Tuesday, March 29, 2016

By Rook or by Crook

We visited Rookery Swamp in Florida in 2015.

Is it a bad omen when vultures cross your path? Or block the trail entirely? You better get used to it at Rookery Swamp in Florida. These days, it's not uncommon to see bikers blocking your path as well. But it is still a great place for birding. Here's the low down from the crew trust website 

The Bird Rookery Swamp Trail officially opened in July 2011. The Bird Rookery Swamp Trail offer 12 miles of hiking and biking trails, including an 1800-ft. boardwalk with wheelchair accessibility. A 1/4-mile crushed shell path leads to an 1800-foot boardwalk, then the trails become ground level, sandy/grassy relatively flat berms with swamp on both sides. The trails are actually old tram roads used when the area was logged many years ago. Biking can be a challenge on the grassy/sandy trails, but quite rewarding. The maple-cypress swamp is home to alligators, otters, Florida panthers, bobcats, white-tailed deer and more. There is one port-o-potty at the beginning of the boardwalk and several benches along the trail within the first 1.5 miles. Beyond that there are no structures.
Birders will delight in the abundance of songbirds that frequent the cypress trees along the boardwalk, as well as the many raptors and wading birds found along the trails. Barred owls are common and swallow-tailed kites frequent the area in summer.
If you thought it was wet last year, think again. This year at Corkscrew was the wettest on record. The water was too deep for wading birds. And if you think the grandpas or Woodstorks are nesting. Forget about it.

This was last year. This year the swamp was bursting with more leafy life than ever before. But not as many birds.

This red shouldered hawk had an eagle eye. On us. Or, some unsuspecting prey.

An origami style mushroom.

Camo gecko.




A burst of color.


Some things slither. 

I'll post this year's walk later on. But for now...

Be sure to snake your way over to The Chorus of the Crows this week. I'm going postal!

The links:


Breathtaking said...

Hello!:) Treking through this Swamp Trail would be definately my cup of tea! Thank you for sharing all your great photos of the wild life you saw.:)

MartiDIY said...

Nice photos! I love the hawk photos. I've never seen (or heard) of a mushroom like that. It looks like a flower. Very cool.

Gunilla B├Ąck said...

Fabulous photos! The mushroom is very pretty and I love the hawk and the gecko.

Chris Rohrer said...

Never a bad omen! Pretty cool actually!:) Swamp Trails are the best when there aren't any mosquitoes:) Have a great week!

Margaret Adamson said...

great treke and lovely sightings. Love the Hawk and Turtle shots a lot

Stephanie said...

Wonderful series!

Neil said...

Beautiful photos.

DJan said...

LOVE all your pictures, but especially that origami mushroom! :-)

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

What a great place to see wildlife!

NatureFootstep said...

such an interesting place. Loved it, thanks for sharing!

Christian Perrin said...

What a fantastic place! Looks like it is positively crawling with wildlife!

Wood storks always seem like a charismatic bird, would love to see one someday.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Every time I visit you, I feel like I have been on a fantastic journey!
Spectacular photos!

Ruth Rieckehoff said...

What a neat place (except for the snake, I was scrolling very slow because I had the suspicion that something like that was going to appear). That origami mushroom surprised me. I am geek at things like that. Now, I have to Google to see what I can find about it.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, awesome collection of birds and critters. The trail looks like my kind of place for a walk. Great post and photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a lot of variety you've seen! I'll look it up and see if it's close enough for us to visit. Loved seeing your spider webs in the previous post too! Great photos!

Anni said...

Now wait just a gosh darned minute...that's a MUSHROOM?!!! I've never seen anything like it.

Beautiful birds....even tho the water this year is too deep for them. Sometimes, I don't know what's worse, drought or heavy rainfall. Record breaking amounts, like we had last Autumn...

Hope the weather settles a bit.

Always love seeing the wood storks.

Thank you kindly, for adding and sharing the post with us all at I'd Rather B Birdin' this weekend. It's always so much appreciated.

lisasdream said...

Wow you take really great pics :) Love the double turtles! Those Vultures look very scary, do they attack walkers?

Swapna (The Practical Mom) said...

Beautiful! Would love to see your posts in the Practical Mondays Link Up:)

NC Sue said...

Great shots!
Were the vultures doing some sort of a mating dance?
Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/04/this-is-what-hope-looks-like.html

Our Seaside Baby said...

Stunning photos as always. Amazing landscape too and how colourful and bright everything is! Love the photos of the Turtles, such interesting animals. Thanks for linking up #MyFavouriteTrip Polly x