Letter on map: J
I travelled my way down to Flamingo, which is a good haul from the park entrance. It had been devastated a year or two previously by a major hurricane, and most buildings and locations were still damaged during my visit in March 2009. This caused 2 problems... 1 --- I travelled deep into the park with minimal supplies. 2 --- I was HOOKED and wanted to stay longer!
For the first time in my FL travels, the naturalist in my started to go crazy. I had tried to devote my time to bird photography only, but now I couldn’t help but notice all the cool plants, dragonflies, butterflies, etc etc... At the marina in Flamingo I saw TWO American Crocodiles basking in the open. Hooked I tell you! Breeding colonies of Roseate Spoolbill and Wood Stork didn’t provide many pictures, but were spectacular to see .
I did some photography at some various pools of water, but I guess it wasn’t quite the same as the “guidebooks” said after the area had been flooded with salt-water during the hurricane (+mud and dead vegetation). I did get some of my better chances with Black-necked Stilts. Osprey and Red-shouldered Hawks were also very cooperative, yet I tried to ignore them, since they were species also found back home in Ontario.
After some fun exploring Flamingo, I had a game-changing experience. Swallow-tailed Kite migration was in FULL swing, and I was seeing them everywhere. Years later, it still PAINS me to recall, but I missed one of the BEST photographs of my life when I failed to lock focus on a kite that did a top-side dive towards me, grabbed a small lizard from a tree, and proceeded to eat it while flying over my head. The missed photo would have been award winning, and the photos I DID get still make me sad....
After 2+ days in the everglades, I was itching to move again (really itching, as I managed to get chigger bites all over my feet and was extremely un-comfortable. I missed an entire night’s sleep).
It was a spectacular visit, and I’m sure I will return someday.