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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rainbow River

Young Barred Owl

After the previous trip to this river it was my intention not to come to Rainbow River in a weekend. We gave it another try just because this river is so unique. Did not come out dissapointed. For this one I will let you decide how to rate it. We spent 8+ hours in the water and it took a toll on both of us. But at the end of the day we were really satisfied with it. Wonderful scenes, lots of wildlife at a beautiful river with crystal clear waters. Not even the legion of tubers and gazillion motorboats were enough to take anything away from this one.

Northern Parula

Put In /  Take Out: The trip before this one we put in at the CR484 bridge over the Rainbow River. It is called the Blue Run Park. This time we put in at the boat ramp on the bridge over the Withlacoochee River. This is just where the Dunnellon City Hall is. There is no charge and in the weekends you can park at the City Hall parking. This location will give maybe an extra mile in the river. When you put in here, if you are going to the Rainbow River, start paddling to your left, or South East, and you will find it.

Northern Cardinal

Otter in the Rainbow River
It did not take long for us to reach the waters of the Rainbow River. There are signs, the same ones I missed my first time here, indicating which direction you need to go. If you do not see the signs, just follow the clear water. Took us an hour to complete the section between the put in and the bridge over the CR484. We made several stops for different reasons. To let motorboats go by, to take pics of wildlife, or just to enjoy the view in a shade. A family of otters gave wifey a chance to shoot pics. It was a shame that a motorboat blocked our view of an otter in the river bank. We had to settle with pics of the otters in the water. Very unique to be able to see them going under the clear waters of the Rainbow River. Because of the motorboat the otters became separated and the smaller ones that stayed in the side we were starting making sounds to call the big one, assumed to be Mama Otter,  or maybe just to scare us. They went under and did not come out again until the big otter that went out the river came back to look for them. Then the three of them swam down river away from us and we did not insist in more pics.

Mama otter swims back to her little ones

I going to take my wife out for breakfast and to buy her Mother's Day present. Talking about Mother's Day, take a look to the following pics...

Sandhill Crane -  It was nice to see how, several times, mom offered whatever she was catching to the chick

Less delicate, much less than the Sandhill Crane, but as effective - Mama cormorant feeds her chick

Moorhen with chicks

Female Wood Duck and ducklings

Mama anhinga feeds her chick

And, since promised my wife that was not going to spend too much time on this post, more pics of what we saw at the Rainbow River...


Great Egret

Great Crested Flycatcher (???)

Black Crowned Night Heron

Little Blue Heron

Tufted Titmouse

Anhinga - Juvenile

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Anhinga chick

Anhinga - Juvenile

Need help to ID this one. Have no idea. Behaves like a hawk but does not look like one. Dark feathers and white body. It was too high in the sky to see details. Thought it was a Swallow-Tailed Kite but do not think it is.

Cattle Egret has lunch

Red Shouldered Hawk

Red Shouldered Hawk

Tri-Colored Heron

Wood Duck

Carolina Wren

Female Wood Duck

Spotted Sandpiper

Moorhen and chicks

Moorhen chick

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak - Female

Wood Duck Family takes cover

Turtle enjoys a beautiful day in the Rainbow River

Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Pied-Billed Grebe


Snowy Egret

A busy swim area at Rainbow Springs State Park

And as a bonus coverage let us take a look under the Rainbow...

Anhinga goes under


Under the clear water of the Rainbow River

That is it for this one. Here is the link in case you want to see more pics from this and past trips to the Rainbow River. Thanks for reading and hope you come back soon so we can share more Views From Our Kayak.

Happy Mother's Day to all. God Bless You!!!!

Rainbow River view from Rainbow Springs State Park


  1. I love all the momma and baby pics! When I went to the Rainbow, I just took photos of the scenery and incredible water. Then again, that's probably because my terrible camera makes a bird that's 10 feet away look like it's 1/2 mile away..

  2. Super pics..especially of all the young birds.. your eight hours was indeed well spent!

  3. I do remember your post Octohawk, and was part of the motivation to paddle the Rainbow River. Wanted to snorkel it but sadly forgot my gear in the minivan. My wife also loves the Momma and baby pics, particularly the moorhen's.

    Cindy, I also think that it was a good time, well spent. But did pay a price. Somehow did hurt my back during the paddle. Hope to be OK to go back to the water this weekend.

  4. You and your wife make an amazing team - the 8 hours was well worth the magazine quality photos! Absolutely beautiful! I get so upset when I hear about motorboats messing things up- the thought of the otters getting separated (even though they rejoined later) is saddening.

    As far as your back - ice/ heat and stretch. Happy Mothers Day!

    1. I was upset too, specially when the boat blocked our shot at the otter in the bank and then, to add to the insult, we were breathing their fumes. Guess we have to take the roses and the thorns.

  5. Seeing the underwater anhinga and turtles, I assumed you were snorkeling. Reading, I see you were not. No reason to, when you have the best hold the camera over the side and take photos camera operator in Florida. If not the world.

    The bird is a Mississippi kite.
    I guessed, came out correct.

    1. Sadly I was not snorkeling. I wanted to. We missed one of a small gator near the confluence of the Rainbow with the Withlacoochee. For some reason did not come right.

      Thanks for the unknown bird ID. Am looking forward to see your Hillsborough River post.

  6. Lovely pictures.
    Take care of your back; as Wendy says, ice, heat, stretch---and I'd add ibuprofen and rest.

    1. Doing just that. Yesterday it was pretty bad, today feels much better.

    2. I'm happy to hear that, Luis.

      And when you go to Wekiwa Springs SP, please use your cart, even if you take the little Tribe. I can actually take my 9.5 ft boat all the way up the handicap ramp from the beach---easy if you have a center cart, but I've done it with an end cart, too, although getting around the sharp turns takes a little more maneuvering. With my longer boats, I have to go as far as the concession on the dirt, then I take the sidewalk over to the ramp. Much easier than the dirt trail.

      I am very selfish. I don't want you incapacitated---I enjoy your blog too much!

  7. Again...another amazing set of pictures. Rainbow River is always beautiful. We last went there on Dec. 31st 2011. A great way to begin the new year. Weather and water were fairly warm. The fog on the river early morning was beautiful, and very little water traffic. Always enjoy your posts/pictures. On May 12th we were kayaking in the 6th Annual Salt Water Kayaking and Fun Paddle (I did the fun paddle). Always great to spend the day on the water. We may have to check out Wekiwa Springs, looks like a beautiful place to go. We are on the West Coast, but it looks like the trip would be worth it. Looking forward to your next post. Kathy
    (I post as anonymous-don't have any of the other settings)

  8. The trip to Wekiva River is worthy Kathy. I would love to be in the Rainbow River early enough to see the fog like you did but it is a long drive for us so, it may not happen anytime soon. Who knows. Glad you like the pics.