Feature: Sawgrass Lake Park Pt. II

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Back at the main parking area at Sawgrass Lake Park Tom Obrock and I chose to follow the birders seen earlier.

We would learn that the trees along the entrance to the park had warblers dripping off of them in preceding days.

That was not so apparent initially, but waves of warblers did eventually pass through with the Cerulean Warbler making a reappearance.

A Canada Warbler would make an appearance days later.

The Summer Tanager above (image 1) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Summer Tanager with prey above (image 2) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Black-and-white Warbler above (image 3) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Yellow Warbler above (image 4) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.


The Yellow Warbler above (image 5) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The size of Sawgrass Lake Park is ambiguous as its acreage is noted as 333, 390, and 400 acres at various websites while doing research for this article. In any event there are lakes, the Red Maple swamp, canals, wetlands, fields, and Live Oak Hammock that encompass the park.

The Yellow Warbler above (image 6) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Little Blue Heron above (image 7) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Yellow-throated Warbler above (image 8) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Yellow-throated Warbler above (image 9) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

Wildlife seen other than birds included the spider previously noted, a pair of Florida Softshell Turtles (Tom guesstimated the larger one at 60 years of age), numerous Eastern Gray Squirrels, a large skink, dragonflies, butterflies, aggressive mosquitoes in one small patch of the park, and Yellow Jacket wasps (benefiting a Summer Tanager as seen in image #2) that were stirred up by a fellow birder.

The Yellow-throated Warbler above (image 10) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Blackburnian Warbler above (image 11) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Yellow-throated Warbler above (image 12) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Yellow-throated Warbler above (image 13) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

As of this writing there have been 215 bird species documented at Sawgrass Lake Park according to eBird data. JoAnna Clayton, a St. Petersburg Audubon Chapter volunteer, makes routine visits and racks up impressive eBird checklists at this park and other venues in the Tampa Bay area.

The Downy Woodpecker above (image 14) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher above (image 15) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Northern Parula above (image 16) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Limpkin above (image 17) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

In an effort to improve our list, we made another trek to the observation tower. On the way back we met up with several other birders observing a good number of birds near the bridge that accesses the boardwalk.

The Common Gallinule above (image 18) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Dragonfly above (image 19) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Anhinga above (image 20) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk above (image 21) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

I found the boardwalk to be very slippery, but its width possibly as wide or wider than the boardwalk at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary made up for that concern. The occasional passerby did not shake the boardwalk as much as occurs at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and other boardwalk venues I’ve been to.

The Anhinga above (image 22) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Anhinga above (image 23) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The scene above (image 24) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Hooded Warbler above (image 25) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

Of the hundreds of venues on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, Sawgrass Lake Park in the West Section should be considered one of the must visit Florida parks especially during migration. Be sure to bring your camera and binoculars if you have them.

The American Redstart above (image 26) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Blackburnian Warbler above (image 27) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

Sawgrass Lake Park is open from 7:00am until sunset. It is closed the day after Thanksgiving Day and on Christmas Day. From the north on I-275 take exit 26 or from the south take exit 26B and follow signs to the park.

The Yellow Warbler above (image 28) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

The Limpkin above (image 29) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

There is a lot of shade available at the park with a fortunate breeze making the five hours of my initial visit pass very quickly. A follow-up visit on my part to explore the Maple and Oak Hammock Trails is in order.

The Common Gallinule above (image 30) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

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The Downy Woodpecker above (image 31) was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park in September 2016.

 

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Bob Pelkey

Bob Pelkey

This blog is updated every Friday (preferably) and randomly, primarily on the subject of wildlife observation in the state of Florida. This blog is in conjunction with my secondary photo site at http://www.pbase.com/jkrnm5/

Bob Pelkey

Bob Pelkey

This blog is updated every Friday (preferably) and randomly, primarily on the subject of wildlife observation in the state of Florida. This blog is in conjunction with my secondary photo site at http://www.pbase.com/jkrnm5/

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