Florida’s Fall Colors

CREW Flint Pen Strand

by Nan Mattingly & Dick Brewer

If you miss the change of seasons in Florida, don’t despair. You’ll find some brilliant red foliage here in November and December, red leaves that will remind you of New England in fall. Not in the New England kind of abundance, but in flashes of red amidst our lush green forests and wetlands. Look for these plants or trees and their crimson leaves in fall:

photo of poison ivy

Poison ivy: as long as you don’t touch it and expose yourself to its poisonous sap, poison ivy is very attractive when its leaves turn red in autumn. A reliable identification is important, so be aware that poison ivy can take the form of a low-growing plant, a shrub or a climbing vine. Its most distinct characteristic is its green foliage – clusters of three leaves alternating on the stem. Those leaves may be smooth or serrated around the edges, and occasionally you’ll see a leaf that resembles a mitten. In fall poison ivy produces white berries that provide food for birds, deer, raccoons, bears and other wildlife at a time of year when food becomes scarce. Poison ivy is found along many CREW trails, but just remember: leaves of three, let it be. 

photo of red maple

Red maple: red maple trees are found all over the U.S. and Canada. In Florida we have our own showy variety of red maple, the Florida Flame, whose leaves turn a brilliant red in fall and then drop after just a few weeks. This variety has adapted to our environment and prefers to live in wet areas. The first part of the boardwalk at Bird Rookery Swamp is lined with red maples. Note that our red maples are not as tall as those found elsewhere in the U.S., rarely exceeding forty feet in height and showing a slim profile. When the bare trees begin to leaf out again in January or February, the new leaves are tinged with red.

photo of Virginia creeper

Virginia creeper: sometimes mistaken for poison ivy, both plants have red leaves in fall, woody stems and compound leaves, and they can both be aggressive climbers. You can distinguish Virginia creeper by noting that its leaf clusters contain five, not three, leaves. A Virginia creeper vine can grow to 60 feet or longer. Birds, squirrels and deer eat its blue-black berries in fall, and native Americans in Florida used the red leaves to make a pink dye. Some people are sensitive to its sap but the resulting rash is not usually as irritating as that caused by poison ivy. Think twice before you plant it in your yard; it tends to take over and it clings tenaciously to walls, fences, trees, etc., with strong adhesive disks on its tendrils.

photo of winged sumac

Winged sumac: winged sumac is another plant that provides us with flashes of brilliant red in the fall in Florida. A shrub or tree that grows up to fifteen feet tall, winged sumac is not poisonous even though it resembles poison sumac. It’s the larval host and an important nectar source for the red-banded hairstreak butterfly.

photo of a red-banded hairstreak butterfly

You may think that we have only two seasons in southwest Florida – hot and hotter, or dry and wet. But if you get out on the CREW trails in October, November and December, you’ll spot some gorgeous fall foliage that may remind you of the turning leaves found elsewhere. If you’re really lucky, you may enjoy some cool weather, too.    

The CREW Project: Meeting a basic human need

By Allison Vincent

Hydrologic restoration results in better natural water flow at CREW Flint Pen Strand

In general, the human mind operates at an exponential pace, keeping time with the flow of society. We tend to have trouble slowing down and observing the different habits of other living things. Likely, that is because it can be difficult to notice these other forms of life living in our human-centric culture, but it can be done closer to home than you might think. 

Think about your first memory of being in a forest, nature preserve or park. You get outside seeking adventure, and whatever you’re expecting, it pales in comparison to the real thing. Perhaps you’re lucky enough to see something that is actually majestic – like a white-tailed deer with a strong prancing grace and huge skyward-facing rack of antlers, or some Everest-high clouds rising above a flat Florida landscape. 

Oftentimes it’s these personal connections that make these natural places special to us as individuals and it’s only through time and experience that we realize the significance is more than it seems. You’ll be glad to know that accompanying the vistas and wildlife along the CREW trails, there’s a long-range plan in effect, one that looks to our universal need for water and the protection of watersheds.

