Winter @ Green Cay – Nature Walk
For those of my readers who may be tired of watching disclosure and related videos… I took a photo stroll through Green Cay Wetlands this morning. It was a slightly nippy morning for SE Florida… temperature range in low 50’s (about 12.7 C), cool enough to put on a light sweatshirt. Oddly enough though, there were quite a few birds to be seen. Flocks of Glossy and White Ibis were flying around and landing. Cormorants were busy building nests high up in the swamp cypress trees. Anhingas and Grackles were feeling the urge to show off and attract mates. Hawks were hanging out, lurking in the shadows, observing the activity and making other birds nervous. It was quite entertaining to listen to a Green Heron ‘talk’. I saw a rare treat, a Night Heron hunched on a branch basking in the sunlight. All and all, a busy fruitful morning for photos.
There were lots of herons (Green, Little Blue, Tri-colored) in evidence, as well as Egrets.
The grebes are adorable, small birds. When they are hunting for a meal, they tip over headfirst into the water. You can see the grebe above is quite wet, but unlike the Anhingas, they do not require a drying off period between dips.
Different water birds thrive in the natural environment offered by the man-made ponds. I am not sure just how old the wetlands are, but the property was originally farmland. Hammocks… groves of hardwoods and palms, and various native shrubs… were planted creating a variety of ecosystems to attract native and migratory birds. The rest of the wetlands are reeds, grasses, and other marsh plants that can sustain life in a changing environment, as well as cleanse the water. Today, the water level was quite high after the recent rains.
The male Grackle was singing a song and fluffing his feathers to attract a nearby female… who was hiding in the fern below. There were rival Grackle bachelors posing, preening and singing. Breeding time for these birds is winter… unlike the rest of North America!
The large Wood Storks are interesting to watch. They are wading birds, scratching the muddy bottom and then scooping up whatever is dislodged. More of these birds nest at the nearby Wakodahatchee Wetlands, but I didn’t go there today.
Well… as you can see from the photos, it was a bright coolish winter day in SE Florida and quite lovely to be outside walking and viewing these lively birds. I hope you enjoyed this impromptu ‘tour’.
Happy Holidays to all!