(Florida 2012 continued)
"What the heck is that?"
We were making our way back to the boat launch when I spotted a bird wading near the shore of the river. I didn't have a clue what it was, but knew it was a life list bird.
I put my paddle down and grabbed my camera, still near at hand after photographing the manatees. Fortunately I was mostly out of the wind and so managed to stay fairly near to the bird.
Turns out this bird had been perched in a nearby tree when we had initially paddled to the lagoon, and the girls had been arguing over what species it was. I was so busy trying to paddle that I never stopped to look. I'm glad it stuck around!
It continued to feed along the bank then slowly made its way onto the shore. It wasn't until we got back to the house and pulled out the camera and a bird book that we identified this as a Limpkin. I thought it would be in the shorebird family but it is a Grueforme, related to cranes and rails. It is apparently not a particularly common bird, and is found almost exclusively in Florida. That made our sighting of it that much more exciting!
I was exhausted after this paddle on the river and was afraid I'd be really sore the next day, but I wasn't. We spent Tuesday hanging out with my Grandma and visited with my uncle Cliff who built a condo on the beach (and lives in one of the penthouse units--nice!). We spent Tuesday evening getting ready for our overnight back country camping trip to Canaveral National Seashore, which I'll talk about next!