Watersheds are everywhere, get to know yours at CREW!  

CREW Trust leads seasonal walks through our watershed, at CREW Flint Pen Strand

Forward-thinking people have for generations set aside huge swaths of land, like the CREW Project, for future generations. These public lands benefit the present inhabitants of an area manyfold, while also protecting our ongoing needs. The need for water, one of Maslow’s seven basic needs, is met by protecting the CREW watershed where many southwest Florida’s residents get their drinking water.

A unique mixture of partners divide up the roles of preservation at CREW. Land management falls to the primary land owners, the South Florida Water Management District (the District for short) which takes on the arduous role of long range planning – taking into account the complex needs of people and wildlife. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) pursues in-depth and long ranging scientific observation projects focused on CREW’s native wildlife. The non-profit CREW Trust expands public access to the lands through a 36+ mile network of trail systems and provides environmental education to our community through contributions via membership, donations, sponsorships, trail visitation, and volunteerism.

Whatever first brings you to wild places like CREW, or even if you never visit, every single resident in this region of southwest Florida contributes to and benefits from the foresight of protecting CREW’s lands for water. The 60,000+ acre watershed that makes up CREW is permeable – under all those pretty wildflowers and trees that we enjoy on hikes, water soaks through – purifying it through the limestone rock and storing it in the aquifer below.  

Make a connection with CREW

Maypop passionflower with two small visitors

Hiking along the CREW trails, listen for the erratic yet hypnotic buzz of a bee hive you could easily miss in the rapid pace of society. Instead, allow yourself to pause and listen; search for the pixelated movement of wings, coming to and fro from the hive epicenter. It’s not like bees often stop to look at us either, but humans are capable of slowing down to witness another life form. FWC biologists do it all the time at CREW and we are all capable of this broader understanding; that’s why we’ve made it easy to practice your observation skills at CREW. 

Whatever brings you to the CREW trails and if you only remember one important thing from this article remember this: alligators love suntanning as much as Floridians. Seriously though, your contributions- through your tax dollars, your membership with the CREW Trust, or your visits to CREW trails with friends and family – are making a difference for generations to come.

Thank you!

Check out what you might see at Bird Rookery Swamp this week!

Long-time CREW Trust volunteer naturalist Dick Brewer is a treasure-trove of information and brilliant citizen scientist. This week’s critter count includes a chicken turtle, almost 30 red-bellied woodpeckers and a great photo of two crested caracaras. Interested in making your own critter count during your next hike? Print out Dick’s BIRD ROOKERY SWAMP Wildlife Checklist and take it with you!

