Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wekiva River

"Eye" kayaked the Wekiva River from Katie's Landing this afternoon, Saturday, December 4, 2010.  After the Keys last weekend, and before Sanibel next weekend, inland rivers are the agenda this weekend.   I worked to noon, got in the water at 5 past 1.  From the launch I could see a large collection of white birds, upstream and across the River.  One was a wood stork.  I paddled over to investigate.

A diverse flock had gathered in the shallow water on the west side of the Wekiva.

 Including a glossy ibis, a bird I had not seen before on the Wekiva. A fellow paddler saw one a few weeks ago, in the same area. This may be the same one.

The wood stork flew away, as did the glossy ibis.  I followed them, up River.

Eastern phoebe

From the alligator to the wood stork took 12 minutes. Quite the display of birds and reptiles.  There was a turtle I did not photo.  And mammal.  An otter I tried to photo, and missed.  Nice start to the afternoon.  I explored some more areas on the west side of the Wekiva, out of the main channel.  Staying on the west bank I heard a distinctive scracthing sound, then gobbles.

I had been on the River 30 minutes, and wasn't very far from the launch area. I decided I'd drift and paddle slowly down River until 5 after 3, then turn back. The wind, and current were at my back. On the way back, I'd have to battle both.

 Great egret takes off.

Caught a glimpse of a deer on the east bank.  Paddled back to where it had been, hoping it, or another might show itself, no such luck.  Speaking of luck.
Belted kingfisher in flight. Photo is just lucky on my part. I was trying to catch it on the tree, just dumb luck that I got a relatively sharp picture of one of these darting, diving birds.

Turn around point.  3:08 pm according to the time stamp.  A slow paddle today.  Did not even get to Blackwater Creek, which I reached in an hour 45 to weeks ago.. Saw five people.  A father and son on a dock, one guy in a motor boat, 2 guys camping, at a spot on the east bank where people often camp.  Illegally. The only camping allowed in the Preserve is on horse trails.  But, I've never seen a ranger, so chance are they won't get caught, Two guys, two motor boats.  Puss... opps, this is a family site.  Wimps.
 Past the big alligator again.  The gators pictured are all I saw. 4 on a cool day, it may have hit 70.  I wore long sleeves and my swim suit.

Another lucky shot as an ibis decides to take flight as I am taking its picture.

Finally saw some kayakers just as I was returning to Katie's. A group of about eight was landing. So, I went past the landing for another look at birds.  The alligator was in the same spot.  Saw the glossy ibis again, no pic this time.

Landed at 4:50.  Twenty minutes later, a short stroll before sunset on the dry part of Lower Wekiva River Preserve.


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