Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Dora Canal -- A new trip with lots of wildlife!
We took advantage of the great weather to take another cruise down the Dora Canal and surrounding areas in the hopes of seeing more birds and wildlife and we were not disappointed!
Our first destination was down this small side canal off the main canal. Rick has often seen birds and gators in this lightly traveled area and hoped we would see some interesting wildlife. It is hard to believe you are within a few hundred yards of a busy road as you cruise though this wild looking area.
Sure enough, we had gone only a few yards when we spotted this owl who was carefully watching us. We were surprised to see this fellow since it was almost noon, but apparently he was up and looking for lunch.
Soon after, this group of ibis (we think) came into view. These are beautiful birds and it was fun to see them together only a few feet away from the boat.
We left the small canal and emerged in the much more popular Dora Canal. This mile long waterway is about 3 to 4' deep and winds through the cedar trees. Still, we can usually see some interesting wildlife in the canal.
Here is a normal Dora Canal resident who was not concerned about the boaters at all. He looked to be a good size gator and is surely the master of all he surveys.
While the gator was interesting, this osprey nest stole the show. Here, an osprey is returning to the nest and we wondered if the hawk had caught anything. Soon after, we found out.
Here comes the other osprey with a nice fish meal. One look at those talons and we could tell that the fish never had a chance. Now this is a real fisherman!
This made for a great finish to our canal cruise and we headed off to the waterfront restaurant for lunch. A great day all the way around!