Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Everglades National Park–Flamingo Area

I stayed at the Flamingo campground in the Everglades Feb. 19 – 23.  It was a bit warmer than I would like, but I suffered through the heat!!  I did most of my walking and biking in the mornings. 

As I pulled into my spot, I noticed the RV just across from mine.  It was another Lazy Daze and that’s unusual in this part of the country.  After I set up, I walked over and talked with the owners for a while.  As it turns out, they live about 15 – 20 minutes from where I used to live in Georgia.  They had also attended several of the SouthEast Lazy Daze Get togethers, so we knew some of the same people. 

My new Lazy Daze friends mentioned that the birding was not as good as normal.  They had been camping close to the Anhinga Trail (a favorite of mine) and said the few times they went they saw almost no birds.  One of my main reasons for coming here was the birds! 

The next morning, I biked to Eco Lake.  A ranger had told me that there had been a lot of birds there for the past few days.  She was not kidding.  When I got there, I saw hundreds of birds.  Most were Snowy Egrets, with some Great Egrets, Tri-colored Herons, Reddish Egrets, Stilts and quite a few Spoonbills.  If you have gotten tired of Spoonbill pictures, sorry – I really like this bird!  I went back everyday and saw the same thing.  On my last day there were not as many – maybe half. 

Some close-ups -

I also drove back about 30 miles to the Anhinga Trail twice.  As my Lazy Daze friends mentioned there were not as many birds, but I had fun and saw some wildlife.  For those who read my blog regularly, you may remember a few years ago I went to the Anhinga trail and posted a couple of pictures taken from the parking lot. The first was of a sign warning that the vultures may damage your car and the second was of some vultures on a car.  link here   This year, I noticed they had tarps for your cars.  So a picture of my car prepared for the vultures is below --

While walking the path, several photographers and I were watching a Green Heron when I happened to look back and saw an alligator.  He seemed to want across the path, but we were in the way.  I mentioned it and one of the photographers quickly moved away and took some pictures.

The Purple Gallinule below would turn over the edge of the leaf like he was looking for something.  Very interesting to watch!

One day, I biked to the Snake Bight trail.  I did not know this but “Bight” in this case means a bay within a bay.  Snake Bight is within Florida Bay.  Snake Bight is one of the few trails you can bike on.  Instead of Snake Bight it should have been called Bug Bite!  I had repellant on, but some of the bugs seemed to like it!  I biked faster to avoid them.  The trail is below --


I had read that the best bird watching was at high tide.  But I got there at low tide because I wanted to ride in the morning when it was cooler.  Even though there were not many birds I still enjoyed the ride.

Several days I would bike on the road a bit and then head back to the visitors center.  I had discovered a bench under some trees and on the bay.  One day, I watched some birds for 15 or 20 minutes doing what I called synchronized flying. 

From here, I headed to Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound.  I will post about it in a few days!

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