On our fourth full day in Florida we woke in Florida City and began the drive north. I picked a somewhat random park we could stop and bird at once it was light enough out, Plantation Central Park just west of Fort Lauderdale.
|Also, Blue Jays
|Not the typical BUOW experience in the PNW
|Jacob vs. Wood Stork
|Florida green watersnake
|Great Blue Heron child
|Wood Stork child
|Florida redbelly turtle
After those successes we headed west to Circle B Bar Reserve, a former cattle ranch, near Lakeland. I had heard of the place but didn't know what to expect, arriving in the mid-day warmth.
I really had not expected to be fighting off raccoons while trying to eat lunch at a picnic table. They were cute but persistent. After filling our bellies we started to explore the park.
|More Eastern lubber grasshoppers
We found a nice mixed flock in these trees that contained Jacob's lifer Black-throated Blue Warbler among other warblers.
|Black-throated Blue Warbler
A Pileated Woodpecker took a sand bath just off the trail.
This Anhinga stabbed this Brown hoplo, a non-native catfish, to death which was fun to watch.
After several hours here we went to check into our hotel in Lakeland but then decided to go back for more birds in the evening. One of the first things we found was this cool corn snake:
We stumbled upon a Barred Owl family, which was a pleasant end to the day.
The next morning we decided to return for more rather than try somewhere new.
|Psyched to have some cloud cover
|GBH eating an Asian swamp eel
|Common Gallinule child
Back in the parking area I found a couple of wheel bugs (Arilus cristatus) on the picnic tables and the port-a-potty door.
Our complete checklist from our third visit here. I can see why birders love this spot! Lots of areas to wander with plenty of good habitat for a variety of wildlife. But now it was time to start heading north to Gainesville, our final destination on our Florida road trip. More to come!