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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lower Wekiva River

Black Crowned Night Heron in flight

Back to one of our favorite paddling locations. It was a better than we anticipated, short, but very good. You cannot come back home disappointed when you kayak this Central Florida jewel. It was a day of BIG GATORS and little birds...many little birds.

Big Gator #1

Put In/Take Out: Our Put In for this, as for almost all our paddles in the Lower Wekiva River, was Katie's Landings. For information about this location please check our first post on Lower Wekiva River. One thing I can guarantee you; it is one of the easiest put in and take out facilities. The cost for using it is $3.00 per vehicle. I am thinking about getting an annual pass for the Florida State Parks, which I believe will cover the entrance at Katie's Landings too. There was an empty parking lot when we arrived around 10 before 10AM. It was a little windy but I have seen worst in this part of the river. Cloudy skies did not promise a good batch of pics so the plan was to paddle until noon and return to Katie's regardless where we were at the time. 

Female Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Black Crowned Night Heron
Once again we spent about 15 minutes in the area across Katie's and then paddled on the West side of the Island down river. It is the second time I do that. The East side of the island has lots of houses across it, The West side is wilder and we like it better. This time we saw an adult and a young Black Crowned Night Herons. Other than that there are not too many things to say about this trip so I am going to let the pics tell the history. The highlights were three gator sightings. What was special about that? They were big ones. One of them was sunning in a palm tree and we were able to see it from more than three hundreds feet. It almost look funny. Also a few little birds we caught pics of. Wifey is taking as a challenge to be able to obtain more pics of the little fellows. Let us see what happens. The traffic in the river was light, no other boats in the river on our way down, a motor boat, a couple of canoes, and another kayaker on our way up. The kayaker was Master Dave, from Dave's Yak Tales.


Well, as I promised, will let the pics tell the tale...

A three for one...Sandhill Crane, Little Blue Heron, and Ibis across Katie's Landings

Sandhill Crane nesting across Katie's Landings

Black Crowned Night Heron (Juvenile)



Belted Kingfisher

Great Egret


Gator...a first big one we saw

Gator...not so big


Big Gator...second one. This is the same one of the first gator pic of this post.

Big Gator...#3. This one was visible from more than 300 hundreds feet away. 
It did not even flinch when we paddled by.

Turtle trio

Yellow-Bellied Sapcucker...A first timer in Views From Our Kayak.
Did You Know That?  The Yellow Bellied Sapsucker is the only woodpecker in North America that is completely migratory. Frequently it uses human produced materials to help in its territorial drumming.

The always present in the Lower Wekiva River...Great Blue Heron..

American Goldfinches

Tufted Titmouse

Yellow Rumped Warbler


Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Little gator

Another little gator, probably a sibling of the one above since they were
in the same area with more baby gators

Eastern Phoebe with an unlucky firefly.


Yellow Rumped Warbler

Great Blue Heron

The same young Black Crowned Night Heron seeing in the same area of the
one of the first pic around four hours later.



Wood Stork

Otter. Saw this one at the very last moment before taking the yak out at Katie's.
It let us know we were not welcome around as made some funny sounds toward us.

Little Blue Heron
And that is it for this one. Here is the link to all the surviving pics from this trip and past trips: Lower Wekiva River. Thanks for reading and see you soon in another Views From Our Kayak.

Lower Wekiva River Scene.


  1. Gators have my vote. Nice to see you again.

    1. Nice to see you too. Wifey liked the Black Crowned Night Heron better so you were outnumbered 2 to 1. Mine does not count as I am just the slave paddling the boat. :)

  2. Night Heron flying gets my vote, although the gator photo is impressive. Katie's Landing always gets my vote, too--I was there earlier this week, posted pics on facebook.

    Are you on facebook?

    1. You got it Joanne. I am in Facebook. I will look for you there.

  3. I love the shots of the adult Black-Crowned Night Heron! The Blue-winged Warblers are actually American Goldfinches in their non-breeding plumage. Also like the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. The first unidentified bird with the dragonfly is an Eastern Phoebe. The last unidentified bird is a Yellow-rumped Warbler.