Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Florida Everglades

After our cruise was done, my mom and I rented a car and took off to the Everglades before turning into the airport. We took Hwy 41 (aka Tamiami Trail) and did an airboat tour out of the Everglades Safari Park.

We arrived early, before they were running any tours. I was chatting with the fellow behind the desk, ignoring my mom saying "David there is a bird". I finally went over to her and she said "I think it was a Gallinule". I found this amusing since she isn't a birder. About 20 seconds later, this little guy popped up.

Lifer Purple Gallinule dancing for me. Boom!

That was too easy. We finally took the tour around the park. Airboats are loud! Lots of herons, egrets, ibis and spoonbills to keep me pleased. I thought I saw a Snail Kite flying away from me, but it was tough to tell. On the way back, I started getting nervous, until I saw this beaut!

A terrible picture of a beautiful bird. Snail Kite!
We also went to Shark Valley and took the tram around the 15 mile loop since we were too hot and lazy to walk at all. Plus the flies were starting to come out. This is where I got my FOY and probably OON (Only of Year, I just made it up) Limpkin. Also managed a few other shots.

Anhinga. I should have gotten a better picture.
Green Heron fishing
The ever present Black Vulture
And for those of you interested in Butterflies, here are a couple from outside my hotel the first night. Dainty Sulphur and Barred Yellow (lifer).

Not easy capturing this tiny Dainty Sulphur with a 300mm F4 lens.
Barred Yellow doing its thing
So, pretty much what you would expect out of the Everglades. Given the Snail Kite and Purple Gallinule were basically handed to me, I can't complain. I still need to do an actual birding trip to Florida, so many still to see!

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