Bird Rookery Swamp

Wednesday, December 19 ~~ 7:05 AM – 1:00 PM

temperature: 54.0-76.0º ~~ RH 85.5-60.5%

sky: sun early, clouds late ~~ wind: calm at start, then 8-12 mph


Wood Duck – 2

Double-crested Cormorant – 5

Anhinga – 28

Great Blue Heron – 11

Great Egret – 10

Snowy Egret – 3

Little Blue Heron – 7

Tri-colored Heron – 3

Cattle Egret – 1

Green Heron – 4

Black-crowned Night Heron – 11

White Ibis – 22

Roseate Spoonbill – 1

Wood Stork – 2

Black Vulture – 12

Turkey Vulture – 26

Osprey – 1

Red-shouldered Hawk – 14

Crested Caracara – 2

American Kestrel – 1

Common Gallinule – 1

Killdeer – 5

Mourning Dove – 2

Barred Owl – 2

Belted Kingfisher – 8

Red-bellied Woodpecker – 28

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 4

Downy Woodpecker – 1

Pileated Woodpecker – 8

Great-crested Flycatcher – 1

Eastern Phoebe –  7

Carolina Wren – 13

House Wren – 1

Blue Jay – 1

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – 21

Northern Mockingbird – 2

Gray Catbird – 21

Common Yellowthroat – 1

Palm Warbler – 5

Pine Warbler – 1

Northern Cardinal – 4

Common Grackle – 77


White Peacock – 21

Phaon Crescent – 1

Barred Yellow – 16

Tropical Checker – 1


Alligator – 11

Brown Anole – 1

Banded Water Snake – 1

Red-bellied Turtle – 5

Florida Chicken Turtle – 2


River Otter – 2

Raccoon – 1

This week’s Bird Rookery Swamp critter count

Wondering what there is to see – or what may be seeing you – at Bird Rookery Swamp this week? Check out volunteer naturalist Dick Brewer’s critter count!

Bird Rookery Swamp

Monday, September 24 ~~ 7:05 AM – 1:25 PM

temperature: 76..0-93.8º ~~ RH 88.8-56.1%

sky: mostly sunny ~~ wind 0-5 mph


Anhinga – 5

Great Egret – 1

Snowy Egret – 1

Little Blue Heron – 2

Green Heron – 1

Black-crowned Night Heron – 3

White Ibis – 1

Black Vulture – 7

Turkey Vulture – 3

Red-shouldered Hawk – 20

Mourning Dove – 4

Common Ground Dove – 2

Belted Kingfisher – 2

Red-bellied Woodpecker – 26

Pileated Woodpecker – 6

Great-crested Flycatcher – 5

Eastern Wood Pewee – 1

unknown flycatcher – 1

Carolina Wren – 16

Blue Jay – 3

Tufted Titmouse – 6

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – 3

Northern Mockingbird – 3

White-eyed Vireo – 29

Louisiana Waterthrush – 3

Northern Cardinal – 13

Common Grackle – 4


Tiger Swallowtail – 4

Palamedes Swallowtail – 23

Viceroy – 5

White Peacock – 49

Ruddy Daggerwing – 3

Phaon Crescent – 10

Cloudless Sulphur – 2

Barred Yellow – 1

Brazilian Skipper – 4

Eufala Skipper – 3

Three-spotted Skipper – 53

Tropical Checker – 13

Red-waisted Florella Moth – 2


Eastern Pondhawk – 22

Halloween Pennant – 12

Needham’s Skimmer – 3

Blue Dasher – 9

Eastern Amberwing – 1

Citrine Forktail – 3


Alligator – 57

Brown Anole – 13

Pig Frog – 7


White-tailed Deer – 3

What is black and white and flies all over?

Swallowed-tailed kite birds growing up

Swallow-tailed Kites are some of the most graceful and beautiful birds gliding and soaring through the skies over Southwest Florida from February through August during their nesting and pre-migration roosting seasons. They are also very popular: drawings of Swallow-tailed Kites are featured elements in the CREW and Great Florida Birding Trail logos.

Swallow-tailed Kite nest monitoring is currently being conducted in CREW and its adjoining Swallowed-tailed kite birds growing up lands in order to better understand the habitat needs for their nesting and foraging success in Southwest Florida.

Swallow-tailed Kites once nested in 21 states. Records from the 1800s show nesting pairs as far north as Minnesota and Wisconsin. Then the population underwent a sudden decline. By 1940, the kite’s range had shrunk to seven states from coastal South Carolina to eastern coastal Texas and all of the Florida panhandle.

Currently, fewer than 2500 nesting pairs are believed to exist in the United States (*ARCI 2016). Hence, the need for monitoring and research so that land managers can understand  the optimal conservation approaches to preserving the habitats that sustain the kites.

A number of factors contribute to the vulnerability of Swallow-tailed Kites.

They have high mortality during their summer migration between the southern United States and southern Brazil when they fly across the Gulf of Mexico and again when they fly back to the United States the following spring. They do not usually begin breeding until  they are three to four years old, and nesting adults and their young are subject to predation by Great Horned Owls. Plus, there just aren’t very many of them.

