Gulf Coast Local Secret #1
John Chesnut Senior Park is located along East Lake Road in Palm Harbor, Florida, a community north of Clearwater and Dunedin, Florida. The park stretches along the shores of Tarpon Lake, which is a large body of water fed by natural springs hidden beneath its surface. The park is one of the best locations in the county for woodland hikes along well maintained boardwalks, including a three story viewing tower overlooking the lake. Wildlife abounds in the park including deer, alligators, turtles, and a large number of exotic Florida birds.
Great White Herons are large white birds with dark legs that inhabit southern shorelines. Also known as Great Egrets, these birds employ their long, slender legs to wade along the Gulf Coast shores of Florida and in Florida lakes while they search for fish. The species has long, slender necks that can snake about as they hunt for their prey. Despite their exotic, tropical appearance, great white herons keep a secret that many Florida natives have discovered. These birds like to beg for snacks.
Picnic at Chesnut Park
Chesnut Park enjoys a good length of Tapron Lake shoreline but also has an enclosed waterway and lake within the park. Both of these shut off bodies of water offer great opportunities to spot alligators. Surrounding the small lake visitors will find picnic shelters with running water as well as open air picnic tables placed within the shade of trees.
If you happen to choose the right uncovered picnic table next to the lake, you may receive a visit from Chesnut Park’s big bird. Get your camera ready before you open your picnic basket. Once the food appears on the table, you are likely to see the flash of white wings in the sun as this big bird takes to the air. A graceful flight over the surface of the lake will bring this magnificent Florida bird right into your picnic site. This Great Egret’s head might be higher than you picnic table, providing a bird’s eye view of your meal. Enjoy your sighting and take plenty of pictures because this elegant bird will provide you with a close up view.