Saturday, January 21, 2017

Sawgrass State Park and TECO, St. Petersburg, FL

The RV park we are staying at here in St. Petersburg butts right up against Sawgrass State Park and when we found out it has over a mile of boardwalk through the wetlands we had to check it out.  Unfortunately we can not access it from our park (Roberts Mobile Home and RV Resort).  We had to hop in the jeep and drive around to the entrance a few miles away. A wonderful wetlands in the midst of very busy, traffic noisy area.  I had no idea how populated and crazy this part of Florida was!

over a mile of boardwalk

these wetland birds are limpkins!  A new bird sighting!!


A male anhinga preening







and a lizard with a tint of blue
 Looking down over the boardwalk we spotted a mother alligator with 2 dozen babies....that we could see!  May have been more.  Note the difference in sizes amongst the siblings!



viewing tower ahead

a moor hen plucking a tasty plant


ibis among the water plants
 At TECO, Tampa Electric Company, there is a manatee viewing platform.  Manatees gather here in large numbers when the water temperature drops below 68 degrees to bask in the warm, clean water coming out of the plant.  We had done research and knew we would probably not get to see them close up but went to check out the numbers anyway and had a good time seeing not only the manatees from a distance but, sharks, tarpons, sheepshead, jacks, grouper and other fish.

They also have a boardwalk across wetlands, more open, but a nice walk:


plenty of info on these interesting creatures
several manatees just under the water with one tail showing

bit better view of this one

from the nature boardwalk looking toward where the manatees hang out

always enjoying!
a nearby osprey looking for opportunities 



a black tipped shark in the water below
wonder if this heron wishes he were a little bigger:)

A nurse shark swims by

large schools of tarpon in the area

sheeps head

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