When I got to the river, Janice was just leaving the boat ramp for a short paddle. Abby was only a little way downstream and the three of us continued on once I got to them. (And Janice, if you are reading this, I have three words for you--"Lime Cactus: YUM.")
Before I joined them I saw this tricolored heron in the usual area near the ramp. This was Day One with a new lens--same amount of zoom as the other so there probably won't be a lot of difference in these photos (this lens does, however, back out to a wide-angle, so I no longer have to take a separate camera to get scenics, which is very nice).
Shortly after we continued on downstream together we came to an otter hanging out near a snowy egret.
There are a lot of otters on this river this year, and Abby gets the best photos of them I have seen anywhere; some day I hope to get one as good. The otters basically stand up in the water and pose for her. Meanwhile, I try to just get them as they swim by.
We pulled into Blue Spring and immediately came to this grouping of three birds, a limpkin in the front, juvenile ibis behind it, and a little blue heron there to the left.
As I have mentioned before, it's kind of a new thing to see groups of different birds so close together like that; they are usually more territorial.
We stayed in the spring area for a while and then meandered on back to the river. On the way, we passed this great blue heron in a pose I have only seen a couple of times before--
It let us get surprisingly close before flying off.
Three ibises, an adult and two juveniles, were having lunch in the middle of the river.
Janice had an appointment she had to keep and turned around and left us after about an hour. Abby and I went a little farther downstream. We passed a snowy egret in the sunshine.
After a while Abby also had to turn around as she had afternoon commitments as well. I continued on downstream and into the channel that is home to so many families of moorhens and gallinules. This young gallinule was perched on top of a pile of reeds. Based on the condition of the feathers (what's there of them) on its head, I would say this one has been picked on a bit in its nest.
There were a lot of green herons on the river today (or only two that kept flying away from me and I kept encountering later...).
I came to another odd grouping, this one a great blue heron and ibis.
As I approached, the heron flew off. I imagine they always know when their wings are barely brushing the water.
One more chance at an otter photo as one swam right toward me.
And another green heron perched on some branches
that flew off when I got too close.
It's still very hot here and I was feeling the heat after the upstream paddle so I pulled into Cassidy Spring, which is near the boat ramp, and got out to walk around in the cold water. While this is and always will be a paddling blog that features photography, I'm afraid the novelty of the underwater camera housing has not worn off yet, so yet another video is about to appear in this post (I should be over it in a couple of weeks...). This one was taken while I was standing on the rocky edge of Cassidy Spring, in water about thigh deep.
And then back to the boat ramp and off the river after another great day with the birds.
Stand by for the next trip report.