Last weekend, on the way up to visit my daughter for a long weekend, I had a few hours to waste and decided to visit Orlando Wetlands Park. By the time I drove up from Miami, I only had a few hours to explore, which wasn't enough time to take in this enormous park.
Before I continue, I have to at least give you a few amazing facts about this man-made wetlands area located in Christmas, Florida.
Below are a few photos from Oyler Overlook. Oyler is an earthen mound created from thousands of yards of muck and cattails. The mound is approximately 30 feet tall and when you climb to the top, which I did, you get the most amazing view of the surrounding wetlands. There is a plaque and bench there to mark the spot.
So my plan, as per the park map, was to walk the 2.5 mile birding route. I do believe I started out on it, but somehow ended up on other paths. It's not hard to do, as you typically follow the bird action through the lens and can easily find yourself lost. At the intersection of each path, the park has street signs. I ended up walking Wetlands Blvd., Limpkin Lane and the Bobcat Trail. I would have loved to make it all the way back to Bald Eagle Blvd, but that is way in the back and I was worried about ending up too far away from the parking lot as the sun was going down. The sheer vastness of this park is overwhelming and even with a map and street signs, it's easy to find yourself alone and far off of a main trail.
I hope you get a chance to visit the photo gallery, as I shot a lot of landscapes and other wildlife from what is pictured below. I most definitely need to go back, as I barely dented the place. I saw such a variety of birds and there were a lot of people there walking, running, bicycling and riding the park's tram tour.
Visit the gallery here: Orlando Wetlands Park Gallery