Saturday April 9th 2022
The northwest wind was stronger today and the overall temperature was lower than Friday. The result was a need to dress warmer. Unfortunately, I came to that conclusion long after I’d endured my chilly walks. The alligators were anther indicator of the temperature. Early in the day the alligators were out on the river bank. As the day went by the wind picked up and they retreated to the water.
I was up early this morning to make another reservation for next winter. The task got completed successfully, but probably because I started with my second choice of location. I checked yesterday on availability at my first choice and found nothing suitable was available. In two weeks I’ll try again.
The state park was busy today. A lot of locals were enjoying outings in the day use area. There were several large groups having cookouts complete with lawn games. Deeper in the park the parking areas at the wayside stops were filled with cars. There was a good selection of states represented based on a quick survey of the license tags. Parking seems to be a challenge for some people. Cars were parked at odd angles blocking access for some and completely boxing in other cars, but at least they made attempts to get off the road. A few people seem to think stopping in the middle of the bridge, putting the car in park, opening all four doors so everyone can jump out and look for alligators is appropriate behavior. Traffic was blocked for several minutes.
There were a few wading birds around the park today. One blue heron seemed to play hop scotch with me as I walked along the river this afternoon. It flew in for a little fishing in the river, then flew away not long after I took its picture. I caught up with it a hundred yards or so down the river. This time I moved on before it decided to fly again. It caught up with me down the river. This repeated three or four times before it flew away from the river.
On my last walk of the day the alligators were all underwater, but a few birds were wading in the shallows. This is the biggest concentration of the bigger birds I’ve seen at the bridge over the Myakka River this spring. It still only a fraction of the number of birds I saw on my December visit.