Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bonnet Creek

As you fly into Orlando, FL, you notice the abundance of small lakes. One of them is in the middle of Bonnet Creek Resort, a Wyndham timeshare nestled next to Disney World. We decided to start our vacation by just walking around the lake, both to see what birds we might find, and to get oriented to the resort facilities.

First we noticed some cormorants. You can't get a good head count of how many cormorants were actually on the lake. As soon as one pops up, you point a camera and it dives immediately when you get a focus!

Yep, that's where it was!

A group of ducks attracted our attention next. It's been a while since I've seen many ducks, so I took photos, thinking we might have some Ring-necks. Get out the field guide - maybe that white around the bills of the brown ones will give us a clue. I decided these are the Lesser Scaup. My birder friends always talk about Scaup, but I've never been clear on them until today. It looks like this group of females, with large patches of white around their bills, are chasing after one male. He must be a real stud! Do ducks have harems?

A flock of large dark birds sped overhead. At first I thought they were Crows, and in fact, we saw some flocks of crows, but these birds just didn't have the right wing action. They don't look like Vultures either, too much flapping. Anyone have a guess?

No doubt about these Grackles as they loudly called back and forth. I think this female is prettier than the male. The poor manager of the lakeside restaurant where we ate supper was almost frantic. He'd chase them away whenever they landed on the table umbrellas. Lately, he said, they've actually attacked people making them bleed, in their search for handouts. I'd call them "bird terrorists!" We are thinking of returning to Merritt Island tomorrow - the place that turned us into birders!

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