|Lower Wekiva River Otter|
|Carolina Wren greeted me at Katie's Landings|
Put In / Take Out: My favorite Put In location; Katie's Landings. Please check previous posts about this location for details.
|Gator, a little one, in front of Katie's Landings|
Started my paddle at 8:30 AM. Last night the forecast had a 60% chance of rain for this morning. I decided to check again in the morning before deciding to go or not. 10% was the chance until noon, when changed to 60% again so drove to Katie's. As usual explored the lagoon in front of the put in under a cloudy sky and an annoying breeze from the North. Decided not to go too far and to take my sweet time exploring, always watching the sky and my watch.
|Sandhill Crane in a nest|
|Sandhill Crane (closed eyes)|
|Red Shouldered Hawk|
|Red Shouldered Hawk|
|Ibis and Juvenile Little Blue Heron|
|Immature Little Blue Heron|
|Great Blue Heron's nest|
Pushed my way through the West side of the island downstream from Katie's. I like that area better since there are no houses around, is wilder, and usually see more wildlife than in the East side. Seriously, I need to stop doing this. Details ahead. Anyways...here is what I saw in that area...
|Green Heron dancing Thriller!!!!|
|Cause this is Thriller...Thriller at night...And no one gonna save you from the beast about to strike|
Exiting the island area saw movement in another small island that splits the Wekiva River. It was an otter. Sadly for me it stayed deep in the shadows and there was no good lighting anyways. Did all I could, wait for it to move to a better spot. Nothing. It just stay put and then left to hide somewhere. Paddled around the island twice but did not see it again.
|Little Blue Heron|
|Little Blue Heron|
Did paddle past Wekiva Haven and thought about returning because it was turning ugly by the second. But waited a bit more, until reached the first opening of the Wekiva River like half a mile (maybe less) downstream from there(Wekiva Haven). At that time the wind was not annoying but a nuisance. A big tree limb fell to the river 30 ft in front of me. It was time to go back. This time did not look for the otter but used the same route used on my way down river: West of the island. But stopped when saw a snake sunning, if you want to say that, on a tree. At the moment I am writing this do not know if it is a water moccasin or a water banded snake. I have a bad feeling about this one and came very close to it. But ignorance sometimes is a bliss. This is what I saw on that time around...
|Unknown snake on a tree|
|Pupils seem to be oval, which is not a good sign. I came awfully close to it.|
|Great Blue Heron's Nest activity|
|Great Blue Heron's chicks|
Pushed my way again out of the area. A medium sized gator gave me a huge scare, like I needed more adrenaline after coming close to the snake. It was hiding in the vegetation and did not see it. May not do that again. Kept paddling upstream from Katie's Landings. Even though it was cloudy it did not look it was going to rain anytime soon...
|Great Blue Heron|
|Sandhill Cranes's nest. This time the with both parents|
|Another little gator.|
Part of the reason I kept paddling was the hope to see an Eagle or maybe Swallow-Tailed Kites in that part of the river. It is wide, open, an ideal scenario to admire an eagle flyover or perched, as I saw one on a previous trip. No eagle but did see the Swallow-Tailed Kites. There was not too much I was able to to with the boring gray sky as a background so the pics are not a reason to call home about. Will share them anyways...
|Swallow-Tailed Kite in a dive. The next pic shows how they can twist their body 180 degrees|
|Swallow-Tailed Kite in a dive. Second time I see the body twisting during a dive.|
|This one seems to be eating while flying|
Another Swallow-Tailed Kite showed up and swept the tree tops, coming back and grabbing something from one of them...
Then joined two other kites performing what I called, poetry in motion...
|Swallow-Tailed Kites dance|
After the show turned around and headed back to Katie's, shooting a few more pics on my way down...
|Juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron|
|Wekiva River section between Katie's and the Hwy 46 bridge (looking South)|
And this is it. A very short but entertaining paddle on a Central Florida jewel and one of my favorite places. Do not forget to check our Facebook page and Like us, if you really like the page. Thanks for reading and hope you come back for the next Views From Our Kayak.
|Lower Wekiva River|