Thursday, October 24, 2019

Walking in Chapel Trail Nature Preserve

Early morning rain disrupted our usual walk in the Wounded Wetlands, but as the skies started to clear, MaryLou  and I headed out to nearby Chapel Trail Nature Preserve in Pembroke Pines. As we pulled into the parking lot, a Little Blue Heron was finding many small invertebrates in a newly flooded low spot.

I took these photos through the car window, so they are not the best quality:

Little Blue Heron 02-20191006

Little Blue Heron 01-20191006

A Boat-tailed Grackle displayed and called from a tree next to the car:

Boat-tailed Grackle 02-20190914

As we walked up on the boardwalk we encountered a male Anhinga sunning on the boat deck. As breeding season approaches, he will acquire green "goggles" and white head plumes. This species nests on a small island in the wet prairie:

Anhinga male 20191006

The first part of the boardwalk is nicely shaded by trees and a shelter:

Chapel Trail boardwalk 04-20191005

In the adjacent pasture, a Longhorn cow with a beautifully patterned coat was followed by a Cattle Egret:

Longhorn cow with Cattle Egret 2-20191006

A male Northern Parula warbler perched quite nearby:

Northern Parula 01-20191006

Northern Parula 02-20191006

Prairie Warblers are common here most of the year. Most temporarily migrate eastward to nest in coastal Mangroves during late spring and summer. This was a male with heavy black markings on his face and sides::

Prairie Warbler 03-20191006

This female Prairie Warbler exhibited more subdued marks:

Prairie Warbler 01-20191006

The boardwalk crosses a canal and moves out into a shrubby area:

 Chapel Trail boardwalk 02-20191005

A migrant Eastern Kingbird looked down from atop a dead tree:

Eastern Kingbird 01-20190914

Red-eyed Vireos stopped by on their way to more southern wintering grounds in Mexico, Central America and northern South America:

Red-eyed Vireo 03-20191006

Red-eyed Vireo 01-20191006

The boardwalk traverses an expanse of wet prairie:

 Chapel Trail boardwalk 01-20191005

Chapel Trail boardwalk 03-20191005

Swamp Lily in bloom:

Swamp Lily 20191006

A Great Egret took flight...

Great Egret 05-20191005

...and then settled into the spike-rushes:

Great Egret 04-20191005

This female Anhinga rested nearby. The female has a brown head and neck:

Anhinga 20191005

A male Downy Woodpecker posed briefly before flying off:

Downy Woodpecker male 01-20191005

Downy Woodpecker male 03-20191005

In deep shade next to the boardwalk, an immature male Common Yellowthroat crept furtively, almost out of sight:

Common Yellowthroat 03-20191005

Common Yellowthroat 04-20191005

A Brown Basilisk, a well-established exotic reptile native to Mexico and Central America, was inconspicuous as it hugged a branch next to the boardwalk:

Brown Basilisk 01-20191005

It fled as I approached:

Brown Basilisk 03-20191005

Walking back, I stopped to talk to a lady who asked me about a bird she saw, when suddenly she said, "There's a Bobcat on the boardwalk."  It had stopped just around the bend to look out at us between the fence boards but I could not see it despite her explicit instructions. Only as it ran away did I catch sight of it, too late for a photo! 

It reminded me of a foggy morning at Chapel Trail in November, 2015 when MaryLou saw a Bobcat up ahead while I was poking along taking photos. I never caught sight of it, but do have a souvenir of the encounter-- its tracks on the dewy boardwalk:

 Bobcat print on boardwalk 20151111

Exotic Gray-headed Swamphens are usually abundant here, but lately have been scarce. High water levels tend to disperse many species more widely. We only saw two during recent visits. I took this photo of two (and their reflections) back on October 30, 2014:

Purple Swamphens 01-20141030

City of Pembroke Pines Chapel Trail Nature Preserve Information

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

 Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia


Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display



  1. My wife is certain that longhorn was photoshopped :)

  2. Wonderful set of photos. That boardwalk looks like a long one. What a great place to explore with a camera!!

  3. Your photos always make me feel like I'm there - wonderful!

  4. wonderful! Really this are inspired me a lot.

  5. I felt I was walking along that Fabulous board walk with May Loo and yourself and seeing this wonderful selection of birds you have shown us today. I have never seen a Longhorn that mottled. Very interesting and perhaps next time (third time lucky) it will be your turn to see the Bobcat Kenneth. Have a good weekend.

  6. wow! These may have been taken from the car, but they are fabulous . . . wonderful birding photography.

    And that boardwalk would be great for my linesandsquares blogging challenge!

  7. Hello, I would love this place. The boardwalk looks great and the birds are all awesome. Neat sighting of the Bobcat. The Basilisk is a cool looking lizard. The Northern Parula is one of my many favorites. Beautiful collection of photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Enjoy your day, wishing you happy weekend. PS, thanks for leaving me a comment.

  8. Amazing reflections! At first I thought there were four birds not two and their reflections.

  9. Being Texan, love the longhorn. And your woodpecker in flight is downright incredible! Now, my guide books says April is breeding season for it earlier? I know a pair of Anhingas' location nearby, and wondering if they will show plumage change. Must see if they are still there since the cold front moved in.

    Thanks for stopping by I'd Rather B Birdin and sharing your post. Your visit is appreciated!

    1. @Annie-- Here in south Florida they may nest in any month of the year, but most seem to be courting by January. Their molting is irregular-- I just saw a female with old tail feathers while most have molted quite fully by late summer. The worn tail feathers lose their corrugations.

  10. What a wonderful selection of rare birds. I say rare, because most of these don't live in Europe - I googled :) Wishing you a great new week.

  11. Fabulous photos of these interesting birds! Where is Pembroke Pines? Florida?
    We are near the beach in South Florida and mostly see pelicans, cardinals, and gulls. I've walked in the parks but still don't see many birds.I think I need to go more inland

    1. @judee-- Pembroke Pines is in SW Broward County. Chapel Trail preserve is about 3 miles west of I-75 on Sheridan Road. I will place a link to it in this blog.

  12. Marvelous shots here!
    Thanks for joining this week at

  13. That really does look like a bird place - and even the cows look good!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  14. You are always out and about...good for you... I am so lazy in comparison. Most of my birds and animals are in the yard or neighbourhood. Today it is -10C and a bit gusty even if it is sunny...I should go out..but, I hesitate............. silly me. I should trudge though the snow in a nearby park area to see what there is to be seen........

  15. The pictures turned out good even though some were through the car window. - Margy

  16. Your weekly trips are always interesting! The blue birds are so blue. Am glad you provided the caption for the cow- I thought it was a bull:) Also love the capture of the bridge! As always, a very well put together post, Ken! Had no wifi or electricity since last Saturday (fire prevention- as of now 6 fires burning, not close), so am in Sacramento to respond to everyone! Many thanks for linking to All Seasons and have a lovely week!

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