November 23, 2010

Florida's Blue Spring State Park is for the Birds (and the Manatees)

I did ask as I checked into my camp site if there were birds at Blue Spring State Park, which is located outside of Daytona about 30 miles. The employee said no not really they were migrating...  but a woman stepped into the conversation and said, that yes there were birds there.
I took the two hour river cruise on the St. John's River through the park service for $22 and took 187 photographs on the cruise of mostly birds. If I didn't get a good shot, we found another of the same bird further down the river, so I could try again. (Not on purpose, but that gives you an idea how many birds there were.) It was stunning.

My favorite was the Anhinga. Their open wings had markings, which resembled the Spanish moss and made the birds blend in.  I use this photograph above on the right to illustrate my point. Hopefully it also shows the large size of the bird.

Here are a few other birds we spotted on our trip. Below is a black crowned night heron. The image is titled "Asleep."

Here are three white ibis. My son studied these when he was in kindergarten. Funny where life leads you. I had no idea what they were then, not too long ago.

We learned from our wonderful tour guide that the Audobon society began with a women's group who opposed the hunting of birds for the feathers for women's hats. Upon further reading, this group was led by Boston's Harriet Hemenway, who called her friends in the Boston Blue Book, high society and invited them to join the group. Interesting.

And, as you can imagine. Although, I didn't think about it. There were a few alligators in the park as well.

This park's spring is home to 271 manatees because it is 72º year round. I admit, I didn't study the manatees as much as I studied the birds. But it's okay to leave something for the next visit.

Here is a three minute video of the park cruise to entice you to take the trip!

As a heads up... I stayed at a campsite #14 in my tent and it was very noisy at the park. There is a train close by; the first night I counted four loud passings. And, in between a rooster crowed her way through the night. She must not understand the wee hour wake up, which would have been okay in light of the early hour awakenings. But the view of the birds before the park opened was worth the sleepless night, and I was so tired the other nights, I slept through all the noise. And, many different birds woke me up at daylight, so I could make it to the river. What a really wonderful place.

All of these images are copyrighted by Hazel Berger. Please do not use without permission. I apologize to the tour guide. I did not mean to capture so much of his voice. Next time I will know to ask permission.

1 comment:

readingsully2 said...

My goodness, Hazel, you are adventurous. LOL I have spent a lot of time at Blue Springs. I know exactly where you were and I've taken the same river cruise.