Thursday, January 24, 2013

Anhinga Trail, Part II

Click here for Part I.

If I'd only taken the pictures from my last blog post during our time on the Anhinga Trail, I would have considered it an enjoyable and successful time.  To have gotten twice as many is almost more than I can comprehend.

And the end of one boardwalk was an observation deck that looked out over an area that had at least a dozen alligators, who captured the attention of most of the visitors.  What did I focus on?  The Little Blue Heron looking for lunch.

This pose was much more common among the handful of Green Herons we saw than the upright stance of the one earlier.

The Great Blue Herons I've seen at South Platte Park will fly off if they think you're too close ... from the opposite side of the river.  This one in Florida was much more laid back, letting me get thisclose.

This picture breaks a cardinal rule of nature photography -- the picture that's really not that good, but you can't resist showcasing because you know how hard it was to get.  This Purple Gallinule never stayed still, moving skittishly in and out of the undergrowth.  I tried to stay with him for a while, but couldn't manage a shot sharper than this one.  This round's to you, Gallinule.

I saw two Pied-billed Grebes on our trip, each floating alone in a small body of water.  Do they do anything else?

An endangered Wood Stork was foraging when we arrived, and as much as I wanted to get a shot of him he was just too far off.  On our return trip I noticed he had moved closer, and he then did me the ultimate favor of taking off, flying in my direction and gliding in for a landing not too far in front of me.  Serendipity.

The alligators didn't seem that dangerous mainly because most of them weren't moving.  They just lay in the sun, soaking up rays.  This one, however, seemed much more sinister as he glided silently towards us.  Danelle got this shot of him before he disappeared under the bridge we were on.  I was busy getting off the bridge.

Nearly lost in all the alligators and wading birds was this Northern Mockingbird, sitting in a tree quite close to the trail and apparently unperturbed at all the foot traffic.  He did glare at me a bit, but wasn't bothered enough to give up his perch.

I don't think we spent even two hours on the trail, but saw an absolutely staggering abundance and diversity of wildlife.  I was so overwhelmed by it all, I didn't even try to convince my family to also do the Gumbo Limbo Trail.  We'd already seen more than I could process.

And now I have an excuse to come back someday. :)

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