Florida Day One: Heat In The Everglades. And Not Many Migrating Birds
I will now admit it. I have become a birder. I love looking for, and photographing, the many species of birds that live in the woodlands near my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania . I now get excited seeing a new species of bird and enjoy sharing the birds I see on my blog and social media. I have learned a lot about the birds that live in Pennsylvania especially the migratory song birds. I now know that many of the beautiful birds we see, the scarlet, tanagers, Baltimore orioles, warblers and vireos, travel as far as Mexico, the Caribbean Islands and even South America for the Winter.
And, I have learned many of them stop in South Florida, in the Keys and Everglades in late March on their return to Pennsylvania.. So that is why I am now in Florida City in South. Florida. I am hoping to see and photograph some of them . And, of course hopefully alligators, snakes and any other critters I may see. I love the seeing the exotic plants and flowers too. I love all of Nature. I arrived at my hotel in Florida City around 3;30 p.m. Tuesday and I was at the Royal Palm Visitor Center by 4 p.m.. It was hot with temperatures in the mid 80’s, a lot different than when I visited here in January. Puffy cumulus clouds now floated above the waters and sea of grass near the visitor center. It was a beautiful scene. I love the Everglades
I will not get into the history of Royal Palm or the Everglades in this blog. I have posted many blogs with information about the Royal Palm and Everglades. There is a search tool below you can use to search these older blogs for more information should you wish . I am just going to share some of the natural beauty I saw on this 4 mile hike. And, for the first few miles it wasn’t a lot. The intense late afternoon sun and heat discouraged bird and other wildlife activity. There wasn’t much stirring as I began my hike. But the turtles didn’t mind the heat. I first hiked the Anhinga trail and soon saw this Florida red-bellied turtle swimming in the pond lilies growing in the warm waters along the trail,
and these pond or swamp apples caught my eye this time ( I am no expert on any identifications I rely on my iPhone apps and filed guides. I could be and have been wrong so please feel free to email any corrections. I just lover to share the beauty I find)
I decided to head for the shade of the gumbo-limbo trail and on the way saw this alligator luring in the warm waters. The waters are so warm the alligators don’t need to bask in the sun to raise their body temperatures. and are less seen in the warmer months.
Across from the trail to the lake is the vast new wetland created by the major construction project on the Old Ingraham Highway Trail. The highway, built in the 1930’s diverted water flowing through the Everglades and they are restoring the original flow. Unfortunately the hiking trail is closed.
and a few great egrets, some flying overhead and this one stalking food in the reeds. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos of the birds I saw on my hikes. Florida Day One Royal Palm birds. March 28 2023
As I was finishing my hike on the trail I saw a large alligator splashing in the waters while it gathered leaves and aquatic plants. I was told by some folks it is nesting season and the alligator was preparing a nest for it’s eggs. I was so intrigued by the activity of the alligator, I took a video and forgot to takes any photos.. Here is link to the video I uploaded to my YouTube Channel. https://youtu.be/GHw-py-Mq2Y I didn’t see a lot of the migrating birds I had hoped but it was still a wonderful hike in the unspoiled wilderness of the Everglades. I am glad to share the beauty I observed, and hope it instills in all who have read this post the need to protect this wonderful area.
The sun was starting to set, I was very tired, but I decided to drive to Lucky Hammock and continue my search for some migrating birds. This Hammock, located outside of the National Park, is a great place to observe migrating birds. Hundreds of species have been recorded being seen here. But not on Tuesday, I didn’t see a single one. But I did get to experience another beautiful Florida sunset.
It was another great day exploring Southern Florida. I was exhausted and hungry but didn’t want to wait to eat in a restaurant, as I almost always do on my travel. My regular followers know I like to eat and share my dining experiences too.. But not this evening, . I stooped at a local market and had orange juice, some raw almonds and a banana for dinner. After editing some photos I was soon asleep, looking forward to another day exploring South Florida, and finding those migrating song birds. And here is a ling to a gallery with some more photos from my hike on the Anhinga and Gumbo-Limbo trails Florida Day One Royal Palm hikes March 28 2023
“There are no other Everglades in the world. They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth, remote, never wholly known. Nothing anywhere else is like them; their vast glittering openness, wider than the enormous visible round of the horizon, the racing free saltness and sweetness of their massive winds, under the dazzling blue heights of space. They are unique also in the simplicity, the diversity, the related harmony of the forms of life they enclose. The miracle of the light pours over the green and brown expanse of saw grass and of water, shining and slow-moving below, the grass and water that is the meaning and the central fact of the Everglades of Florida. It is a river of grass.” Marjory Stoneman Douglas, The Everglades: River of Grass, 1947