Florida Day Two: Not Much Luck At A Foggy Lucky Hammock But A Few Birds On Aerojet Road.
On the second day of my birding visit to South Florida I decided to hike to Lucky Hammock. It is a small stand of hardwood trees located just outside the Homestead entrance to the Everglades National Park in the Frog Pond WMA. Although small in size almost 250 species of birds were sighted here. It i reported to be one of the best birding areas in South Florida. When I left my hotel room before sunrise I discovered a thick fog had settled in overnight.
I drove 10 miles through the thick fog and began my hike on the trailhead to the Lucky Hammock on the old Aerojet Road. The road continues for five miles and takes you the ruins of the old Aerojet rocket facility. I hiked here on my visit in January and you can use the search tool below to read more about that hike and the history of the area.
Lucky Hammock is only about only a quarter of a mile from the trailhead. I had read that many species of birds stop here on their yearly migration. Well there were none on this foggy morning. I didn’t see or hear one bird on my walk around the hammock. I thought there would be at least some bird activity, even in the thick fog.
There was still almost no birds activity in the woodlands along the trail. The vegetation along the trail is varied and changes form the farm fields to some hardwood forest to cypress trees wetlands . There are many native and invasive plants growing in the subtropical South Florida climate. I was looking for birds on this hike but still noticed many of the flowers in bloom form the exotic white Malaysian jasmine flowers,
As the fog dissipated, some blue sky and sunshine finally appeared,
The fog had burned off entirely when I reached some wetlands on the other side of the canal.. I loved seeing the cypress trees with their new light green leaves. They were bare on my visit in January. .
I saw a few more water birds on the canal as I neared Lucky Hammock. This, I believe is a common gallinule. It is my first sighting of this bird. I have seen many of their purple cousins on my travels in South Florida.
The only bird I heard was a red bellied woodpecker deep inside the hammock. Not one migrating song bird. In fact not a single bird of any kind. I did notice some more of the many wildflowers growing around the hammock, including Mexican primrose
and this queen butterfly. I saw hundreds of other dragonflies and butterflies on my five mile hike but I didn’t want to take the time to try and photograph them. I was looking for birds and I wasn’t finding many.
I believe it was the same one I saw earlier in the fog. It is a beautiful bird. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos of the birds I saw on my hike. Florida Day Two Lucky Hammock morning birds March 29 2023
I ended my five mile hike, a little disappointed I didn’t see more critters and birds but still happy to experience so much of Florida’s flora and fauna. I love the Everglades. . I am hoping to try again and return to the Lucky Hammock before I leave the Everglades. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos from my hike Florida Day Two Lucky Hammock March 29 2023.
I spent the hot afternoon editing photos, working on my blog and doing some work for my law office back home. I decided to return to Lucky Hammock late afternoon but , on my drive over, I saw threatening clouds to the west so I decided to hike on the Southern Glades Trail.
I was able to walk about a half mile when I heard the distant sound of thunder. I quickly walked back to my SUV. Here is a link with a few photos form my evening hike. Florida Day Two . Southern Glades Trail hike March 30 2023.
It was a good decision to end my hike . It started raining on my drive back to town to the Farmers Market Restaurant. A torrential downpour began as I entered the restaurant. It continued during my entire meal of blackened grouper, pinto beans and mashed potatoes.
And ,of course key lime pie for dessert. The rain continued, and I wanted to get back to my room so I darted to my car but still got drenched. I changed, edited some photos and worked on my blog for a while. Then I went to sleep looking forward to exploring Flamingo at the Southern end of the Everglades in the morning.
“in every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks” John Muir