When we came last year, there was water everywhere and the birds were few and far between. This year, there has been very little rain since November, which means the water in the swamp is very low, being concentrated in two of the "lakes". And that means the many wading birds are also concentrated in the lakes. Apparently, the lack of water is not unusual; however, it is about a month earlier than normal.
This was just one of the areas...dozens of birds...egrets, herons, ibis. There seemed to be a little squabbling over territory. It was loud, with lots of squawking and calling back and forth.
The anhinga just sits quietly, soaking up the sun.
The main reason I wanted to go was because I read that Roseate Spoonbills were there and they have been on my "want to see" list for several years. They are soooo cool! This one is immature, just starting to get it's "blush" on.
Once mature, they are more pink and have a bright red color along the top of their wings.
Bill caught this one landing.
Now I want to see a whole flock of them!
We also saw a bird I have never heard of but it was super pretty, much brighter than the picture in the book. It's a Purple Gallinule and it also has bright yellow feet.
The other really cool bird we saw was a Swallow-tailed Kite. It's in the hawk family and they are only seen this time of year as they are migrating. It was high overheard so I didn't get a picture of my own but I still get to check it off the list.
Bill got a good photo of this female cardinal.
There were two baby owls perched up high, bending over the limb to look at everyone looking at them.
I need to learn how to draw on the photo so I can put arrows in.
As we were leaving the boardwalk we spotted this Red Shouldered Hawk.
It wasn't just about birds today. The alligators were quite visible, although they may not be quite so visible in these photos.
This is a momma and I counted at least seven babies tucked near the base of the old tree in the background.
This one was lazily swimming around, maybe looking for lunch. The nearby birds would casually back away when it came too close. It was fun to watch...from the safety of the boardwalk.
There was this black snake, also a good swimmer.
and a venomous cottonmouth, curled up on a log. It was difficult to see, let alone take a picture. One woman commented it looked like a "pile of poop". Very scientific ;o) but quite descriptive.
Even though it was super dry, the flag iris were still blooming.
It was a really nice day and we got to see a few birds that were new to us. Looking forward to next year.
Thanks for stopping by...