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2024 Myakka State Park

It’s been a little cooler with some unseasonable rain. It was raining when I left for the park, but the forecast was for it to stop early morning. Just as I arrived, the rain stopped, and my adventure began.

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Limpkin. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

Myakka State Park is one of my favorite places to photograph wildlife. It’s a diverse park; you never know what you will stumble upon. I enjoy watching the Limpkins feed along the shoreline. I find it funny that they usually start running before taking off. This one did exactly that.

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Limpkin. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

As this one rose above the shoreline, it flew in a straight line, making it much easier to track. I must say, I’m still a little out of practice, but I know I’ll get better as the winter progresses.

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Roseate Spoonbill. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

Last winter, I found a group of Roseate Spoonbills. I'm hoping they will return. As I walked towards the inlet, I found a few feeding along the shoreline. I'm hoping that the numbers will increase as mating season starts.

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Wood Stork. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

I encountered this small wetland area as I drove further into the Park. This Wood Stork was feverously looking for food. They are not pretty, but if you see one talking off, their dark under-wings are beautiful in flight.

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Blue Heron. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

You can't visit the Park without seeing Big Blue Herons. This Heron settled along the bank with its watchful eyes searching for food.

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Crested Caracara. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

The Crested Caracara, commonly called a Mexican Eagle, has been on my bucket list for several years. They are ground feeders; usually, you see them in the field or along the roadside of the road eating road kill. I saw this one on my way to the Park.

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Crested Caracara. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

On my way back to Punta Gorda on Highway 72, I was trying to keep an eye out for the Mexican Eagle. Off in the distance, I could see a few birds feeding along the shoulder. As I approached, I could tell it was an Eagle. Luckily, there was an open turnoff as I passed and pulled in.

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Crested Caracara. FujiFilm H2s Nikon 500PF

I slowly exited the truck and walked toward the group of birds. I was surprised that the Eagle let me approach. Just as I thought I might get closer, the Eagle took off but luckily landed in the small tree across the fence. It posed for me for about a half-hour.

I've never seen them close, and they are beautiful. I'm happy that I've crossed this bird off my list.

Photography should be fun! It's not about the phone or camera brand you're using. Remember, your best photographs result from one thing, making an effort to get out and shoot.

Comments are always welcomed.

Mark

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