Nature Walk – Green Cay, 2 March 2022

Tri-colored Heron

Nature Walk to Green Cay, Palm Beach County, FL 2 March 22

Well, I finally stirred my bones and went on another birding walk to Green Cay. I had pretty good luck, although I couldn’t capture everything I witnessed. Missed photos on Roseate spoonbill, Great Blue Heron, Painted Bunting, woodpeckers, male Cardinal, Blue Jays, and Red-winged Black birds. The smaller birds are active, flitting about and hard to capture in motion, at least with my camera. Still, I got some nice shots in and a good walk. It is also always interesting to see the change in visitors. This time, there were a ton of snowbirds, the two-legged variety, come down to Florida for the winter or at least a visit to get out of the cold northern winter weather.

Green Cay is one of the county-run natural preserves. All of its trails are paved or on board walk. The vegetation is all natural to SE Florida marshes and hammocks. Many rarely seen birds either breed and/or pass through these small wetlands. Some nearly extinct species like the Wood Stork are making a comeback due to the preserves and environmental efforts in the area. Still, Palm Beach County is highly and intensely developed, although not on the scale (with high rises) that nearby communities like West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami are.

The walks are easy, benches and shelters are provided. I have seen wheelchairs, perambulators (baby carriages), canes, walkers, etc. being used by various people. The wetland trails are also popular with nearby residents who are out walking for exercise. No pets are allowed.

Enjoy the photos. I noted the species of birds under each one…

Male Anhinga Drying Out
Great Egret
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Glossy Ibis
Common Coot
Egret with breeding feathers
Nesting female Anhinga
Sunning female alligator (they’re smaller than males)
Little Blue Heron in breeding colors (note above beak)

Next trip, I will have to go back to Wakodahatchee as it is a favorite area for several breeding species of birds.

The alligator above was the first one I have seen for a long time. These armoured beasties are very calm, resting in the grass, basking in the late winter sun. They know how to relax.



(c) All Rights Reserved, Eliza Ayres – all photos, and

This entry was posted in Eliza, Nature, Nature Walks, Photography and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Nature Walk – Green Cay, 2 March 2022

  1. Dick Bacon says:

    Thanks for the shared pictures.


  2. denis says:

    Had to enlarge the alligator to view her eyes and body shape with that stunning concealment.
    Excellent images as usual; thanks for posting.


    • Eliza Ayres says:

      Thanks, Denis. Yes, the little beastie was tucked into the edge of the pond… across the pond from where I was standing on the boardwalk. I was just delighted to finally see a gator. It’s always a treat. I also saw a large turtle momentarily come up for air and then dive down into the murky water like a submarine.

      The wetlands sometimes feel like an open-air zoo with the animals free to come and go as they please. The place gets rather busy this time of the year with all of the out of town visitors.

      ❤ Eliza


  3. txcountrygal says:

    Eliza, you do amazing photography, Thank you!

    Special connection,- egrets come here and feed on cow dung bugs (?) Such a sight to see these beautiful white birds next to the beef steers, and then there are the Painted Buntings!

    There are at least 2 families that return to my bird feeders each spring, make their next, and bless me with the juveniles growing, the beautiful multi colored males, seeing to the females and eating enough food for the family. I haven’t found their nest so far, even with the colored yarn, and red and white string for all the nests, dryer lint, every thing I can think of to help me spot them. My neighbors have families too, We call each spring to make sure the others know they are arriving. Same with Hummingbirds, Although this past year after knee surgery, I wasn’t as attentive to my Hummingbirds.

    Now I know at least one place they go when Its cold here. My phone camera just isn’t enough and renters have tried to capture photos too, My cats love to watch out the window. They know I don’t appreciate gifts of birds, only mice!

    Keep on walking and taking photos for all of us! Barbara



    • Eliza Ayres says:

      Ah, Barb Mc! I’ve been doing photography of some sort since my father gifted me with a little 35mm point and shoot, which I hauled along on backpacking, hiking, and camping trips. Someone once told me that I have an ‘eye’ for selecting formats. I’ve never had real formal training although I attempted one class for SLRs once and couldn’t seem to grasp the concept of setting… well, I’ve forgotten the terminology at this point! My little Coolpix is hand-held so it takes a steady hand and I prefer going out on relatively calm days. I have discovered digital photography to be a blessing as I can take as many photos as I want, do some editing (mostly cropping) and then select what I want to actually save. Long ago, I worked at Eastman Kodak processing 35mm, 126mm and finally 110mm. I did color correction on the 110 film and was good at it. Good $$ but I didn’t like working in the middle of the night or in a dark room for hours at a time. Anyway, thanks. We get Painted Buntings down this way during the winter. Green Cay has a feeder up in the butterfly garden that attracts them, but I haven’t timed it well to see one, yet. Instead, I saw cardinals, Blue Jays, a woodpecker, several black birds…with everyone flitting around and getting into a little turf war over the seeds. I might actually have an older photo of a Bunting as I was able to download over three years of photos off my camera’s card. For obvious reasons, I did not do much photography during the height of the shutdown here in Florida. Then, later I refused to go to an outdoor venue where I was required to wear a mask, thinking the illegal mandate to be retarded. It was only late in Nov/Dec that I got in a few visits. Masks are not required now but wearing them is now a personal decision as it should be for anything you do with your own body. Anyway, enough politics… I do enjoy being out, scoping out the sometimes well-hidden birds or waiting for one to briefly hit a pose before moving naturally on with its feeding routine. My dad was also a photographer, so it was an interest we shared…somewhat.
      Thanks, Barb!


    • Eliza Ayres says:

      P.S., on the subject of Egrets, we have at least three different kinds here, the Cattle Egrets which are not natives but from South America, the Snowy Egret and the Great Egret. The latter two are very elegant birds. The Snowy has yellow feet and the Great has black feet… a detail that may not be immediately evident when the bird is knee deep in marsh muck and vegetation! The Cattle Egrets have golden feathers when they are in mating colors, while the Snowy and Great have drooping, delicate tail feathers that indicate they are in mating form. It’s fascinating to watch all of the birds passing through their life cycles.


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