Doctor's Lake and Moccasin Slough Park, Orange Park, Florida
Date: 26th June 2014
Company: Myself, Carole, Becky and Fiona

We set off from Glasgow yesterday morning, destination Florida.

As the highest hill in Florida is 345ft, this is definitely not a hillwalking holiday. However, there are numerous low level hikes to be had with outstanding flora and fauna. There is much more to Florida than Disney World, although we will be visiting there too .

We set out this morning on two very short walks taking around 90 minutes in total. During this relatively short time period, I was delighted to see so much wildlife.

Within the first minute of leaving, I saw my first Florida bird. A beautiful Cardinal that seems to have lost his head feathers and crest.


I saw at least a dozen lizards including a baby one about one inch long.



I also saw numerous birds that I believe to be Mockingbirds.


Moss-covered tree:

I had hoped to see some Manatee at Doctor's Lake but failed to spot any today.

Doctor's Lake (Manatee zone):

During the walk back from Doctor's Lake we passed a tree with a number of very large webs. I am not sure what kind of insect/arachnid creates such large webs but I didn't fancy sticking my hand in to find out. There are at least two dangerous spiders in Florida - the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse. I think these have likely been made by a tent caterpillar or web worm rather than a spider.

Very large webs:

We then went a short drive to Moccasin Slough Park where we walked the short trail. I was really glad that I had company for this walk as Carole spotted this Osprey and one of the Dragonflies.


Moccasin Slough Park trail:



However, Fiona deserves the credit for the most interesting sighting of the day - a large owl sitting on a tree.

Barred Owl:

Moccasin Slough Park trail:

On the Moccasin Slough Park trail:

Banded Pennant Dragonfly:

Banded Pennant Dragonfly:

As well as the above we saw squirrels, a hawk and numerous other birds. The air was also filled with the sound of tree frogs.

I am looking forward to walking several short trails during this trip during which I hope to photograph much more flora and fauna.