This month, on December 1st, we visited the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center (CHEC) at Alligator Creek. Several of our participants had never been to CHEC or hadn’t visited in years so there were lots of changes to experience. Our first stop was the bird blind where the hard work that had been put into the renovations was obvious. We looked for birds at Freshwater Pond and saw Wood Storks, Yellow-Rumped Warblers, Black Vultures, and were happy to see the migrating Tree Swallows were back. Our next stop was Sherman Lake on Three-Lakes Trail. Along the way we saw Catbirds, Mourning Doves, Common Grackles, and both the Red-Bellied and Pileated Woodpeckers. Everyone enjoyed the Eagle’s nest that was visible from the boardwalk and seeing 2 white heads in the distance. Also spotted at the lake was an Osprey, Turkey Vultures, and a Northern Flicker. On our return most participants went into the Caniff Building to enjoy the outdoor photography of Clyde Butcher’s “Preserving Eden” on display until January. Others headed down Eagle Point Trail where we were mesmerized by a small snake eating a lizard. We also saw a Red-Shouldered Hawk, Green Heron, White Ibis, and a Palm Warbler. Other birds today were the Great Egret and the immature Little Blue Heron and we all enjoyed spotting alligators in the ponds. Everyone was impressed with not only the trails, but with all the programs and activities available at the center.