Saturday, February 13, 2016


After Merritt Island NWR and adding the lifer spoonbill, I stayed in Phipps County Park.  A very nice campground with ponds and boardwalk, a pretty nice bath house could use some upgrades, and they had plenty of open spots I was in 38 right by the main pond and in the morning it was pretty neat sunrise out my windows!

.  My planned route was to drop down from the Merritt Island area, Titusville, FL in a southwesterly direction, so I went right past Lake Okeechobee.  It was again a cloudy day.  Seems So far the weather has not been exactly what I had hoped for...cold, cloudy, and windy then followed by some sun...


This lake is HUGE! 

This pano is a little skewed...but the horizon line is like looking at the ocean!  Not far from here I stopped by an orange grove to have lunch...and no I didnt go pick any as I had seen a crop duster flying around earlier....I do wonder what he was spraying?  

The grove thru the DLEX window while we had lunch

I had planned to go to Sanibel Island and the Ding Darling Preserve on the west coast...but then I found out I had to be back in SC a week earlier than I had I had to reconfigure a bit.  I saw on ebird rare alerts that an American Flamingo was continuing at Bunche Beach and I was practically in Ft Meyers so I stayed in the area hoping to get in at Koreshan State Historical Site but they were FULL...this reservation system is not a favorite thing to takes the spontaneity out of traveling!  So Casey and I got a room in a Best Western  in the area in order to save time, and the next morning I headed to Bunche Beach.  

I figured it would be like finding a needle in a haystack, but nope...others were there and they had spotted him so they pointed me in the right direction..

That is the bridge in the background that would have taken me to Sanibel Island..So If I had gone over there I wouldn't have seen this amazing bird! 

He or she was way out there too, so no sharp crisp shots were had by me, but you can certainly see what it is...he was standing on a sandbar in about knee deep on him water. 

I met some nice people there and one is now a new facebook friend!! She is wintering in FL from Grand Rapids Michigan.  I  have met some very nice people and had some interesting conversations.

Saw this Osprey right above my head on the beach that day it was an amazingly sunny day but cold!! 

someone said there was a  marbled godwit on the beach but it turned out to be a willet  poking around in the area ...

So after such a score I was ready to see more!  I had picked up a flyer about a place called Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and it was in the direction I was headed so I stopped.  

A painted bunting was almost the first bird I saw other than the always present palm warblers that are every where...there is a 2.5 mile boardwalk here!

Not many birds were around to be honest I did see this sweet gator family

Everyone said this was a water moccasin

I couldnt see the I can't be sure.  Not far from the snake was this sleepy Barred Owl!!

I rushed the last 1/2 mile worrying about Casey as the sun did come out... he was fine...but it seemed I had been there forever...heading out we spotted this Limpkin in the roadside ditch...bringing my new lifers to 3 at this point....there is so much standing water in FL right now every ditch is a stream!  

in the same ditch was this immature black crowned night heron...

I kept moving south to the Big Cypress National Preserve.

Next post!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.


  1. Some fantastic sightings for sure!

    1. Thanks Diana...I have enjoyed your Florida adventure very much...I really wanted to go to Ding Darling, so was really happy to see it on your blog!

  2. Sorry you have to cut your trip short. But you sure have captured some gorgeous birds on this trip. You did good getting the flamingo, your camera is amazing.

    You have gotten some great pictures of every thing and I love the water shots almost can feel the gentle waves on my ankles.

    1. Thanks so much for your encouraging comments...I was nearly cross eyed after peeping in the viewfinder trying to get a focused shot from that distance...I really wished for my tripod on that Flamingo location.

  3. I wonder if the flamingo was an escapee from a zoo. A rare sighting, indeed.

    1. I hope it did escape a its a Free Bird!! :o)

  4. Wonderful! I showed This post to Bill, especially the flamingo and told him I was envious of you.

    1. I think its still there! Go have a look n see.

  5. Fantastic sightings, it sounds an amazing area and such an abundance of birdlife. I realise there's always luck involved when birding but the chances of seeing, what to me are amazing birds, is probably fairly good. Great post, thanks.

    1. You are right with very little effort you can see a bushel of birds!


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