Sunday, February 23, 2014

Eagles and Rays at Tippecanoe Environmental Park

The Charlotte County Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida is the Spring Training home of the Tampa Bay Rays.  This beautiful baseball stadium and training complex is surrounded by the Tippecanoe Nature Park, a 380 acre preserve.

The park is home to Florida Scrub Jays, Gopher Tortoises, many wading and song birds......and an active American Bald Eagle nest with two fledglings.  Located off SR 776, it has a boat launch leading to the Myakka River via canals....and on the west side is meandering  Sam Knight Creek.  The western park border connects
with the Charlotte Harbor Buffer Preserve State Park.

Here's a link to the park website with a trail map.  The eagle nest is off the yellow trail near the Sam Knight Creek.

Wife, Olivia, and I went to the box office to see about tickets for the upcoming spring training opener......and decided to take a hike out along Sam Knight Creek.

 Quite a few active eagle nests in SW Florida this winter.....lots of great photos being posted on Flickr and Facebook.  This nest was about 50 feet up in a dead pine.  With a great view of the creek and few hikers along the trail, this is a great spot to raise two eaglets.

 Here's a link to one of my favorite Florida nature photographers, Dave Eppley.  Check out his great eagle photos!

So, we got our tickets....and saw a  few Rays.....Tampa Bay Rays, that is!

We'll be back this Friday......hope to see a great game....and hope to see some Baltimore Orioles!  Baseball and birding....what a great combination!