Egret, above a couple pelicans, keeps an eye on a clutch of cormorants.
Great blue heron among the pelicans.
More cormorants, pelicans, and a GBH.
No rosette spoonbills today. Were cormorant sentries keeping them away ?
Dolphin watch done, I now paddled to, and past, the Canal, past the alternate channel to the south, towards my secret manatee spot.
The Manatee Zone sign does not mark my secret spot, I just like the picture.
Wouldn't be a secret, would it?
I had considered, strongly, watching Friday/Saturday's midnight launch from the yak. The thought of several hour in dark, mosquito laden waters deterred me.
It was only 12:15 when the above pic was snapped, but you get the idea. Reason 127 of why I love kayaking. It's always cooler on the water. A 6pm check of weather.com shows a temperature of 93 in Winter Park, my home, 87 in Titusvile, near Haulover Canal.
I paddled back west, as a dolphin swam east through the Canal. It was not the only angler. Lots of boats on the water, plus people on both banks. Saw more manatees at the Overlook. Paddled under the bridge, across the Canal, towards Bairs Cove. Which had a crowd of kayakers at the entrance. But, they left, three in one direction, two in the other, before I arrived.
There were a lot of manatees. So many, I did not notice one next to me, nor it me. Until we touched. For an instant I thought I might roll over after it rose up under my yak. I kept my balance, got a good splashing from the manatee's fluke. Nice show for the folks watching from shore.
The boaters watching the manatees were respectful. Turned off their engines, looked, did not touch. I thought for a moment one boater was going to toss potato chips. Nope, he munched them while watching.
I spent over a half hour with the manatees. I left, paddled to the launch area, getting tangled in some guy's fishing land as I landed. It's hard to avoid six people casting from the launch area. Why don't they fish standing on the concrete ramp over at Bairs Cove?
Yak on the car, I stopped at the Scrub Jay Trail. Looked for spoonbills first. I've see them off the trail when the water is high. Water is high, but no spoonbills. Saw a raccoon, and then, near the end of the trail, heard to scrub jays calling. Saw one.It flew off the tree, on to the path, chirping and hopping towards me.
A sign at the start of the trail informs people that it is a crime to feed scrub jays. I don't reacall seeing the sign before, I no recal the trail littered with nuts. Which explains the close encounter.
I stopped at the restaraut at the Max Brewer Causeway. To find it is closed. Hopefully just until the new bridge and fishing pier are completed.