Wilma's Lagoon

Tigertail Beach Park

This is Tigertail's lagoon that Hurricane Wilma essentially created in October 2005 looking toward the south end. Until Wilma, what is now Tigertail's beach area was a small, offshore spit of land known as Sand Dollar Island. Wilma's fury pushed and piled sand into the south end of the channel between Sand Dollar and Big Marco Island so that Sand Dollar was no longer an island. Tigertail Beach Park is tucked in between the condominiums seen in the background, a residential neighborhood to the east (to the left and rear of the photographer) and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. The mudflat in the foreground and stretching to the trees that line the lagoon to the south is home to literally thousands of sand fiddler crabs. Here we saw small shorebirds — sanderlings, ruddy turnstones and semipalmated plovers — foraging for tasty morsels. There is a wide path unseen in the photo that connects the parking area to the beach. It runs just to the left of the trees. The entire lagoon and the park's beach is part of the Big Marco Pass Critical Wildlife Area, so designated to protect the birds that nest and forage here. Among them: black skimmers, least terns and Wilson's plovers, all state-listed as threatened.


Published by Wild South Florida, PO Box 7241, Delray Beach, FL 33482.
Photographs by David Sedore. Photographs are property of the publishers and may not be used without permission.