Birder's Eye View

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rainbow River

"The sun shines not on us, but in us. The rivers flow not past but through us. Nature was made not just for us, but for itself and its own happiness, and is the very smile of the Divine." - John Muir
Yesterday we took a family trip to Rainbow Springs State Park. It was a lot of fun; we went kayaking for about an hour and then hiked for a while.

Rainbow Springs is one of the biggest springs in Florida. The park actually used to be an old tourist attraction, but it closed in the 1970s. It reopened again in the mid-90s as a nature preserve. There are still a lot of tourists there, but it wasn't bad on Monday afternoon.

After kayaking, I spotted a Great Blue Heron in the vegetation by the swimming area.

There were tons of Northern Parulas; this was a juvenile hopping around on the walkway. I saw a female parula feeding its baby in a palm tree at one point, but by the time I got my camera out, they had flown away.

As we were walking back from the boat launch, we were looking at a dragonfly; my mom pointed to it, and it flew over and landed on her finger!

Really clear water -- a small bass swimming through the spring.

There are many waterfalls at Rainbow Springs, but unfortunately, they're not natural. They were built as part of the tourist attraction about 40 or 50 years ago.

Can you tell what this little guy is? I sent the picture along to The SW WI Birder, and he confirmed my suspicion that it's a White-eyed Vireo! (life bird!)

A Double-crested Cormorant sitting by the swimming area.

As we were leaving, a Swall0w-tailed Kite put on a great aerial display over our heads; it was swooping and diving really low over the trees.

Over all, it was a great trip! I only got two year birds (White-eyed Vireo and a Bald Eagle), but it's better than nothing. I'll try to post some of the kayaking pics later.

Happy birding!



  • Very nice Andrea! I don't think I've ever been there.
    Most of my FL birding has been in the last 6 or 7 years. Most of the other trips before that were to the beach in Ft Lauderdale. (I wish I'd known about some of the birds around there). I'll have to stop by there next time I'm in FL.

    By Blogger Parus, At May 19, 2008 at 11:23 PM  

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