted were Mute Swans, a Black Swan, Wood Ducks, Red-bellied Woodpecker, some sort of Tern and a Snowy Egret showing off his yellow feet.

The prize here was finding a family of Limpkins. The mom, dad, and 5 juveniles were in the tall grass by the lake. Tried to get photos through the grass, but as you know, that can be a challenge. I turned my camera on to video and took the following:

All in all, the Lord provided a great day for birdwatching and let His creation of birds be seen. What would life be like without the neat things the Lord has provided to make our journey so enjoyable. All we have to do is look around us and observe.

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