May 2, 2016

Anhinga Trail

Everglades National Park
The most popular trail at Everglades National Park is the Anhinga Trail.  It's an easy walk along a boardwalk around an open swamp area.  The vistas are quite nice.  

Everglades National Park

Of course, you never know what you're walking near…or over. It's wise to keep your eyes open…and camera at the ready.

Everglades National Park
This is an anhinga -- the trail's namesake.  These are the birds that many times are seen with their wings spread out, drying, after plunging into the water for a meal.  Since it was late spring when the SDP team visited, I suspect most of the migratory birds, like the pretty roseate spoonbills, had already left.  So, we're already sharpening our pencils and planning a return trip in January or February.

Everglades National Park
Adjacent to the Anhinga Trail is the Gumbo Limbo Trail.   This one goes through the woods around many gumbo limbo trees and others.  We made a point to hit this trail after a particularly helpful National Parks volunteer randomly told me a barred owl nest is located there.  He even marked it on a map -- without me asking.  At the time, I thought it was bit odd.  Why would the volunteer want to direct tourists to a nest?  Well, once we saw the trail, I realized immediately it was so dense with foliage it would be nearly impossible to find an owl nest.  And then…I heard it call!  Again…and again.  Then, it went silent.  Darn!  I've seen several barred owls here in Sarasota…but, I was on a mission to find this particular rascal.  After walking around for a few minutes about ready to give up, amazingly, maybe 30 yards deep into the thick brush there he was….sitting  in a tree watching me.  He was  tucked in so far it was difficult to get a clear shot.  But, we were able to point him out to a couple visiting from Germany who we had met on the other trail -- and they were pretty excited. Success! The Everglades journey will continue...

10 comments:

Nancy J said...

If I was there, the bridge would seem a mighty safe place to be. Anhinga, super feather markings, and the owl, what a find.

William Kendall said...

The owl certainly is watching you closely!

Jacob said...

That owl is so darn cute. I think we walked the Anhinga trail many years ago. But when we lived in So. Florida we usually went out to Shark Valley to walk or ride bikes.

bill burke said...

Lovely images! That owl is very alert and watching closely.

Brian King said...

How beautiful! Lots of wildlife!

Michelle said...

Both beautiful birds!

Lois said...

Glad you were able to find the owl. He certainly was keeping an eye on you!

Kay said...

You really scored with your wildlife shots! Good eye finding the 'gator, the anhinga is really beautiful (we don't have them in these parts - the closest thing would probably be a cormorant), and what a beautiful little downy owl! I'd be very pleased with myself if I were you!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Oh that's interesting, you call it an ahinga, we call it a cormorant! No alligators here though :)

Jack said...

I am so jealous. Excellent!