After flying into Ft. Lauderdale, we drove to Naples with stops to view the birds. At Shark Valley in the everglades, we took a two hour tour through the grasses with an excellent tour guide. There is definitely a drought there not, which has a huge impact on the plant and animal populations. In fact, he said that the birds might be scarce later in the month due to the water shortage.
There were, of course, many gators along the way, with stories of their mating behaviors. The mothers were being very protective of their young and we wisely stayed a healthy distance from all gators.
On the way into the National Reserve, I noticed an Anhinga upside down on the ground waving its feet. So very sad. I mentioned it to the ranger and he said she had been thus for two days and there was nothing he could do. I questioned the possibility of turning her over for comfort if nothing else. By the time we left the area two hours later, the bird had been turned over and was resting on the ground. I took a very close up picture of her and her blue eyes seared through my mind. Very poignant experience. She may not have lasted long, but at least had the dignity of being upright.
We then drove to the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge Marsh Trail were we had been last year at this time. It was about the same time of day, but in February rather than December. The populations of birds were less than last year, but I did get to photograph some Roseate Spoonbills in the distance.
While visiting friends in Titusville, we took a quick drive through a nature reserve and did find some blue herons. They are a captivating bird and always fun to watch and photograph.
Then, we visited Ft. Pierce and I enjoyed the antics of the pelicans and sea gulls. Here are some samples from the trip.
|Great blue heron|