Yesterday I looked at the flycatchers that can be seen and photographed on a regular basis at Anhinga Trail, so today we’ll look at the Wood Warblers. These small, typically colorful birds can be extremely difficult to photograph. Most prefer the canopy of tall trees and rarely come down to eye level. Well, at Anhinga Trail there are no tall trees so you can get lucky and get a canopy loving species like a Northern Parula at eye level.
Anhinga Trail is known as one of the premiere locations to photograph Anhingas, herons, egrets, Wood Storks, and more. The place is so well known that on Saturday evening I witnessed well above $100,000 worth of lenses and camera equipment pointed at a single Great Blue Heron. It’s a popular place and I have been there so many times, I am much pickier where I point my lens these days. On Friday morning, I decided to focus on the often ignored songbirds of Anhinga Trail.
The marsh and reeds that line the edges of the canals can be extremely productive for a number of songbirds. On most visits, I see at least several species of warblers, a couple flycatchers, a couple blackbirds, and typically a handful of other species. Most photographers simply ignore these birds as they look for the charismatic herons and egrets.
It’s always fun when you find an unusual or out of place bird when birding. I had the pleasure to do just that twice over last weekend. Now when I am talking about unusual birds, I’m not talking about the birds themselves being weird or strange, I’m saying that their mere presence is unusual. So this past weekend I had two pretty cool and unusual species show up in Everglades National Park.
Of all the wading birds found in the Everglades, the Wood Stork is possibly the ugliest. These large white birds with a bald head may not be the most beautiful of the wading birds, but they are quite interesting and the most endangered.
One of the iconic locations in Everglades National Park is the Anhinga Trail at Royal Palm. This boardwalk is only about a half mile long but it extends out into the marsh affording extremely close views of alligators, herons, egrets, and if you are lucky, a purple gallinule. However, the stars of the show are really the trail’s namesakes, the Anhingas.