Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wakodahatchee Wetlands

I first went to Wakodahatchee Wetlands just last year and was absolutely amazed that such a place existed so close by without me knowing about it for so long. It takes me slightly over 30 minutes to get there from my house but it's well worth the drive, even at 6am to get there before sunrise (when they open).

Their website says that more than 140 different species of birds have been spotted at the site and I can certainly believe that. A 3/4 mile boardwalk winds through various wetland zones, each designed for a mixture of habitat types:

•Open pond water areas to attract waterfowl and diving birds
•Emergent marsh areas for rails, moorhens, and sparrows
•Shallow shelves for herons and egrets
•Islands with shrubs and snags to serve as roosting, nesting, and basking sites
•Forested wetland areas for long-term habitat development

I would have loved to have seen my face when I first stepped out on that boardwalk and took a look around. It's truly another world, and yet right in the middle of the world that we're used to. The air is fresher, the sounds of nature are like music and at once I felt a sense of peace.  The stars of Wakodahatchee are definitely the birds, but first I'll show you other wildlife I have spotted there:

What keeps people coming back to this place is the incredible variety of birds that live there. In the next few years, my plan is to finally purchase the lens that will truly help me capture these birds but until then I'll just learn all about them and make due with my 18-200mm.


My favorite shot (so far) at Wakodahatchee is this little guy who sat on that railing for a good 20 minutes for our PBC Photo Walkers group (by the way, this was our first official meetup as a group back in August 2009). This is my Palm Beach County photo of the week on DPC.

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