Habitat loss is also a factor in their decline. Freshwater forested wetlands and cypress swamps, where the birds nest, have been dwindling for centuries. Since the 1700s, about half the nation’s wetlands have disappeared, threatened by agriculture, development, logging, dams, dredging and invasive species, as well as natural disturbances like hurricanes. The rate of wetlands loss has wavered, but it hasn’t stopped: A 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report found that wetland losses were outdistancing gains, especially in those freshwater forested wetlands the kites need.

Habitat is more important for kites than some other species because Swallow-tailed Kites are one of the very few social raptors. They forage in groups, nest in “neighborhoods,” and roost in groups. That makes them especially vulnerable; being social ties large groups of them to a single place. If those places where they forage, nest, and roost are not protected, the population will decline further.

This spring, FWC biologists and CREW volunteers have been monitoring 10 different nests in and around the CREW lands. Those nests have produced 12 known kite fledglings, and four more are suspected to have fledged.

Data about the nest locations, habitats, and activities are housed at the CREW office. They will be added to FWC’s Habitat and Species Conservation migratory bird database once it is complete. In addition, the CREW data is available for use by the FWRI (Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, the branch of FWC that conducts wildlife research) and by the Avian Research and Conservation Institute which monitors kites nationally.

Locally, the data will be used in a couple of ways.

First, FWC is interested in collecting data on which avian species are breeding on the CREW Management Area property and what type of success these species have from year to year.

Second, using the nests discovered this year, a finer model of CREW’s kite nesting habitat can be created by using the data collected at the nest tree and surrounding habitat. Then, desirable habitats can be maintained and created.

However, preserving habitat for kites is not as simple as just figuring out where the birds are nesting right now. It’s also necessary to determine where they could thrive in the future. That information will be crucial for land managers throughout the kite range.

*For more information about Swallow-tailed Kites, visit the Avian Research and Conservation Institute (ARCI) web site at http://www.arcinst.org/swallow-tailed-kite


Written by CREW Trust volunteer Dick Brewer 



A View of Bird Rookery Swamp…It’s Summer Time

Bird Rookery Swamp observations
Saturday, June 11
6:40 am-12:20 pm

“In spite of the heat and humidity, it was a good day. I identified 32 species of birds and 14 species of butterflies. Among the pleasant bird sightings were a male Wood Duck flying over, four Barred Owls, three Yellow-billed Cuckoos, and a lone Black-and-white Warbler
working up and down a cypress trunk.

Butterflies were outstanding. White Peacocks were still the most common, but the swallowtails were out in force: 43 Tiger Swallowtails, 41 Palamedes Swallowtails, seven Spicebush Swallowtails, and one Black Swallowtail. In several spots, they were puddling including one grouptrail_0611 of four Tiger Swallowtails and three Palamedes Swallowtails that were gleaning minerals from some fresh Panther scat.

With the recent rains, water is up. It’s dry up to marker 3, but there were five spots between marker 3 and marker 6 where water was flowing over the tram. Most were just a couple of inches deep. The deepest was seven inches.

Ida was swimming in her pond early but I didn’t see her on my way out. However, a really large male was making its way across the tram a little beyond her pond.”

Anhinga – 11
Great Blue Heron – 2
Great Egret – 14
Snowy Egret – 12
Little Blue Heron – 5
Tri-colored Heron – 8
Green Heron – 1
Black-crowned Night Heron – 2
Yellow-crowned Night Heron – 1
White Ibis – 2
Wood Duck – 1
Black Vulture – 26
Turkey Vulture – 11
Red-shouldered Hawk – 23
Mourning Dove – 1
Common Ground Dove – 1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo – 3
Barred Owl – 4
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 9
Downy Woodpecker – 1
Pileated Woodpecker – 4
Great-crested Flycatcher – 2
Blue Jay – 2
American Crow – 1
Tufted Titmouse – 6
Carolina Wren – 13
Northern Mockingbird – 2
White-eyed Vireo – 19
Northern Parula – 2
Black-and-white Warbler – 1
Northern Cardinal – 29
Common Grackle – 20

