Monday, February 27, 2017

A Visit to Lakes Regional Park

Monday February 27th

Got a late start today to do a little birding. Tried to venture onto Ft Myers Beach in search of any Black-backed Gulls. Hadn't seen any yet in the new year. But the large numbers of folks visiting from up North, here to enjoy our weather, it was impossible. Turned around and re-crossed the Matanzas Bridge were I noticed that the shrimping fleet was in. From here I ended up in Lakes Park.

Lakes Regional Park is a very nice park operated by Lee County with a wide variety activities available.  Besides birding opportunities,  we find picnic shelters, lodge ( friends of ours held their wedding reception here), gardens. an amphitheater, trails for walkers and cyclists, (and birders), fishing, a water park, swimming beach, volleyball courts, cycle and kayak rentals,  miniature train rides and museum, a summer camp, a weekly farmers market and scheduled events.

The Railroad Museum maintains this 1909 Steam Engine

Our family enjoyed this park from the time we first moved to Lee County in 1987. Prior to the devastation created here by Hurricane Charlie in 2004, the park was well shaded by towering Australian Pines. The redevelopment included the removal of much of the surviving  Australian Pines, as they are considered to be a noxious invasive plant. Native trees and shrubs have been planted and are now starting to show some maturity.

Anhinga with the catch of the day
As for the birds, at least ten species of  birds used the spoil islands as rookeries. White Ibis, anhingas, cormorants, cattle egrets, tricolored and more species will nest on the islands.  Ospreys nest throughout the park and many more species can be found.  About eight years ago my daughters and I spotted the Scarlet Ibis that was once roosting here.

Lee County Bird Patrol ( I am also a volunteer) leads monthly guided tours.
Common Gallinules

Great Blue Heron

1 comment:

  1. Lakes Park provided some good memories of the Scarlet Ibis, Tom. I found that if you don't get a very early start when making a trip to Little Estero Lagoon during "season" you might as well be prepared for a lot of frustration in traffic or not make the trip at all.