Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Florida Everglades 2014 - Day 4

Today was our big day in the Florida Everglades!

We got to the park just as the sun was peaking up over the horizon.  Dawn in the Everglades arrives with a serene glow of light over fog covered fields.  It was a beautifully peaceful moment.
On our way to our first stop at Long Pine Key, we heard this Eastern Meadowlark singing and when I previewed the photo I took, I saw these way cool spider webs with morning dew sparkling all around them.  What a beautiful shot.

In Alaska we see many signs advising drivers to watch out for bison or moose, and even caribou on the road.  But, I have never seen this before!

Florida panthers are really mountain lions.  Unfortunately, we didn’t see any panthers/mountain lions today.  Although, I was looking!  At Anhinga Trail we came across this nest of young Anhinga’s.  Aren’t they adorable!  All fuzzy and cute – maybe a few weeks old.

The Anhinga trail boardwalk was teaming with life. 

We saw several Anhingas, Green Herons

and Double-crested Cormorants. 

Check out the eye… Dave says that if he could design his own dragon, he’d make the eye just like a cormorant. What a Hobbit nerd!

We got really good looks at a Purple Gallinule

and Tri-colored Herons.

We even saw another nest of even younger Anhinga’s begging for food.

We saw at least three alligators either sunning themselves or swimming in the water.

We left Anhinga Trail and went down to Flamingo and ate lunch outside the campground.
Then birded the beach area and saw this immature Yellow-crowned Night-heron.

I also caught a glimpse of this beautiful White Peacock butterfly.

After lunch we hit a couple of the birding spots Dave took the kids to about 15 years ago, like Eco Pond.  But, there was nothing there.  We spent some time at Flamingo and I got my National Parks Passport stamp.    We saw this Osprey nest, which is the closest I've ever been to one of these birds.

But, by far the best thing about being at Flamingo was seeing these two American Crocodiles.

We stopped along the Everglades road to pish for Seaside Sparrows, but didn’t get anything.
It was pretty hot at Flamingo, and we eagerly sought out some shade so we could scan the sand bar just off shore.  The bench was perfectly placed for watching the birds and Dave was in heaven.  Unfortunately, the bench was just a little too high for Jan and Bob’s feet to touch the ground.

We stopped by the infamous Snake Bight Trail where Dave took the kids and I don’t think any of the kids have fond memories of that visit – but Dave does.  The mosquitoes ate them up!
On the way out, we stopped by the visitors center and were told that a White-tailed Kite had been seen down the road.  So, we jumped in the car and headed that way.  After scanning the treetops for a while we saw the bird perched way off in the distance.  See?  Doesn’t this look like the bird?  LOL!    It’s fuzzy, but it was the bird.

By the time we got back to town we were all starving.  So, we stopoped for a great steak dinner and crashed.  110 species so far.


Jack said...

The meadowlark picture is superb!

mrsbirder said...

Thanks Jack! It was a lucky shot!