Palamedes Swallowtail – 41
Tiger Swallowtail – 43
Spicebush Swallowtail – 7
Black Swallowtail – 1
Zebra Longwing – 6
White Peacock – 79
Ruddy Daggerwing – 19
Viceroy – 12
Pearl Crescent – 1
Great Southern White – 12
Brazilian Skipper – 17
Least Skipper – 3
Three-spotted Skipper – 1
Tropical Checker – 1

Eastern Pondhawk – 21
Blue Dasher – 8
Needham’s Skimmer – 3
Regal Darner – 2
Little Blue Dragonlet – 2

Gray Squirrel – 1

Alligator – 58
Brown Anole – 8
Red-bellied Turtle – 1
Banded Water Snake – 2
Pig Frog – chorus
Greenhouse Frog – 5
Green Treefrog – chorus
Cuban Treefrog – chorus

By Dick Brewer 


A View of Bird Rookery Swamp…. under water!

Bird Rookery Swamp observations
Saturday, January 30
7:30 am-12:15 pm
“I wasn’t expecting a lot because of the cool start to the day, but by the end, 42 species of birds were confirmed. However, the temperatures definitely affected herps and insects. I only
saw six gators, five butterflies (2 species), and one dragonfly. One of the gators was Ida, who came up to sun in the late morning, her picture is below.
Ida_0130One of the highlights early was a family of five River Otters that was playing on the trail by the second bench. They would chase each other, jump on each other, roll in the grass, and generally seem to have a great time. A visitor was there early and saw them too. The otters
slipped into the water, swam to where we were, looked us over and huffed a lot. Then they swam back to where they began and continued to frolic. Here is there video on the CREW Trust facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/crew.environmental.ed

It must be prime time for hawk nesting. Two nests had hawks bringing in material and settling into the nest. The first photo is looking south from the first culvert past marker 3 heading toward marker 6. The second photo is a little past Ida’s Pond and on the left almost
over the trail. A third previously used nest just past marker 3 had a hawk visiting but not bringing anything in or staying at the nest.



Water is flowing over the trails in several spots, and in the deepest there’s actually a pretty strong current. The deepest areas are between markers 6 and 3. I deepest part I walked through was 11-12 inches, but a couple of channels I could step over were perhaps 16
inches deep”.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck – 1
Pied-billed Grebe – 3
Anhinga – 9
Great Blue Heron – 4
Great Egret – 15
Snowy Egret – 7
Cattle Egret – 2
Little Blue Heron – 13
Tri-colored Heron – 6
Green Heron – 3
Black-crowned Night Heron – 3
Yellow-crowned Night Heron – 1
White Ibis – 152
Roseate Spoonbill – 3
Wood Stork – 1
Black Vulture – 55
Turkey Vulture – 39
Red-shouldered Hawk – 13
Common Ground Dove – 9
Belted Kingfisher – 6
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 16
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 1
Downy Woodpecker – 2
Pileated Woodpecker – 3
Eastern Phoebe – 9
Great-crested Flycatcher – 4
Tree Swallow – 2
Blue Jay – 1
Tufted Titmouse – 7
Carolina Wren – 7
House Wren – 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – 7
Gray Catbird – 32
Northern Mockingbird – 3
White-eyed Vireo – 13
Blue-headed Vireo – 1
Palm Warbler – 14
Yellow-rumped Warbler – 37
Common Yellowthroat – 1
Northern Cardinal – 24
Red-winged Blackbird – 15
Common Grackle – 5

White Peacock – 4
Zebra Longwing – 1

Needham’s Skimmer – 1

River Otter – 5
Raccoon – 2
White-tailed Deer – 2
Gray Squirrel – 1

Alligator – 6
Brown Anole – 1

By Dick Brewer, CREW Trust Volunteer


A View of the Cypress Dome Trails- Wonderful Wildflowers


CYRESS DOME TRAILS (green and yellow trails, most of white trail)
Thursday, January 7 ~ 6:55 am – 11:15 am

