One alligator, some turtles, many birds: cold and clear Okefenokee Outing

If you weren’t among the small but hardy group of paddlers yesterday, you missed more birds than I’ve ever seen in the Okefenokee Swamp on a sunny cold December morning. We did draw the winner for the kayak raffle; we’ll announce that once we get a return telephone call.

Getting out, 12:59:19,, Minnie Lake

Before even entering the Stephen C. Foster State Park, we saw a great blue heron, the bird on the WWALS banner, plus a wild hog. Inside, we saw three small deer ambling across the road. Paddling, seemed like every tree had birds: great barred owl, red shouldered hawk, great blue heron, little blue heron, ibis, anhinga, duck, buzzard, and many more. Doubtless Gretchen will post her bird pictures soon. Meanwhile, here are a few pictures, a few movies, and a google map.

Minnie Lake, Shirley Kokidko, Gretchen Quarterman, 11:42:54,, Minnie Lake

The Fargo gauge was at 95 feet, well above low stage at 92.7 feet, and well below flood at 104 feet: good paddling level. We saw no trash, which was refreshing. Also only two other paddlers, who didn’t go as far out. Good banner picture,, Drone

This was the same route we took three years ago, in ponchos in the drizzling rain. This time it was sunny the whole time, but there was only the one small gator, apparently due to the cold: it was just above freezing when we started, and maybe 50 degrees when we got back.

Closeup little gator, 09:43:42,, Starting

The cold also resulted in one fewer (5) paddler than three years ago (6).

Gator, 2014:11:22 11:07:38,, Drizzly
Photo: John S. Quarterman, big gator, November 11, 2014; he was not visible this time.

See also Gretchen’s pictures at the start and Dennis Price’s pictures, both on facebook.

Next: first leg of the 2018 Alapaha Quest, Saturday, January 6, 2018!. See the WWALS calendar for more outings.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Pictures

Paddling, 09:42:53,, Starting 30.8271391, -82.3615000
Paddling, 09:42:53,, Starting 30.8271391, -82.3615000

Little gator on the shore, 09:43:42,, Starting 30.8276640, -82.3613390
Little gator on the shore, 09:43:42,, Starting 30.8276640, -82.3613390

Closeup little gator, 09:43:42,, Starting 30.8276650, -82.3613400
Closeup little gator, 09:43:42,, Starting 30.8276650, -82.3613400

Anhinga sunning in a tree, 09:45:48,, Starting 30.8280792, -82.3611849
Anhinga sunning in a tree, 09:45:48,, Starting 30.8280792, -82.3611849

Dan Phillips in the lead, 09:48:00,, Starting 30.8290199, -82.3609017
Dan Phillips in the lead, 09:48:00,, Starting 30.8290199, -82.3609017

Spanish moss, Yaupon Holly, 09:51:58,, Starting 30.8302949, -82.3605347
Spanish moss, Yaupon Holly, 09:51:58,, Starting 30.8302949, -82.3605347

Ilex vomitoria, 09:52:00,, Starting 30.8303202, -82.3605312
Ilex vomitoria, 09:52:00,, Starting 30.8303202, -82.3605312

Tillandsia usneoides, 09:52:02,, Starting 30.8303530, -82.3605186
Tillandsia usneoides, 09:52:02,, Starting 30.8303530, -82.3605186

Gretchen at the crossroads, 09:54:35,, Starting 30.8319140, -82.3602700
Gretchen at the crossroads, 09:54:35,, Starting 30.8319140, -82.3602700

Closeup, Gretchen, signs, 09:54:35,, Starting 30.8319200, -82.3602700
Closeup, Gretchen, signs, 09:54:35,, Starting 30.8319200, -82.3602700

Upstream, 09:54:48,, Suwannee River 30.8319793, -82.3602952
Upstream, 09:54:48,, Suwannee River 30.8319793, -82.3602952

Bittern fluffed up, 10:20:04,, Suwannee River 30.8348747, -82.3478817
Bittern fluffed up, 10:20:04,, Suwannee River 30.8348747, -82.3478817

Bittern closeup, 10:20:04,, Suwannee River 30.8348750, -82.3478817
Bittern closeup, 10:20:04,, Suwannee River 30.8348750, -82.3478817

Turn left for Minnie Lake, 10:29:31,, Suwannee River 30.8349246, -82.3431708
Turn left for Minnie Lake, 10:29:31,, Suwannee River 30.8349246, -82.3431708

Closeup on signs to Minnie Lake, Billies Island, 10:29:31,, Suwannee River 30.8349250, -82.3431708
Closeup on signs to Minnie Lake, Billies Island, 10:29:31,, Suwannee River 30.8349250, -82.3431708

