Thursday, February 25, 2010

Corkscrew Swamp!! Put this one on your "must visit list!"

Corkscrew Swamp, 25 miles east of Fort Meyers Fl. is an amazing place to visit! (we actually went twice!) This swamp shares sights and vistas that will thrill everyone in your family.
The Swamp was once a part of a timber package that was to be leveled for its wonderful cypress trees. However, a group of conservationists were able to persuade the owners to lease the acreage and allow it to become an area where one could enjoy the flora and the wildlife. There's more to this story but that is the short and sweet part of it!! The boardwalk, allows one to roam selected acreage and seek out all that live, visit and nest there! The walk is about 2 1/2 miles but there is also an option of a 1 mile walk.
We were thrilled with all the species of birds we saw. Our first encounter was with the Brown-headed, White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches (all in one tree!) Eight different species of Warblers, Flycatchers, Gnatcatchers, Ibis, Herons and even this "lovely couple" of Black Vultures!

and of course, it's have to see a gator or two or three!
but then there was this large sign to remind you to look down.. as much as you want to look up! BUT just so you know.. We visited twice in two weeks and did not see one little ole snake!
Entertainment came in many forms. We loved watching this fox squirrel...hamming it up for the cameras BUT I have to say the jewel of the whole trip was....
this little male Painted Bunting..OMGoodness he was a feast of color! The lady standing next to me whispered, "I have been waiting 6 years to see a Painted Bunting!" That made me feel pretty darn lucky!

..and then, just for her, I'm sure of it, there were two male Painted Buntings! What gorgeous birds!!
..and then when you think it couldn't get any better..the Mrs. flies in to take her place next to her gorgeous mate!! She poses as if she knows everyone has a camera.. First, a tilt of the head for a little side view.
or maybe you want this pose!! So nice!!
and not far along on the board walk we are awed by this Barred Owl! He was just waking up as we were tip-toeing past!
We were lucky to see many species of woodpeckers, many Red-Shouldered Hawks, raccoons, otters, deer, large Red-Bellied name it!! By mid-morning everyone was out and about and I thought this gentlemen was just pushing a toddler in this stroller... but when I looked down I had to laugh...sorry, it is a little blurry.. it was one of those walk-on-by-and-take-a-quick-pix!! I didn't want him to know I was taking a picture of his most prize possession..but I can see why you would want to push this monster and not have to carry it. Jeeze, now that's a lens!! Corkscrew is definitely a photographers dream walk. I would suggest you put it on your list to visit if you ever head to this part of Florida! You won't be disappointed!!

I also wanted to share another major find for us...A gorgeous Crested Caracara. He wasn't found at Corkscrew Swamp but on a lonely road known as Route 832 north of Corkscrew. We specifically traveled to this road to look for the Caracara and were rewarded during our second visit! We only saw one but he was close to the road and didn't seem to mind us watching him!!

would like to hear your thoughts..