On our last day in Florida we headed to Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Fort Myers. While less famous than the other reserves we visited, our walk was very fruitful. The 1.2 mile boardwalk began at the Gator Pond, where we indeed saw two immature alligators. Across the pond, a wood stork landed in a tree. Double-crested cormorants rested on a platform in the pond while we spotted a common moorhen at the water's edge just a few feet from our overlook. As the sun grew hotter, we were grateful that much of the boardwalk wended through the woods. At one overlook we were amazed to watch an anhinga as it beat a fish on a branch repeatedly, probably to make it easier to swallow. An ibis landed in a tree next to a pavilion surrounded by people, oblivious to them.
It was amazing how tame all the wildlife was. While I was glad that I was not carrying my tripod and long lens (due to exhaustion) I regretted that decision when we observed a pileated woodpecker hammering at a tree just a few feet from the boardwalk. Oh, hindsight!
All in all, we spotted: Great egret; wood stork; anhinga; double-breasted cormorant; alligator; common moorhen; red-bellied and pileated woodpecker; white ibis; vultures; turtle; and a water snake. I have never been able to identify two small species in the woods. Perhaps they were warblers.
All in all, this preserve was an unforgettable experience during an amazing trip.