Osprey and Anhinga Fascination in Tampa

On a trip to Tampa, I decided to stay at the Hilton Carillon Park . This Hilton was a nice place to stay because it is in front of the Carillon Lake Park. The hotel room was really nice too with a large balcony overlooking the lake.

I planned to do some birdwatching while in Tampa so I had my binoculars with me. So as soon as I checked into my room, I headed out on the balcony to check out the view. I quickly spotted an Osprey at eye level surveying the lake below for fish. This was my second experience watching an Osprey grab fish out of the water.

The first time I saw an Osprey was during a visit to Cape May in New Jersey.  In Tampa, I was able to look straight ahead while relaxing in a chair and watch the Osprey as it dived into the lake. I spent at least an hour watching the Osprey.

Carillon Lake Park is a birding Hot Spot (refer to ebird Hot Spots for birding stats here).  There is a wooden boardwalk around its perimeter making for a nice easy walk. 

When I was there, I got to see many Anhingas perched on the railing. They were apparently used to humans as you could walk right by them. It was neat to see them so close up.

Behind the lake is a nature area where I found more birds. I was still new to birding so I was struggling to identify the song birds there. I do recall a noisy Gray Catbird and a lot of warblers in the thicket next to the lake.

The lake and nature area are an oasis in the middle of a heavily commercialized area. The hotel and an office building are on one side as well as additional office buildings behind the nature area. The folks working in these buildings have a great place to go for a walk in nature. I am glad I got to stay here while I was visiting Tampa for the same reason.

Another website collecting bird data with information on Carillon Lake Park is: Hot Spots Birding.

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