FLORIDA TRIP - Hiking, Kayaking and Bird Watching Day - Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today was a beautiful day with a high of 78 degrees. We haven’t felt that temperature in a few months. We took a small hike this morning here in the park, the Royal Palm Hammock Trail.

Royal Palm

Birds, Marsh and Mangroves

It was a 1 mile boardwalk thru some mangrove and tropical forest areas. I also was looking for a few of geocaches along the way. I found the first one quickly, but never found the other two. Oh well, getting out and enjoying the area is what geocaching is all about…if you find them fine…if not, oh well!!

When we returned, we got a good breakfast-brunch before heading out kayaking on The Blackwater River here at Collier-Seminole State Park. The total canoe trail is about 13-14 miles. We are just beginners at this kayaking thing, so we paddled somewhere between 4-5 miles. We did sign in with the rangers letting them know our route and expected travel times. We enjoyed the kayak trail, but there was very little wildlife. We saw one alligator and few birds in the 2 ½ hours be paddled.

Heading down The Blackwater River

Alligator following this little duck!!

Paddling through the Mangroves

We also attempted to find a geocache which was on the kayak trail. The GPS directions led us back a small creek off the river, deep into the Mangroves.

It was so beautiful, but again we didn’t find the cache. But it was worth the paddle in there. There is a lot more paddling to be done here, but it will have to wait for another trip.
There WILL be another trip here.

As I cleaned up the Sea Eagle, Nancy walked to the ranger station to let them know we were back. While she was there, she asked about some good places to see birds. The Ranger gave her a couple suggestions. As she approached me on her way back, she motioned for me to come to her. Now What?? She was watching a manatee right out from where we had launched the kayak earlier. Boy would it have been fun to be paddling while it was there!!

The Ranger suggested Ten Thousand Island National Wildlife Refuge about 3 miles east on Rt 41. There is a 1 mile trail and a large observation tower.
We followed 2 Black Vultures down the trail and then
we were confronted by 2 Turkey Vultures....Wow!!

It was really fun, so many birds and alligators.

We do not know all the names, but we are learning some. Regardless, we still love being out there and enjoying nature.

Nancy here....
Check out this last picture. I think Bill may have turned bird watching into a competitive sport!?!?


  1. Hey, were those vultures watching...you?

    Did Bill win that bird watching competition? He looks very serious... ;c)

  2. It looks like y'all are having soo much fun. I hope your house sells soon so that you can really enjoy the road.

  3. Excellent pictures! We also enjoyed that same hike. Did you go all the way to the end? You also managed a good picture of the Rosette Spoonbill, they are my new favorite bird to try and photograph.


  4. You saw a roseate spoonbill up close and personal. Wow! You lucky things! Thanks for the pictures and great ideas of places to go.

    Sure am NVing you the temperatures. Snow here tonight. SIGH.........

    Are you SURE you have to go back so soon????

  5. Great form, Bill! When I used to coach swimming, I was forced to judge diving at the meets. I would give you an 8.5. Roger

  6. Be careful of those vultures. Dianne and I saw several of them at the Everglades NP sitting on top of a car picking the rubber seals from around the windows. Dianne ran them off, but I am sure they returned. I am pretty sure that the poor people on the trail had a nasty surprise when they got back to their car. I gave Dianne's arm flailing a 3.5.