On January 24th, 12 of us from SEVAS traveled to Lake Apopka, outside of Orlando for a birding trip. It was a perfect, cool, sunny day with lots of activity along the wildlfe drive.

Apopka is the 4th largest lake in Florida with shallow marshes and open water habitat. It was once called Florida’s most polluted large lake, mostly due to agricultural runoff. But now after intense remediation it is a premier wildlife habitat. The shoreline has been replanted with native wetland plants to restore the habitat for both fish and wildlife. 

It was a good day for birding with 45-50 species of birds seen (depending on who you asked). Some of the favorite birds were an American Bittern, who stood statue like while we all got a good look at him through the scope, numerous juvenile Little Blue Herons with their white bodies and Grinch green legs, a Green Heron, some Northern Shovelers in breeding plumage, some Ring-necked Ducks, and even a Fulvous Whistling Duck. There were loads of Coot and Common Moorhens chatting along the shore as well. And, if gators are your thing, numerous sightings of gators in all sizes (including XXL!). I think all who went would agree it was worth the drive and an excellent day of birding. Thanks Gail!