Very tall Yaupon Holly, 10:30:30,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8350869, -82.3429985
Very tall Yaupon Holly, 10:30:30,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8350869, -82.3429985

Dennis Price, Shirley Kokidko, 10:30:34,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8350869, -82.3429985
Dennis Price, Shirley Kokidko, 10:30:34,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8350869, -82.3429985

Reflected Holly, 10:37:44,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8375559, -82.3439512
Reflected Holly, 10:37:44,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8375559, -82.3439512

Twisty, 10:37:48,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8375559, -82.3439512
Twisty, 10:37:48,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8375559, -82.3439512

Around the bend, 11:22:27,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8375559, -82.3439512
Around the bend, 11:22:27,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8375559, -82.3439512

A bit of current, 11:24:56,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8526957, -82.3297734
A bit of current, 11:24:56,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8526957, -82.3297734

A straight bit, 11:32:13,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8539807, -82.3291257
A straight bit, 11:32:13,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8539807, -82.3291257

Left side, 11:32:16,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8558922, -82.3270201
Left side, 11:32:16,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8558922, -82.3270201

Shirley and the birds, 11:32:17,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8558922, -82.3270201
Shirley and the birds, 11:32:17,, Middle Fork, Suwannee River 30.8558922, -82.3270201

Minnie Lake, Shirley Kokidko, Gretchen Quarterman, 11:42:54,, Minnie Lake 30.8558922, -82.3270201
Minnie Lake, Shirley Kokidko, Gretchen Quarterman, 11:42:54,, Minnie Lake 30.8558922, -82.3270201

Platform, 11:46:39,, Minnie Lake 30.8609704, -82.3233348
Platform, 11:46:39,, Minnie Lake 30.8609704, -82.3233348

Getting out, 12:59:19,, Minnie Lake 30.8612218, -82.3234102
Getting out, 12:59:19,, Minnie Lake 30.8612218, -82.3234102

Movie: Gretchen, WWALS banner, platform, Minnie Lake,, Drone 30.8612160, -82.3235180
Movie: Gretchen, WWALS banner, platform, Minnie Lake,, Drone 30.8612160, -82.3235180

Movie: Banners on Minnie Lake platform,, Drone 30.8612330, -82.3234920
Movie: Banners on Minnie Lake platform,, Drone 30.8612330, -82.3234920

Go Higher,, Drone 30.8612280, -82.3234920
Go Higher,, Drone 30.8612280, -82.3234920

Dont drop that thing in the water,, Drone 30.8612280, -82.3234880
Dont drop that thing in the water,, Drone 30.8612280, -82.3234880

Good banner picture,, Drone 30.8612250, -82.3234830
Good banner picture,, Drone 30.8612250, -82.3234830

Paddlers and banner at Minnie Lake,, Drone 30.8612240, -82.3234900
Paddlers and banner at Minnie Lake,, Drone 30.8612240, -82.3234900

Dennis Prices kayak,, Drone 30.8612500, -82.3234480
Dennis Prices kayak,, Drone 30.8612500, -82.3234480

Following, 13:29:13,, Downstream 30.8519444, -82.3300000
Following, 13:29:13,, Downstream 30.8519444, -82.3300000

Steamed up, 13:34:02,, Downstream 30.8504250, -82.3301265
Steamed up, 13:34:02,, Downstream 30.8504250, -82.3301265

Movie: Flying heron, 14:28:45, (4.9M), Back on the main river 30.8347267, -82.3487198
Movie: Flying heron, 14:28:45, (4.9M), Back on the main river 30.8347267, -82.3487198

Turtle, 14:24:28,, Back on the main river 30.8348459, -82.3445697
Turtle, 14:24:28,, Back on the main river 30.8348459, -82.3445697

Turtle closer, 14:24:38,, Back on the main river 30.8345590, -82.3467683
Turtle closer, 14:24:38,, Back on the main river 30.8345590, -82.3467683

Turtle closeup, 14:24:38,, Back on the main river 30.8345600, -82.3467683
Turtle closeup, 14:24:38,, Back on the main river 30.8345600, -82.3467683

Sitting anhinga, 14:28:33,, Back on the main river 30.8347267, -82.3487198
Sitting anhinga, 14:28:33,, Back on the main river 30.8347267, -82.3487198

Tree full of ibis, 14:28:36,, Back on the main river 30.8347267, -82.3487198
Tree full of ibis, 14:28:36,, Back on the main river 30.8347267, -82.3487198

Birds at top and bottom of tree, 14:28:45,, Back on the main river 30.8347267, -82.3487198
Birds at top and bottom of tree, 14:28:45,, Back on the main river 30.8347267, -82.3487198

Movies

Click on this link, and a playlist is embedded below.

Google Map

Click on this link and it’s embedded below.

and it’s embedded below.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!