Saturday, September 26, 2020

Walking Collier

Eagle Lakes Community Park provides excellent habitat  for birds that live on or near water, as well as easy access trails for birders. Egrets, herons, anhinga, and cormorants feed in close proximity to a large alligator. photo by carl kelly

Eagle Lakes Community Park provides excellent habitat for birds that live on or near water, as well as easy access trails for birders. Egrets, herons, anhinga, and cormorants feed in close proximity to a large alligator. photo by carl kelly

By Carl and Joan Kelly

Eagle Lakes Community Park is located on US 41 where Eagle Lakes Drive becomes Barefoot William Road (1 ½ miles west of SR 951 and US 41) there is an animal sanctuary that is part of a community park. The sanctuary is very busy with birds.

It has multiple trails encircling three lakes and marshlands. Each trail connects back to the car park. There are also a children’s park, baseball and soccer fields, tennis courts, picnic tables, and restrooms.

To reach the trails walk past the baseball fields north of the parking lot. At the gazebo go either right or left. The trails encircling the two lakes north and west provide a walk of about 1.6 miles and have the better habitat for birding.

Winter to spring is a very good time for birding as we have both our resident birds and a lot of migratory birds. This is dry season. The water level in lakes is lower which concentrates the fish. And that concentrates the birds.

Walking at 9:30 am we saw about twenty species of birds (wading birds, ducks and their kin, songbirds, fly catchers, osprey, hawks), several butterflies and two alligators in about an hour’s time.

Benches are beside the two birding trails. The path is paved and is handicapped accessible. Bikers are welcome and use the same path.

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