My husband and I were recently inspired to take a long drive to Central Florida, several hours north of us, to hear two wonderful experts from the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) speak about ‘birding and habitat restoration along Israel’s Rift Valley, a major flyway of the world.’ Dan Alon, Director of the Israel Ornithological Center (IOC), and Noam Weiss, Director of the International Birding & Research Center Eilat (IBRCE), were on a special U.S. trip, and Lakeland, Florida was one of their stops.After leading a birding walk in a nearby park, they gave a fascinating presentation about the vital role Israel plays in the migratory routes of millions of birds from Europe, Asia and Africa.
I’m very excited to actually be in Israel right now for a month, and will be visiting the Eilat Birding Center very soon! I will post more after my visit, but in the meantime, be sure to check out the websites of SPNI, the IOC and the IBRCE.
Since we’d travelled so far for the SPNI talk, we had decided to visit my favorite preserve in Central Florida – and what a day it turned out to be! Most exciting of all was a real first for me ….way, way in the distance, we spotted an adult Bald Eagle, high atop a tree.We were able to approach the roost a bit closer on the other side, and then there was a juvenile Bald Eagle, sitting out on a branch. What a thrill!
This Eastern Meadowlark above was a Life bird for me. We were told that these lovely songbirds are seen less frequently now due to threats to their habitat.Several Osprey were on the hunt, watching for an easy catch among the plentiful fish in the ponds below.
A trip to this preserve wouldn’t be complete without the Great Blue Herons adorning the swamp, the noisy but handsome Limpkins, and the Alligators, large and small, at every turn.We were even greeted by a family of Sandhill Cranes, foraging out in the open near the trail. What a day!
Our 2-day road trip was definitely worth the drive!