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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Turkey Creek

Turkey Creek manatee

Decided to pay another visit to Turkey Creek in Palm Bay. Have only been here once, a little more than a year ago, and came out a manatee short from a Florida Trifecta: dolphin, gator, and manatee. This time got it. The manatee in the opening pic, a calf, gave me the coveted Florida Tri.


Put In / Take Out: Goode Park, located at 1300 Bianca Dr in Palm Bay, FL. There is no fee, lots of parking spots, and restrooms are available. It is in reality a boat ramp but putting a kayak there is not complicated as the concrete does not go too deep. It is a bit slippery so you have been warned. I ended on my six my first time here. There are other entry points along the creek. I may try one of those next time, or maybe you can do it and let me know how it works.

Turkey Creek Turtle

Was on my way at 8:30. If you follow my trip on a map, left Goode Park and headed to the Indian River, paddling under the railroad tracks first and then under the Hwy 1 bridge to the Palm Bay. It was a bit windy and the tide was coming in. That combination was not good for the pics as I deleted 75% of them. The bay is Osprey Kingdom and they were very active flying high in the sky. It was at the confluence of the bay and the Indian River where saw a dolphin, giving me the first member of the Florida Trifecta (greetings Yak Dave). Here are the pics of what I saw on that leg of the trip...

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret




Green Heron

Green Heron

Indian River Dolphin



Dolphin (This would have been the opening but manatee trumped dolphin this time)


Started the paddle up creek with a strong cross wind. It was really bumpy, even on the Palm Bay. I was told the manatees like to hang out near a dam at the end, or the beginning depending how you look at it, of the creek. The plan was to paddle up, take a break at the Turkey Creek Sanctuary, maybe take a walk on their boardwalk, and then come back to Goode Park. Almost everything came through but had an issue with a raccoon at the sanctuary. Regardless, here are the pics for that part of the trip...


Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret


Gator... a little one. At the moment just needed a manatee for the Florida Trifecta

Turkey Creek scene


End of the paddling trail...

There were not manatees in the dam, which made me feel a little bit down. So decided to turn around and stop at the sanctuary as planned. Let me explain something. Turkey Creek offers a diverse variety of habitats. We have the bay area, the near the Goode Park we have marshes, also residential zones with beautiful houses, and the more covered zone up the creek. That provides a really good shelter from the Sun in days like the one we had yesterday.Back to the trip, pictures of what I saw from the dam to the Turkey Creek Sanctuary...



Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Turtle at the creek (From the Turkey Creek Sanctuary boardwalk)

Catfish  (From the Turkey Creek Sanctuary boardwalk) 

Parenthesis here. When you read signs that say DO NOT FEED WILDLIFE!!! it includes everything. At the sanctuary I tried to have a snack but then, out of the blue, a raccoon was 5 feet from me and coming. I tried to scare it with no avail. So did use a spray I have to scare dogs away. The little rascal walked away 10 ft and came back a minute after. When saw it did the same thing: yelled at (did  not work) and then sprayed it again. The raccoon walked away and almost immediately came back running. This time I grabbed the paddle and chased it away. The raccoon just hide behind a palm tree while I packed my stuff back to the kayak. I thought it learned a lesson and turned my back just to feel it running towards me. Another spray did the trick for a minute, giving me a chance to launch the yak and leave the place. Ate my snack in the kayak, away from the little monster so we can say I was chased away by a raccoon. It won.

Raccoon at Turkey Creek Sanctuary

Here are the pics from the last leg of the trip, including manatees I saw on the creek like a 100 meters West of the Port Malabar bridge over the creek. A mom and a calf gave me the Florida Trifecta and entertained several of us while munching grass from a log in the middle of the creek. The calf checked on me for a few seconds.

Turkey Creek Gator

Manatee munching

Manatee Mom and a calf

Lunch time. At least they did not have a raccoon chasing them away.

Turkey Creek Manatee

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Manatee. One of maybe 6 of a mating herd near the Goode Park boat ramp

Brown Pelican

And this is it for this one. Hope you like the it. As usual, will post a few more pics on our Facebook page so you are more than welcome to take a look. You will also find pics from other trips there.Thanks for reading and hope you come back for our next trip. We will be sharing more Views From Our Kayak.

Friendly ladies enjoying their paddle at Turkey Creek

1 comment:

  1. Trifecta! Sounds like the Turkey Creek raccoons have cousins at Fort Desoto. You may recall my Tale about one dragging my cooler into the mangroves.