This place is about fifteen minutes from me by car. After taking a couple major roads, you turn off into a residential area, and at the end of a street is the marsh. It offers a large parking spot, woods, roads to walk, and direct access to water. There were two cars there when I arrived, but they soon left, and I was alone.
I chose a horribly windy day for my first visit, and the sun was not at a good angle, but even so, I saw the following:
Herons (great white, tricolor, little blue)
Egrets (white, cattle)
Ducks (blue-winged teal, others I couldn’t ID ’cause they were too far away)
Vultures, both turkey and black
Butterflies (many different kinds)
Boat-trailed grackles and crows
Something pink (might have been the roseate spoonbill; again, really far away)
One hour, and I saw all that only a few yards from the car. I’m going to have to plan an expedition there one day soon, spend several hours there.
It’s an amazing wildlife area. I’m so glad I discovered it. Lots of pics today, and it’s nowhere near the number I shot, which was 157. In an hour. 🙂
This is a pano of one small part of the marsh area. The pink things I spotted are at the far edge, but there’s no way to ID them properly. You may or may not be able to spot that; this is greatly reduced in size to fit here. All photos can be clicked on for uploaded size. Also keep in mind we’re at the tail end of Florida’s winter, which means the rainy season will change this landscape dramatically when the water rises.
The ‘gator. It was an amazing capture. The wind was blowing my camera around, and I was shooting handheld. Nothing to balance against, either. Later, I perched on a rock, but the wind was vicious. I’m amazed I got good photos at all. I didn’t even know it was there until I used the camera to follow a bird striding along the shore and wham! There he was, dozing in the sun. I admit it gave me a jolt. He could as easily have been on my side of the water, ya know? I’ve made a mental note to check the shore before walking down there.
Male and female tricolor herons. You can tell how hard the wind is blowing by the crests and valleys in the water. One thing I noticed while processing the photos: the birds mostly faced the wind. I don’t blame them; I did too. Heh.
Double-crested Cormorants. The orange cheek is a dead giveaway. There’s a spit of land in the middle of the water on the other side of the marsh, and they were there, hanging out. I saw as many as five at a time. As noted earlier, the sun was at the wrong angle, but I still count this as a lucky sighting.
That’s it for today, but I have no doubt I’ll be posting more pics from the marsh soon. There’s a bunch I haven’t even gotten to yet.
Have a terrific week.