“There is still lots of mud and some submerged spots on the white trail (I didn’t even try the wild coffee trail), and a few similar spots at the north end of the yellow trail.  The bird list is a blooms0107little better than normal for the Cypress Dome, but the best part was finding lots of native wildflowers in bloom. The four in the photo are Butterflyweed, Sabatia, Black-eyed Susan, and Glades Lobelia.
The large number of Turkey Vultures came in a steady stream that lasted almost 10 minutes before all had passed overhead.
A quick stop in the Imperial Marsh parking lot on the way back netted a huge flock of White Pelicans plus over two dozen storks and some miscellaneous herons and egrets”.

Great Blue Heron – 3
Great Egret – 2
Little Blue Heron – 1
Green Heron – 2
White Ibis – 7
Black Vulture – 7
Turkey Vulture – 324
Red-shouldered Hawk – 8
Cooper’s Hawk – 2
Sand Hill Crane – 2
Mourning Dove – 7
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 17
Downy Woodpecker – 1
Pileated Woodpecker – 8
Blue Jay – 5
American Crow – 1
House Wren – 5
American Robin – 21
Gray Catbird – 9
Northern Mockingbird – 1
Palm Warbler – 18
Pine Warbler – 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler – 17
Common Yellowthroat – 2
Northern Cardinal – 1

White Peacock – 2
Barred Yellow – 2
Gulf Fritillary – 1

Florida Cricket Frog (calling) – 8
Gray Squirrel – 3

A View of Bird Rookery Swamp- Florida Snapping Turtle

Bird Rookery Swamp observations
Saturday, January 2 ~ 7:00 am-12:10 pm

“The cloudy skies and starting temperatures in the upper 60s made walking very pleasant. One birder, three joggers, two hikers, and I were the only ones there at the start, but the gator_0102crowds of people began coming in around 11. When I left a little after noon, the parking lot was full and people were parking in the street. Lots of nice people.

Birding was good with 42 species, but the weather suppressed everything else including insects and herps. I only spotted seven gators for the day, but it may have been my ability to look in the right spot. In the attached photo, X marks the spot!

The Florida Snapping Turtle was just emerging from the water, probably to dig a hole and lay some eggs. It’s that time of year for them. She was between mile markers 8 and 9, a little west of the large twin culverts that run under the tram”.
Pied-billed Grebe – 3
Anhinga – 4
Great Blue Heron – 7
Great Egret – 13
Snowy Egret – 7
Little Blue Heron – 8
Tri-colored Heron – 8
Green Heron – 2
Black-crowned Night Heron – 4
Yellow-crowned Night Heron – 2
White Ibis – 143
Roseate Spoonbill – 8
Wood Stork – 6
Black Vulture – 102
Turkey Vulture – 13
Red-shouldered Hawk – 6
American Kestrel – 1
Mourning Dove – 1
Barred Owl – 1
Belted Kingfisher – 5
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 15
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 1
Downy Woodpecker – 1
Pileated Woodpecker – 5
Eastern Phoebe – 6
Great-crested Flycatcher – 8
Tree Swallow – 38
American Crow – 4
Tufted Titmouse – 6
Carolina Wren – 7
House Wren – 4
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – 32
American Robin – 19
Gray Catbird – 42
White-eyed Vireo – 2
Black-and-white Warbler – 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler – 41
Palm Warbler – 9
Common Yellowthroat – 1
Northern Cardinal – 9
Common Grackle – 16
American Goldfinch – 2

White Peacock – 47
Zebra Longwing – 1
Common Buckeye – 1
Brazilian Skipper – 1
Phaon Crescent – 1

Eastern Pondhawk – 2

White-tailed Deer – 1

Alligator – 7
Green Anole – 1
Brown Anole – 13
Pig Frog – 1
Florida Snapping Turtle – 1

By Dick Brewer


A View of Bird Rookery Swamp- Wading Birds before the boardwalk

Bird Rookery Swamp observations
Saturday, December 5
6:30 am1:05 pm

“Cloudy skies and light rain all morning should have made sightings rather slim, and it did for butterflies, dragonflies, mammals, and herps. However, it was a great day for birds with 42 species seen and identified.

