Walking the Taylor Park. With Gators.

taylor park lake ud171It’s a beautiful morning, not humid and not too hot. A rare treat for mid October. Dylan and I jump into the car and head towards the Taylor Park to walk our newly discovered nature trail. We invite you to come along.

wooden bridge Taylor park ud171The shadows are still long when we start our walk. Dylan is on a short leash. The trail goes right next to the water so all sniffing is done strictly on the forest side of the trail…for a good reason. While we haven’t seen any alligators on our previous visits, I know they are lurking in the water, like in most fresh water lakes in Florida. This park is also favored by many birds. And right away we spot one of them, an Anhinga with her wings spread to dry after the morning dive.

anhinga B ud171The next one we see has selected a good spot to scout for the gators…and makes us smile.

anhinga on alligator sign at Taylor Park ud171And the third one does double duty. Dries her wings while spying on gators down below.

anhinga in the tree ud171I’m keeping my eyes trained on the water too, but no luck so far. All I see is water sprinkled with flowers and Moorhens.

water lilies ud171

moorhen family ud171

flowers at taylor park ud171

moorhen 2 ud171And an Osprey on a reconnaissance flight over the lake.

osprey at taylor park ud171On the forest side of the trail, I spot two woodpeckers, a Red-bellied Woodpecker and Pileated woodpecker but miss the latter. Dylan decides it is time for a bathroom break. I get a big splash of red in the picture as the large woodpecker flies away.

red-bellied woodpecker at taylor park ud171Next we spot a Little Blue Heron and a Limpkin. I am delighted because Limpkins do not often come to the salt marsh.

Little Blue Heron ud171

limpkin ud171Further, in the shadow of the bridge over the lake, we see a Green Heron in the water. He seems to consider his options for a morning meal while exhibiting good situational awareness.

green heron ud171But close to him a Tri-colored Heron is only aware of a potential breakfast bite in the water below. He has no worries about becoming a breakfast himself.

tri-colored heron hunting ud171By this time the sun has climbed higher. After stopping for some water we decide to turn around and walk back seeking some shade in the forest.

Taylor Park trail ud171We reach a canoe launch pad and hear loud screams. We look towards the lake and spot three White Ibis lining up for their morning drink. A Starbucks line with unexpected hassles.

white ibis and a gator ud171A gator is waiting for an opportunity to strike.

alligator ud171

gator at taylor park ud171These birds quickly leave their watering hole, but an Anhinga stays close by right on the side of the launch pad. Perhaps he has concluded the gator cannot jump.

an anhinga ud171The last bird we hear and then spot is a male Red-winged Blackbird hanging out in the reeds.

male red-winged blackbird ud171Thanks for walking with us, the birds and the gators. Have a great weekend and week ahead.

63 thoughts on “Walking the Taylor Park. With Gators.”

  1. A most enjoyable walk, dear Helen! What lovely birds of all kinds! Yes…the gator in it’s habitat is lovely in its own way. Always good to keep a eye out for them. I certainly do the same here! 🌞

    1. This park is very beautiful with lots of different bird species. Dylan loves to meet dogs there πŸ™‚ And I like to keep an eye out for the gators. Thanks for coming along, Carrie.

  2. Thank you for the beautiful pictures and commentary on one of our favorite places, Taylor Park.πŸ’• I really enjoyed looking at the birds through the eyes of your camera. I will now see & appreciate these birds more as Eli and I walk around the trails. 😍

    1. Glad you liked the pictures, Kathy! It is a wonderful place to walk…I’m now training my eyes to spot the different woodpeckers and, of course, the gators πŸ™‚

  3. Glad you got to SEE your gator . . . and some beautiful birds.

    Like you, we took advantage of the lower humidity yesterday for a long walk on the beach. Today, we only went 1/2 as far because the humidity and temps started climbing. Still some lingering red tide. Worse today than yesterday.

    1. Spotting the gators is a challenge but I’m getting better with practice πŸ™‚ We also have some lingering red tide after Hurricane Michael passed, hoping for it to clear soon!!!

  4. What a beautiful park and wildlife, even gators. What a nice place to take a walk even if you do have to be aware of the gators there. Thank you for the invite to go along with you sweet Tiny. We are thankful you knew gators are there and you kept sweet Dylan on a short leash. Amazing photos of that beautiful place and wildlife. Hugs for you and nose kisses for Dylan from us.

