Looking for Snail Kites

1/09/19
So, we were in Orlando, as a family, with plans to take our son to play the new Kingdom Hearts III Demo at Disney Springs and had a little time to kill before they opened. So of course I took the opportunity to try and see if I could espy one of my target trip life birds; Snail Kite. According to eBird, there was a county park (Brinson Park) at the northeast corner of Lake Tohopekaliga that seemed to show regular sightings of it. So I plugged the coordinates into my Apple Play and off we ran. As we reached the park, it became obvious that this was not going to work today as it was closed due to construction. I was a bit angry as this was my only chance to look for one on this trip. But since I still had time to kill, I decided to see if there was some spot to pull over and scan the lake. I noticed a sign for Brownie Wise Park and decided to give it a shot. I did not see it listed on ebird so I was skeptical that it would be any good.

Entrance sign to Brownie Wise Park

WOW, WAS I EVER WRONG! As we were entering the park area we saw an adult Bald Eagle off to the side.

Photograph of adult Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

I parked in the parking lot and walked a short distance to a platform and after 30 seconds of scanned, spotted a SNAIL KITE about 300 yards out, sitting in some vegetation.

Photograph of a distant Snail Kite
Snail Kite

It was too far away to get the kind of photo I wanted, but since it was a LIFER I was pretty excited. I waiting 20 minutes hoping it might fly in closer, but it never did. I could see two other quite distant Snail Kites across the lake. We left and headed in to Disney Springs where my son had a blast playing his video game demo

My son playing a video game demo for Kingdom Hearts III

After lunch we decided to head back down to Brownie Wise Park to see if we could get better looks at the kite. It wasn’t there at first, but shortly flew in and then lander. This time much closer!

Photograph of a Snail Kite
Photograph of a Snail Kite in flight

I spent the next hour wandering around the wetlands and inlets taking photos of Sandhill Cranes, Palm Warblers, Fish Crows and the Bald Eagle we had seen earlier in the day.

Photograph of a pair of Sandhill Cranes
Sandhill Cranes
Photograph of a Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Cranes
Photograph of a Palm Warbler
Palm Warbler
Photograph of a flock of Fish Crows
Fish Crows
Photograph of an adult Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

One thought on “Looking for Snail Kites”

  1. You clearly got to see a lot of exciting birds in your extra moments! Excellent photos of the Snail Kite! Although they have dwindled in numbers, we have them here in Boynton Beach, too. They seem to accept the non-native Apple Snails and can often be seen at the Loxahatchee NWR off Route 441.

    Like

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