Every walk in the Lower Suwannee NWR brings at least one surprise, and today was no different. Cindy Leiner, Nita Cox, Kit Lane, and Joyce DeHaan joined me, Donna Thalacker, for a nature walk along Barnett Creek Road. We saw lots of flowers in bloom, some butterflies and birds including a close view of a Barred Owl next to the road that Cindy was first to spot. There were Sora calling to each other, but other than a brief glance by Nita, they were mostly heard and not seen. On the Nature Drive, Nita spotted a Swallowtail Kite that we were all able to see close up as the Kite flew low overhead. Then later, the really big surprise of the day, was hearing about 10 feet away, a bull alligator roar! He was heard and not seen since not one of us volunteered to jump down from the platform to check him out!
It was a great morning to be in the woods. I have yet to go for a walk in our Refuge without at least one unusual bird, butterfly, amphibian or flower to surprise me. Really, today’s alligator roar was quite the surprise and to be so close (yet safe) was a treat. We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful place so close by to visit.
Our next nature walk will be even closer to Cedar Key. On Monday, April 18 at 9:30am, we will carpool to the Lukens Tract. It is a beautiful property owned mostly by the Suwannee River Management District and managed by the Lower Suwannee NWR. We will walk to the kayak launch pad from the road and observe butterflies and birds along the way. There are excellent opportunities to observe the salt marsh and wading birds along the walk. This will be a short walk along a well used track. If you would like to join me, we will car pool from Cedar Key Town Park parking lot at 9:30am. A special use permit is required and I will have one with me. I hope to see you then!