Estero River Paddle

Not much going on the past couple of days…Connie worked, Neil ran and hung out at the pool, Neil rearranged the rope lights we have under the coach, it rained one day, Connie had a doctors appointment, and Connie got her nails and hair done.

All that being finished yesterday…today was fun day. We took the bikes out of the car, transferred the Sea Eagle kayak into it and headed off to Koreshan State Park which nestles up to the Estero River a bit south of Fort Myers. We inflated the boat, attached the new rear skirt to replace the failed one under warranty and hit the water about 2 hours after low tide. The river doesn’t have much current and we wanted to take advantage of the incoming tide on our return trip back up-river to the launching point. Most of the way down the Estero is pretty narrow; maybe 40 feet or so as it meanders past some houses, a small marina and a couple of resorts. Pretty early in our paddle we came across a Yellow Crowned Night Heron…not a species you see all that much during the day. We got this nice shot of him from about 12 feet away.

EsteroRiverYellowCrownedNiteHeron1 066

You can easily see both the black eye patch as well as the yellow on top of the head that gives him his name along with the Bear Bryant Houndstooth inspired gray checkering. The neck is retracted in this shot…this is usually how you see this species. Shortly after this shot we got this one of him with his neck extended so you get somewhat more of the typical heron profile. He’s about 30 inches tall with his neck extended like that and we were maybe 15 feet away for this shot.

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Continuing on down the river we ran into a Great Blue Heron

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then stopped in the wider portion of the river about 3 miles down from the launch point for a quick snack. No place to pull over and beach the kayak but the current was pretty much nil at this point so we just drifted for a few minutes while we ate then headed back towards the take out point. The river down here is much wider; maybe 150 yards or so.

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After our snack we headed back up-river which is the top of the two pictures above. Shortly after that we saw some White Ibis over on the right bank

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and then a bit later a Great Egret.

EsteroRiverGreatEgret1 071

This was the last we saw on the river as it was almost 1330 by this time and the afternoon party traffic was running up and down the river. We got back to the take out point and deflated and stowed the kayak then headed out of the park. On the way we saw an endangered Gopher Tortoise on the side of the road so Neil stopped and ran back to take a couple of shots. The tortoise was snacking on the little white flowers you can see in the first shot.

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This specimen was maybe 15 inches long and just sitting by the side of the road.

We stopped by the Apple Store in Estero down the road from the state park to pick up a new Airport WiFi base station; Neil wanted to replace our 4 year old model with one that has all the latest features and better performance. After that we had a quick burger at Five Guys for a late lunch, stopped by the sports store to look for some insoles for Neil’s new running shoes (didn’t find them so it’s Amazon time I guess) and came back home. By the time we washed off the kayak and took a shower Connie was tired so took a nap while Neil put on the Broncos/Ravens playoff game.

Dinner was steak, roasted ‘taters, and sautéed carrots along with our typical wine coolers. Tomorrow is Mass and we’re stopping by to get our weekly groceries on the way home.

Cyas.

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About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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2 Responses to Estero River Paddle

  1. Mj Trainor says:

    Great pictures!!! 🙂

    • Neil Laubenthal says:

      Yeah, sorry it’s always birds lately but that’s what you can see down here in warm, sunny Florida. We’ll be putting up mountain, elk, and glacier photos by June or so.

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