December 30, 2003 - Big Cypress National Preserve

We headed for the Big Cypress National Preserve, which is an extension of Everglades National Park except they have some hunting allowed.  Along the road going in, US41 called the Tamiami Trail, there is a canal and as you get to Big Cypress you see lots of alligators and birds by the canal.  If you stop, the birds fly away but the alligators don't move.  This Great Egret let us take its picture:

We even saw a small bird:

After visiting the visitors center we took the gravel loop road to where we hoped to see more birds that wouldn't fly off.  Here is an alligator off that loop road:

The birds stayed away from the road, there are egrets, ibis and some Wood Storks in this group:

And more gators:

While we were trying to catch a look at the birds a river otter ran across the road behind us but was too fast to get a picture.

We went back to US41 and stopped at one place and waited for the birds to come back.  Here is a tri-colored heron landing, sitting and then flying back off:

The cormorants were not as easy to spook:

We decided that Big Cypress was worth visiting, but it would be best to camp there.

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