Friday, October 30, 2015

Paddling on the Great Florida Birding Trail

Did you know that Sportsman's Cove in McIntosh is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail? It is...check out the website for more information:

 And fall is a great time to be here. The weather is great and migratory birds are flying in for the winter.
More great news for Sportsman's Cove...the new owners have secured the permit necessary to clear out floating plants and open up the canal for easier access to Orange Lake. That should happen soon. But the water is up, and we can paddle past the "stuff" today to see what's out there. Let's go!
 Pretty yellow daisies line both sides of the canal.
 Looking back at Sportsman's Cove RV park.
 Oops, I scared up a bunch of Ibises.
 Some of the floating stuff is pretty.
 The canal opens up for some calm paddling.
 The Red-shouldered hawk is calling to his mate.
 Common Moorhens...

 A beautiful day for a calm float.

Water droplets on the lily pads.
A duck takes flight...many species of ducks winter here.
I can't tell what kind these are, can you?
 American Coots

Seed pods...
 Getting ready to plant more "stuff," lol.

 Some of the underwater plants get tangled on the paddles. 
 Hopefully they will be able to eliminate some of that.
 Other areas are clear and easy paddling.
 More Moorhens

 Great Blue Heron
 It's easy to get disoriented out here at water level.
 If you do get confused, just look for the McIntosh water tower to find your way back.
 McIntosh water tower.
 Follow the open water back in that direction.
Until you come to the canal leading to Sportsman's Cove. 
Don't forget to look up or you'll miss some birds.
 Incoming immature Little Blue Heron
He's got his eye on something...
 Got it!
 Birds are fun to watch.
 Back in the canal.
 To the boat ramp.
Sportsman's's not just for fishing. Invite your birding friends.

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