Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Another visit to Royal Palms, and over to Flamingo

A vulture welcoming committee this morning

 Cathie and I were up early this morning, on a beautiful 20C (68F) morning. After coffee and showers we decided to revisit the Anhinga Trial. It was a good time to go, as the birds and gators were more active, and not as many people (although it wasn't crowded yesterday either). 

As we walked through the Royal Palms parking area, we noticed several black vultures roosting on a minivan. Not sure what the attraction was with that particular vehicle, but I'm glad they weren't on our car. They are not the cleanest of birds, and one seemed determined to eat a windshield wiper:

Some more pictures from the boardwalk today:

 As we walked along, we came upon an Anhinga perched on the boardwalk railing. This wasn't something we had seen before, and when we got closer we could see it had something wrapped around its beak. It couldn't open its beak at all, certainly couldn't catch and eat fish:

We were able to catch it and use Cath's nail clippers to remove the wad of fishing line. It was a 2-person job so no pictures of that unfortunately. It was nice to see it opening its beak afterwards, carefully at first, like it wasn't sure it still worked. The bird was likely starving, which was why we were able to catch it.

We encountered a serious-looking photographer, with a lot of birds milling around behind him:

A really short video of it:

Lots of birds in the trees, some with nests:



Some gators seemed to hang out around nesting trees, maybe waiting for a bad flyer to hit the water:

It was interesting (though kind of eerie) to see how the gators propel themselves through the water with their tail, easy to see how they could sneak up on prey:

 When we returned to camp, A&R were ready for a walk, so we hiked around the campground lake on this gorgeous day, keeping an eye out for gators:

We're glad we have no pets with us this trip.

Company arrived at camp in late morning. Alan's brother (and my cousin of course) Ken with his wife Sharon dropped in, all the way from Ingersoll Ontario with their camper van. Ruth and Alan needed to get to town for some supplies, so K&S came with us on a drive to Flamingo, about 40 miles to the southwest.

Cathie, Sharon and Ken at the Flamingo shores

The big elevation between Flamingo and our campground. It's flat here.

Ruth decided she'd fix supper for everyone today - fresh corn, potatoes etc. We all contributed a bit too. Nobody went away hungry, that's for sure.







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