Cycling in Florida – Anhinga Trail Revisited

Monday – After the longer ride to Flamingo the day before, we decided on a shorter trip for today’s outing and cycled over the Nike missile silo area and then went around to the Anhinga Trail again.

There were plenty of alligators and vultures and anhingas out and about again today, so I kept the camera working.

The Anhinga have an oil gland at the base of their tail and use their long necks to obtain the oil from the gland and then spread it on their feathers. THey are often seen standing on the ground with their wings outstretched in order to dry them off.

When we had been at the Anhinga Trail a couple of days earlier, photographers had asked me if I had seen and photographed the Purple Gallinule that was in the area. Of course, I hadn’t. This trip, though, I was more fortunate as I was in the right place when this Purple Gallinule came out of hiding, climbed up into the willow bushes near the boardwalk and began to eat the emerging willow buds and flowers. Definitely not the kind of behaviour that I would have expected of a Gallinule.

The Gallinule was not the only interesting bird that is normally tough to find and photograph that was at the trail today. Photographers and birders were treated to the presence of a Limpkin which landed by the trail and stayed around long enough for a few digital images to be captured.

Light was quickly fading as I decided to take another walk around the boardwalk to where the Anhingas were nesting. I was happy to see that some of the eggs had hatched and now there were young Anhingas in some of the nests sticking their long necks up into the air and pleading for food.

As dusk arrived, the wading birds continued to look for food but were ever more wary of the alligators which had begun to leave theri spots on the banks and were now drifting through the waters.

Stayed there until after sunset and watched as one after the other the alligators moved into the waters and drifted silently by.

and then cycled back to the campground in time for the presentation at the amphitheater. I got the feeling, as I walked along the dike, that I was being watched carefully and wasted no time once I had decided to leave :-).




About Ron

Ron has long had an interest in photography and traveling and, in recent years, has had more time to devote to both activities. Long a Pentax user, Ron switched to Nikon gear when he went digital. The advent of the digital SLR camera, and the ease of the internet blogging process, has provided a venue for sharing his photography and travel experience at the local, national and international level. More about Ron
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