    1. Keeping Dylan on the forest side of the trail is fairly easy because all the interesting sniffing is there πŸ™‚ The gators rarely come on land other than during their nesting season, which is in the summer….and we kept away at that time. I love the wildlife there and the park itself is very beautiful. Thank you for coming along Mags and many hugs from both of us ❀

  5. Lovely tour and photos Helen. It reminds me of the areas I’ve explored in FL. I love the different plants, trees, flowers, birds and yes gators. I must admit to being both fascinated and nervous around the gators.

    1. I love walking in this park…and so does Dylan. He meets many other dogs there and lots of interesting sniffing going on. He always behaves well with the birds…but I don’t want to find out how he behaves with gators πŸ™‚ Thanks for coming along, my friend.

    1. Luckily the water hyacinth only resides in a small corner of the lake, I hope it will not spread more. Thank you for coming to walk with us in this beautiful park, Tish.

    1. This park is full of birds! I still want to spot many of the smaller ones, like all the different woodpeckers…the Pileate Woodpecker was very handsome so I’m hoping to get some pictures of it as well. Thank you my friend πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you dear Takami! We are keeping an eye on the gators, but usually they only come on land during their nesting season, which is in the summer. Hugs from me and Dylan ❀

  6. Great images, Helen; and the gator adds another hue, if not a dangerous one!
    We don’t have gators here in Australia; though, we do have crocodiles. Unfortunately, they take quite a few unsuspecting dogs, and sometimes their owners… Help! That was the first thing I thought of when I saw your title. Do be careful. I know you will.. πŸ™‚
    xoxoxo

    1. It has happened here in Florida too, a few unsuspecting dogs have been taken by gators, but we keep an eye on them…and we don’t go to this park in the middle of the summer when they have their nests near or on the land. Dylan and I both love to go there now that it is getting cooler, lots of other dogs to greet and birds to ‘shoot’ πŸ™‚ XXX

  7. I’m impressed with your knowledge of birds and casualness at walking so close to where the gators are. I don’t even want to be in the same state with them though I realize they have been here a for eons. πŸ˜‰ Great photos.

    1. Yes, the gators belong in Florida lakes. We don’t have them here on our barrier island because all the water is salty, so we like to go to the mainland to see them πŸ™‚ But we are careful just in case one has climbed on land, which usually happens only in their summer nesting season. Thanks for coming along!

  8. A most enjoyable walk Tiny, a bit like us up far north Queensland with the crocs, you just have to have your eyes out all the time to spot them as they can move very fast on land and in water. Lovely pics of water birds, looks like a great place to walk. Have a wonderful week!

    1. It is a great place to walk, nature is so beautiful with abundant bird life. I still have so many smaller birds to spot and take pictures of. We do not have gators here on the barrier island, but this park is on the main land. We are keeping a tight watch on them πŸ™‚ Thanks you my friend for coming along!

    1. Thank you, Val! I didn’t see any gators there on our first walks, but now when we go I will always spot one or two. Luckily they do not come to land much, other than in the middle of the summer when they nest…and at that time we will stay away πŸ™‚

  9. That one photo…do not feed or MOLEST the gators?! MOLEST THE GATORS?!?! I do not know if that is the most deviant thing I have ever heard of, or the most insane route to the tallest tale that could exist! πŸ™‚

  10. I had to look up the word molest, since that sign left me puzzled. One definition is harass or pester. So, who in their right mind would think of harassing a gator? Apart from just being abusive, one would really think of pestering a gator, especially in their own territory? People can be “interesting”…

  11. What a delightful walk, Helen. Thanks for taking us with you and Dylan through the tropical wetlands. When you presented the first two photos all I could think of was alligators lurking, I was glad Dylan was on a short leash. Such a treat to find a limpkin and the white ibis and herons, all so elegant and beautiful. Great photo with the 3 white ibis and gator. Gorgeous anhingas too.

  12. Helen, thank you so much for inviting us along! πŸ˜€ What a relaxing walk with an incredible array of birds. They photos of them are stunning, I’m smiling at the Anhinga who is multitasking. The ibis are so startlingly white they almost seem unreal. Now, I’m wondering how safe are these birds from those gators? Living and feeding in such close proximity! A beautiful post and a treat for the heart and soul! xx

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