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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Blue Spring - St Johns River & Snake Creek

Manatees at Blue Springs Run

Today returned to Blue Spring, in Orange City. The manatee count Friday was over 300. Today FWC was expecting around the same amount. I do not know how many manatees were in the run this morning but there were a lot of them and it was a heck of a show, beautiful. It does not stop to impress me seeing the run with manatees all over it. Even the vent had manatees there.

Manatees at Blue Spring Run

Put In / Take Out: Blue Spring State Park in Orange City. For information please check the provided link.

Blue Spring Run

Mine was the first car in the line when showed up to the gate of the State Park at 7:30. Was a little surprised since the manatees are a great attraction this time of the year and it was really cold Friday night. Was expecting more people. But anyways, instead of going to the river headed to the boardwalk along the run and yes, manatees were crowding it from top to bottom.Spent about 40 minutes admiring the scene before finally heading to the river. Here are the views...

Blue Spring's Manatees

Blue Spring Run Manatee

Manatee at Blue Spring Run

Blue Spring Run

Manatees at Blue Spring

Thought about not paddling because the wind. The St. Johns is wide and when is windy is not too fun to paddle there. To make things interesting the wind was coming from the Northwest, that means in your face if you are going down river.

Cormorant at the Blue Spring Run

Gave it a try anyways and it was worst than I expected. The river was bumpy and taking pictures proved to be a useless exercise. Put the camera away and paddle to the island West of the French Avenue launch. There got a little bit of a break from the wind since the island blocked it for me. Here are the pics of what I saw on this part of my trip...

Great Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron

Belted Kingfisher

On your marks...ready...go!!!!!!! There goes the moorhen

Green Heron

Black &White Warbler

Black & White Warbler


Great Blue Heron nesting

A Double...Ibis and Great Egret




Belted Kingfisher

Snowy Egret

Pied Billed Grebe

Juvenile Ibis


Suddenly all the Ibises and birds in the area took off in a hurry and in alarm mode. Usually that means an eagle is around. This time I was wrong to think that. Not an eagle but two juvenile bald eagles were circling the area high in the sky...and with the Sun behind. Did my best but this next pic is the best one I got...

Juvenile Bald Eagle

Now back to the regular programming...



Left the protection of the island and headed to the Snake Creek entrance. With the wind on my back pushing me it was an easier paddle up river. Of course, the wind was not nearly as strong at the moment but it was good enough to make me go faster....

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret



Going South in the St. Johns turned right on the first opening on my way to Snake Creek. A Belted Kingfisher was  going after a fish and failed. Knowing how this little bandits behave knew it was going to try again. I was ready...well...sort of...

There she goes...

Full speed!!!!!

Splash!!!! Came out empty

Finally arrived to the entrance of Snake Creek. Two door men greeted me...

Little Blue Heron

Red Shouldered Hawk

Red Shouldered Hawk

Planned to paddle Snake Creek all the way to the Hontoon Dead River. That did not happen. There was a lot of vegetation blocking the creek at the area where the high ground starts. Paddled into the blockage a bit but not seeing the end of it in the bend decided to turn around and returned to the State Park. Here are the Snake Creek views...

Little Snake Creek gator

Great Egret

Black Crowned Night Heron

Eastern Phoebe

Black Crowned Night Heron

Red Shouldered Hawk

Black Crowned Night Heron

Great Egret takes off!!!!!!!

Red Shouldered Hawks

Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Snake Creek turtle

Snake Creek

Back in the State Park put the kayak in the minivan and took another walk in the now super crowded boardwalk...

And finally this is it for this one. Need to find a way to post less pictures. There will be more pics from this and past trips on our Facebook page so receive this invitation to take a look. Thanks for reading and hope you come back next weekend for more Views From Our Kayak...

Blue Spring Run


  1. Those juvenile eagles have been very active and fun to watch. Just when I think your pictures can't get any better, they do. And on a windy day from a kayak. Impressive! Love the kingfisher sequence.

  2. Great post. Thanks for the update on Snake Creek.