Purple Gallinule

The Monday after the Space Coast Birding Festival I had to drive Sally to Orlando to catch a plane…and though it had rained all morning, it looked like clearing up for the drive back. I had not yet seen a Limpkin this trip, and had only had very unsatisfying looks at a Purple Gallinule way out in the duckweed at Viera Wetlands. Orlando Wetlands is more or less on the way back to Titusville from the airport, so I pulled off the side of the Beeline and set the GPS on my phone for Christmas (where Orlando Wetlands Park is). The trails at the Wetlands were muddy from the rain…that kind of Florida clay mud that you really don’t want to walk in…but I saw my Limpkin not a quarter mile out from the Education Center, and enough semi-distant Purple Gallinules to keep me going until I finally found a couple feeding close enough to the dike road for photos, way out on Alligator Alley, half way around the Birding Loop. My impression, until I found those close birds, was that the Purple Gallinules in North Florida are not nearly as bright, as vivid, as the Gallinules in South Florida…and in the Everglades in particular…but I now think that is probably a trick of the light. All my sightings of Purples in South Florida have been in full sun, and I am pretty sure I have never seen a Purple in North Florida on anything other than a cloudy day. Certainly the birds in these photos have the potential to really pop in better light…and they are pretty vivid as it is. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. 1/250th @ f4 @ ISO 160. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

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