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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Strickland Creek (Via Tomoka River)

Dolphins at the Tomoka River

Plan A was kayaking the Econlockhatchee River but it was pouring this morning so change of plans. Where to go? Out of the blue decided to go to the Tomoka State Park and kayak the Tomoka River, a place where I have been only once. To my surprise saw dolphins, a pod of four going down river. Manatees were also spotted but was not able to get a decent picture of a sea cow. No gators, so no trifecta, saw a couple of folks that was not expecting to see at this location.

Boat Ramp at Tomoka State Park

Put In / Take Out: For this trip used the facilities of the Tomoka State Park in Ormond Beach. For fees please visit the state park web site. The picture above was at the end of my paddle. In the morning a manatee duo welcomed me right there, a mother and a calf. Both went to the bottom before I had the chance of taking a pic.

Tomoka State Park dock

The first time I did kayak here saw an entrance to a creek like a mile, or so, up river. The creek is named Strickland Creek. It was windy today and thought that kayaking the creek was a good option to get some shelter from the wind and explore an unknown area in the process. Did know that the creek takes you to Sanchez Park around three miles from the Tomoka River. Decided to go to Sanchez Park and turn around from there. Here is what I saw on the span from the Tomoka River State Park to Strickland Creek.

Fiddler Crabs. If you think the ground is moving blame them!!!!!

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Great Egret and Wood Stork

Wood Storks. There were dozens of those birds in the area and more kept coming!.

Wood Stork


Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Wood Stork

Ibis Flock

A manatee splashed the water like 100 ft in front of me. Decided to wait for it to surface and was ready to take a pic. To my surprise a pod of 4 dolphins, one of them with a peculiar fin, were the ones that gave me a pic chance. This caught me off guard. Did not expect to see dolphins since the tide was going out. It was a more than welcome event...

Tomoka River Dolphin. Looks like is missing a chunk of its dorsal fin.

Tomoka River Dolphin #2

Tomoka River Dolphins #3 and #4

Was close to the entrance of Strickland Creek when the dolphins showed up. Started paddling the creek behind two motor boats, plenty of them at the Idle Speed Zone creek. Here are the pics of what I saw on that part of the trip on my way to Sanchez Park.



Pileated Woodpecker - female

Pileated Woodpecker - Can you see her tongue out?

To that point the paddle up creek was not impressive. The scenery is beautiful and the creek is broad but was a little disappointing. Not too much wildlife display. Was hoping for the manatees to be at Sanchez Park. But my mood changed after seeing a deer in the forest to my left, then another, and another one. A young buck with two females...

Strickland Creek deer

Flirting? Sorry sweetie. You are not my type. Happily married here!!!!

Young Buck at Strickland Creek

Is she doing what I think she is doing?

Look at those ears!!!!!

The deer sighting was the highlight of this part of the paddle. Made it to Sanchez Park where took a break. No manatees to be seen, which was a bummer. Thirty minutes after was on my way back to Tomoka State Park. Thought about paddling Thompson Creek but that would have put me on the open waters of the Tomoka River like two miles from the state park and the wind was coming strong from the North. Decided to go down Strickland Creek instead...

Sanchez Park Boat ramp

Sanchez Park

Nice boardwalk at Sanchez Park

A Juvenile Little Blue Heron at Strickland Creek

Osprey at Strickland Creek

Snowy Egret. This one was at the Tomoka River across the mouth of the creek

Great Blue Heron at the Tomoka River


Tomoka River Osprey


Closest I got from a decent manatee pic.

Made it to the state park ramp while a small flotilla was going out. They headed down river...

Tomoka River kayakers going out from the Tomoka Outpost at the state park.

That is it for this one. Before I leave let me share with you a few pics taken on my way to Tomoka State Park in the morning. The only reason none of them made it to the opening pic spot is because were not taken from the kayak...

Bald Eagle

Ready to fly!!!!!!!

This would have been the opening of this post but this is Views From Our Kayak, not Views From Our Mini Van.
Thanks for reading. Hope you like this post. Was not my best moment with the camera in a gray day. Dumped more than half of the pics taken. Do really need to take a photography class!!!!! Check our Facebook page and Like us, if you like it. See you soon to share more Views From Our Kayak.

Tomoka River


  1. I have not seen deer at Tomoka. Great day! More wildlife than I saw at Sanibel, yesterday. I now feel more determined to find spoonbills, and wood storks, today.

    1. It was totally unexpected but the set up was deer friendly: high grounds with Rock Springs Run type vegetation. Of course that was on and off because most of the creek is marsh. Hope you got to see the spoonies and wood storks but let me tell you this. It seemed like there was a wood stork convention on the Tomoka River. Dozens of them and many more flying there.

  2. Thanks, Luis, it has been many years since I paddled over there--now I am inspired to go again soon.