Florida Bay and the Coastal Prairie

florida bay  079florida bay  060We took our kayak, the Dolphin, out on Florida Bay one day.   Our destination was Snake Bight – a bight is a smaller bay within a larger bay.  Snake Bight was known for its birdlife at low tide, so we timed it so that we would be approaching the area at low tide.florida bay  058

florida bay  074florida bay  085florida bay  082 florida bay  015 florida bay  077Unfortunately, there were some pretty high winds, as a cold front (a high of 60+ degrees and low of 45 for one day) was on its way.  Because it was low tide, we were scraping the bottom and had to head out further into the bay to make progress toward the birds.

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Ultimately, we chose to cut the trip short, as our return was going to be into the wind, but it was a great to be out on the bay.  And as usual, the bird life was amazing.florida bay  036

Osprey are nesting at this time.  It was interesting to learn that the Osprey (aka Fish Hawk), whose diet consists completely of fish, does not clean it’s catch in the nest.  The bird removes the head and the guts and only then brings the cleaned fish to the nest.

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On the land along the shores of Florida Bay in Flamingo, where our campground was located, there is also a habitat called Coastal Prairie.   Low plants on open prairie that offer a good hunting ground for Red Shouldered Hawks and several species of owls and other raptors.  We heard a number of owls and were lucky enough to see one flying about and hunting.  We also saw this osprey on a branch on the ground while hiking and Hector was able to get very close to him.   florida bay  087

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whats to do  015There were also about a zillion Great Southern White butterflies in the coastal prairie area.  These butterflies are especially interesting because they have blue tips at the end of their antennae.

florida bay  043florida bay  097For a different view of the Bay, we signed up for a Florida Bay cruise on a pontoon boat. We chose the 4:30 departure, a one and half hour tour that ends after sunset.  A perfect choice.  A pod of dolphins followed us for a very long time and kept us entertained.

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Historic 1950’s Flamingo Visitor Center

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florida bay  103florida bay  096florida bay  040florida bay  100florida bay  102It was a very pleasant evening and the sunset was quite beautiful.  This was our last evening in the Everglades and a great ending to a great two weeks.

~ Brendaflorida bay  094

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