For those of you who like alligators, and I know that there are a few of you out there… I wanted to pass on some places that I found where you can visit and always see them (and maybe do some birding too 🙂 …
One place that I’ve been often is Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, SC, I always see alligators there and this past time I saw a lot!
It is a wonderful park to go birding, you have tidal ponds and other habitats, as well as the ocean, but many people go there just to get a glimpse of a gator…
I was there last week and I must have seen at least a dozen alligators.
There is also wonderful place in Florida that is great for birding and spotting many alligators. It’s Orlando Wetlands Park in Christmas, Florida. This is a big wetlands area and it can get very hot in the summer.
You have to make sure to always have plenty of water and sunscreen with you. Just a warning, always, always keep an eye on the ground around you, there are gators everywhere. You may have to walk a long way back from the direction you came if a big gator is blocking your path (it is also possible that you could get blocked in, so be very careful)!
I was there a few years ago, I had seen many birds and was going to take one last walk down a path at the far end of the park. As I walked around a corner I came across this huge fellow in the photo below. He was probably about 8 to 10 feet long and big! I yelled and clapped, but he could care less, he was staying right where he was, on the path. I decided right then and there, that I had found enough birds for the day and I turned around and went home (there was noooooo way that I was walking in front of him!!!)
There is another place in Florida that you can see tons of gators, but not in the wild… It’s the Jungle Adventures in Christmas, FL. Here are a couple of photos of some gators with hitchhikers…
This place has lots of gators, but for birders, there are paths to walk into the woods and around ponds where you can see “wild” storks, egrets and herons nesting in the trees.
This is a Great Egret with a fledgling. There were lots of nests and most of them really weren’t too high up in the trees, so you can get a good look at the nests.
Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!