Birding in Florida 2012

Last week, we spent several days in the Fort Myers area of Florida. On the second day, we headed to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. We soon learned to join groups of people with binoculars. Our first surprise was a Pileated Woodpecker in a tree next to the shelter, entirely oblivious of people.

A red-shouldered hawk perched right about the boardwalk was another awe-inspiring moment. The boardwalk was quite long, and we were not used to the excessive heat. I finally decided to pack up my tripod, only to unpack it again after a couple of minutes. That was a wise decision, because the best was yet to come:
Great egrets and white ibises stalked in the shallow water right next to the boardwalk before this egret landed in a tree. It was amazing how tame all the wildlife was, including four alligator babies sunning themselves on a a log.
After six hours on the boardwalk, our tally was: red-bellied woodpecker, two pileated woodpeckers, tufted titmouse, catbird, black-and-white warbler, black-crowned night heron, swallow-tailed kite, turkey vulture, little blue heron, yellow-crowned night heron, and green heron. Besides the allegiators, we also observed zebra longwings (the state butterfly), cooters, and countless lizzards. Naturally, we also noted the vegetation, such as cypresses, pines, air plants, irises, and alligator plant. Best of all, there were no mosquitoes! It was truly a haven for nature lovers.

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