Florida Day Eight: Lot Of Cool Stuff On Morning Hike On The Aerojet Trail In Florida City.

Florida Day Eight: Lot Of Cool Stuff On Morning Hike On The Aerojet Trail In Florida City.

Florida Day Eight Aerojet (22 of 31)
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I was up early again on my recent visit to the Everglades and South Florida. I wanted to hike on the Aerojet Trail one last time  before I headed to Flamingo for a two day stay in the new lodge that opened in the Fall.  After my morning coffee fix I left the hotel,

with a wanning gibbous moon shining int the morning twilight.

I drove the 10 miles to the trailhead of the Aerojet Trail located a few miles from the entrance to the Everglades National Park and arrived under partly cloudy skies before the sunrise.

I hiked out to the Lucky Hammock, a hardwood hammock noted for the many species of birds that have been seen here,

and watched the sunrise.

I had just posted  on my social media sites that I had not seen anything new or exotic so far on my stay in the Everglades. Just as I made this post when I looked up and saw  a pair of scissor tailed flycatchers perched on the old electric wires  above the trail.

These beautiful birds are found in the western United States but  are rarely seen in Florida. I was very excited to be able to see and photograph them in the golden sunlight

also perched on the electric wires were a common ground dove., 

and a male northern cardinal.

I  walked around the hammock, hoping to see the painted buntings  I heard here a few days earlier, but they were not around.   I looked for other  song birds but there were none. There were some flowers blooming near the hammock.   Tropical milkweed and,

Peruvian primrose,  both pretty,  but invasive species.

I continued my hike on the abandoned road,

and after about a mile came to the two canals along the trail. I first visited  the one on the right,

then walked over to the one on the left

where I saw this alligator lurking in the waters,

a few common  gallinules,

and another exotic and exciting sighting, a roseate spoonbill flew over the canal.

I haven’t seen one  this far north, I usually see them down by Flamingo. 

I also saw a flock of American coots on the canal.

I left the canal and continued on the road,

where I saw some less attractive birds, this  American crow flew overhead,

and I saw  few turkey vultures,

this one looked like it was posing for me.

And I saw this common grackle that  gave me an evil looking  stare as I walked past.

I continued my hike, but as usually is the case when I am seeing wildlife , I was on the road again.,  and had to check out of my hotel by 11 a.m. , so I had to walk fast.

I walked out about 2 1/2 miles, to where the cypress trees begin to appear and here saw this beautiful pileated woodpecker,

rapping on a utility pole.

I also saw a graceful great crested flycatcher

and this elegant red-shouldered hawk.

Reluctantly I began my hike back, under increasingly cloudy skies,

seeing a few more wildflowers along the way including these beautiful and exotic spider lilies,

and jasmine flowers.

I was hurrying back, but had to stop and check the canals where I saw this large alligator had crawled near  on the shore.

And, of course more birds, including an anhinga,

a cattle egret.

Great blue herons.

great egrets,

and American white ibises that flew overhead.

And, as I was finishing my hike I saw the pair of scissor tailed flycatchers still perched where I saw them earlier. They are beautiful birds and seeing them was a nice way to end my visit to Florida City and the Royal Palm Visitor Center in the Everglades. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the many birds I saw on my hike. Florida Day 8 Florida City Aerojet hike birds. March 27 2024.

I hurried to my hotel where I quickly showered. packed and checked out, anxious to head to Flamingo in the Everglades National Park. This was the main reason for this visit. I was  staying two nights and the recently opened Eco Lodge there.  First, however, I had to eat, and I stopped at my favorite restaurant , the Farmer’s Market. I knew all the servers there and I ordered a blackened catfish sandwich with white beans and coleslaw. , It was delicious and filling.  It will be the last meal I have here until I, God willing, return next year.  It was  great way to end my stay in Florida City. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos  from  my 5 mile  hike on the Aerojet road . Florida Day 8 Florida City Aerojet hike birds. March 27 2024.

“If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.”
― Steve Irwin