Sweetwater Wetlands Park

A walk at Sweetwater Wetlands Park offers a great way of observing wildlife. Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, a Killdeer, Anhingas, Sandhill Cranes and Moorhens were some of the sightings on a morning walk.

A Killdeer sat on her nest on the gravel path. The area was marked off with cones and barricade tape to keep park visitors from accidentally walking on the bird or her nest, which blend into the path.

A Little Blue Heron waded through shallow water, catching and swallowing small fish.

Little Blue Heron

A Great Blue Heron was stationed on a post. One gracefully flew over the water. Another fed in the tall grasses along the shore.

Great Blue Heron

The highlight for me was seeing a Purple Gallinule. The bird is so striking with its palette of colors — ultramarine blue, teal and iridescent green features — and with a beak that is like a Halloween candy corn.

Purple Gallinule with chick

Purple Gallinules aren’t year-round residents of the park, and they are very shy, typically hidden in the water hyacinth. So seeing them is a special treat.

Purple Gallinule chick

As I photographed the colorful adult gallinule, I realized that it was being followed by its chick! The chick had a colorful beak but was all black. The chicks get their colorful feathers over their first year.

Alligators cruised through the waterways and one sunned near the walkway. They were reminders of the importance of being alert to surroundings as a bird or as a walker.

One comment

  1. I love Great blue herons and how smooth and graceful they are in a flight.


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