Florida Day Two: An Evening Walk At Anhinga Trail And Finally, An Anhinga Sighting

Florida Day Two: An Evening Walk At Anhinga Trail And Finally, An Anhinga Sighting

Florida Day two evening (26 of 40)
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After my morning hike on the Anhinga Trail In the Everglades National Park, I edited some photographs, attended a zoom meeting and decided to return  to the Anhinga Trail in the evening to again  enjoy the scenery and hopefully to see some wildlife. 

When I arrived cumulus clouds floated in the deep blues Florida skies. The  late afternoon sun was still intense and temperatures remained in the low 80’s. It was a perfect afternoon for another walk. 

Few people were on the trail so I pretty much was able to enjoy it all  by myself. Well not all to myself. The cormorants were still around, seemingly undisturbed by my presence as they sat perched on the roof of a cabana in the middle of the trail. 

One flew in, wet  from a fishing diving, perched on a rail right in front of me,

and spread it’s wings to dry in the sun. 

There were still the swarms of dragonflies darting along the trail, occasionally landing for a rest. 

I walked the empty trails and walkways, 

and finally saw a a bird after which the trail was named, an anhinga sunning itself, like the cormorant, to dry its wings.  This was the best photo I could get.  In past years there were always dozens of these birds perched in trees along the trail. And, they are elsewhere this year, probably for the same reason the alligators aren’t here. The high water level allows the fish to spread out throughout the Everglades and the anhinga must seek them out.

I did see a few other critters on my walk including this not-native brown anole lizard sunning itself on a branch. These lizards are from Cuba and the Bahamas and have harmed the native green anole lizards. Anole lizards all have a dewlap , the red protrusion from the lizards neck. 

As soon as I heard  familiar harsh sounds of this birds I knew what it was, a red- winged blackbird. They are regular warm weather residents in the wetlands near my home. 

There was another purple gallinule walking across the lily pads foraging for food in the late afternoon sun. 

It is such a pretty and colorful bird. 

As the sun being to dip  on the western horizon I was lucky to see one more bird, a green heron.

Like the purple gallinule it is also a pretty and colorful bird. 

I watched as it extended its neck gathering dried leaves  for what purpose I don’t know. It would discard them so I don’t think it was gathering nesting materials. 

Whatever it was doing allowed me to get some nice photos. 

The sun was now setting in the west,

I hiked another two miles, bringing my total for the day to  near 8 miles.  I was tired, hungry and it was getting dark. Reluctantly I decided to leave. I was disappointed I didn’t see more alligators, my social media  followers like to see them. However, I still saw some beautiful birds, flowers and insects and one alligator and one anhinga. I left hoping to do better  in the days that follow. But just being in this wonderful place is a blessing in itself. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my hike on the Anhinga trail. Florida Day Two; Everglades Royal Palm afternoon hike. February 18 2021. 

Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far. Thomas Jefferson

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