A 6:30 start in the parking lot caught a lot of the early birds flying in and out from their night time roosts. We were up to 25 species before we reached the start of the boardwalk.

The large flocks of White Ibis and other waders including three Roseate Spoonbills; Wood Storks; Little Blue, Great Blue, Black-crowned Night and Tri-colored Herons; Great and Snowy Egrets all flew in within 15 minutes of each other. A Barred Owl called from deeper in the cypress while Goldfinches, Common Yellowthroats, Cardinals, a House Wren, and Palm Warblers were active in the shrubby vegetation to the west orosp_1205f the parking lot and gravel path.

A quartet of Pied-billed Grebes swam, dove, and preened in the canal beside the gravel path while Red-shouldered Hawks and a trio of Double-crested Cormorants flew over. It was a great way to begin the day.

One pocket of small birds a little later included a Black-and-white Warbler, a Yellow-throated Warbler, several Yellow-rumped Warblers, lots of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and a few woodpeckers. The most unexpected avian sighting was a Cooper’s Hawk that flew over while we were watching a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks.

The only mammals we saw were a Raccoon and a River Otter, plus several Gray Squirrels. Due to the inclement weather, we could only find 18 gators. Other herps were a Red-bellied Turtle and Green and Brown Anoles.

Butterflies were limited because of the weather, too. We only found eight species. The Long-tailed Skipper in the photo was one of two seen. White Peacocks were again the most common with 47 individuals counted, followed by 11 Barred Yellows.

Even with the rain and cloudy skies, visitors still came. Most were bicyclists, but one early jogger did the entire 12-mile loop. Walkers didn’t appear until late morning and early afternoon. Ida was in her pond but floating in the back next to the raft”.

Pied-billed Grebe – 4
Anhinga – 10
Double-crested Cormorant – 3
Great Blue Heron – 6
Great Egret – 15
Snowy Egret – 2
Little Blue Heron – 11
Tri-colored Heron – 4
Green Heron – 4
Black-crowned Night Heron – 13
White Ibis – 81
Roseate Spoonbill – 3
Wood Stork – 3
Black Vulture – 19
Turkey Vulture – 48
Red-shouldered Hawk – 13
Cooper’s Hawk – 1
Mourning Dove – 26
Common Ground Dove – 2
Barred Owl – 1
Belted Kingfisher – 6
Red-bellied Woodpecker – 16
Downy Woodpecker – 4
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 1
Pileated Woodpecker – 3
Eastern Phoebe – 8
Great-crested Flycatcher – 5
Tree Swallow – 1
Carolina Wren – 9
House Wren – 2
Tufted Titmouse – 2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – 9
American Robin – 3
Gray Catbird – 21
Blue-headed Vireo – 2
Black-and-white Warbler – 1
Yellow-throated Warbler – 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler – 5
Palm Warbler – 12
Common Yellowthroat – 5
Northern Cardinal – 8
Common Grackle – 23
American Goldfinch – 2

Tiger Swallowtail – 1
White Peacock – 47
Viceroy – 2
Barred Yellow – 11
Fiery Skipper – 1
Long-tailed Skipper – 2
Brazilian Skipper – 7
Tropical Checker – 4

Eastern Pondhawk – 12
Needham’s Skimmer – 6

Gray Squirrel – 1
River Otter – 1
Raccoon – 1

Alligator – 18
Brown Anole – 11
Green Anole – 2
Red-bellied Turtle – 1

By Dick Brewer