Category Archives: Florida State Park

A Walk at Bahia Honda

I’m finally going through some old photos. Here are some snapshots from a walk I had at Bahia Honda State Park back on December 8, 2013.

At first I was looking down.

washed up
Sea vegetation washed up on the beach

Northern Gannet
Detail of dead Northern Gannet on the beach

Horseshoe Crab exoskeleton
Atlantic Horseshoe Crab exoskeleton

cowfish sp
Dead cowfish sp. on the beach

beach
Bahia Honda shoreline

Sanderling
Sanderling

Then I started to look up.

American Kestrel
American Kestrel

Higher.

Magnificent Frigatebirds
Magnificent Frigatebirds!

Magnificent Frigatebirds
My favorites!

Magnificent Frigatebirds
Awesome!


Ooh, aah!

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Snowy amputee

Snowy3

Snowy Egrets are usually easily identified in flight. They fly with their long black legs and yellow feet fully extended behind their bodies.

Snowy2

Last week I saw this Snowy Egret flying across the spring run at De Leon Springs State Park. It was immediately clear that this bird had just one foot, his right; the left leg appeared to be just as long as the other, but it was footless. In the photo below you can see the bird’s joints are not level; the amputated leg is resting lower on the ground.

Snowy1

I wasn’t quick enough to take a photo of the egret in flight. After it landed on a small floating island, I took some photos of this handicapped bird. It moved around little, and in the few minutes I watched, it didn’t catch any prey. It had strong flight though, and seemed to move around on the island with ease.

Good luck, Snowy Egret.

Snowy4

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Thanksgiving kayaking @ Blue Spring

Arthur and I had a quiet morning paddle at Blue Spring State Park on Thanksgiving Day. The warm spring is very popular with swimmers, though it’s recently been closed to human-type swimmers for the season because of these guys.

Manatee
All three manatee photos were taken November 21st

Manatee Party

Rolling with the flow

Walking to the river with our kayaks, the first bird we saw was a Red-shouldered Hawk perched above the dock. A good start to the day.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Our short trip began at the canoe put-in next to the St. Johns River Cruises pier. We paddled against the slow-moving northward flow of the river, and struggled a bit in windy conditions.

St Johns River

There was a big American Alligator across the river from the dock.

American Alligator

We took our first right to stay with the original flow of the St. Johns (going straight would have taken us through a part of the river that was straightened during the riverboat boom).


Another right took us to Snake Creek, a naturally winding path that would have lead us to Hontoon Island, if we had that much paddlin’ in us.

It was quiet, but we were not alone.

Snake Creek

FL Red-bellied Turtle?

Snake Creek

Little Blue Heron

Snake Creek

On the way back, we had a peek at the place where the spring run meets the St. Johns. We were hoping to see manatees. No joy, though there were several Double-crested Cormorants perched at the end of the run.

Double-crested Cormorant

As we headed back to shore, we spied a Black Vulture having a drink.

Black Vulture

Several of his friends were waiting in the trees above us.

Black Vultures

We had a great morning out and just may have started a brand new Thanksgiving tradition. Belated best wishes to my blog readers – I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!

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