Most of the time having two winter homes in Florida is just plain silly, but I didn't think so last week when we left Ocala for a long weekend in our tropical paradise further south. Fort Myers may be only a couple of hundred miles away - but the weather, birds and landscape are completely different. We needed to get our condo ready to rent for "season" - January through April - but still had plenty of time to play.
The sunrise was beautiful as we headed to one of my favorite places: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.
We were one of the first people out on the boardwalk that winds through the swamp, so we got to clear the spider webs for the people behind us.
There were lots of noisy Carolina Wrens, but not much else on this visit.
Oh yes, the little Blue Heron was still looking for food - but they are so abundant that they hardly count. We still had a great walk on a beautiful day. We met several nice people including a new birder from Massachusetts who was on a whirlwind trip through Florida hoping to add to his life list. We shared adventures and information on hot birding spots in the state.
After we left the swamp, we decided to go down some of the back roads in the area and that's where I spotted this beautiful Red-shouldered Hawk sitting on a fence post.
I'm trying to get more action shots - birds in flight, but when you freeze the motion, sometimes they don't look natural - maybe it's the way his legs and feet hang straight down.
Along one of the canals, this Anhinga had just caught a catfish. He kept banging it back and forth against the rocks.
I'm still trying to get a decent shot of a Belted Kingfisher - but they are shy around people and don't sit still very long.