Monday, December 21, 2015

Shark Valley

Limpkin, I knew one was around, because of the number of empty snails shells on the ground
When I visit the Everglades during the winter season, I love going to Shark Valley.  The reasons are the number of birds that are present, and the variety of species that you can see.  Shark Valley is west of the main entrance to the Everglades and is located on the Tamiami Trail.  We left in a convoy at oh dark hundred so we could arrive at sunrise to Shark Valley.  We would need to park elsewhere, rather than in the parking lot at the visitor center because the gate does not open until 8:30 AM.  After parking and gathering our gear, we hiked into the park.  Looking around, I was very surprised at the lack of birds that I could see.  Not that there were any birds, but the number of birds present were very sparse and there was not the normal variety of waders present. The reason is the same as in the main park, the high water levels.  the water level give many more location for the animals to find food.  There were enough birds present to give us a chance to get a variety of different pictures and poses and the number of shots that I took were a lot less than what I have taken in the past.
Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron
Common Gallinule formerly known as Common Moorhen
Little Blue Heron
Common Gallinule
Purple Gallinule
White Ibis
What also was surprising was the lack of alligators.  Normally, there are alligators lying on the grass next to the path sunning themselves.  But, today I only saw one alligator in the water.
American Alligator

Still a day out photographing is a day better than at work.

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