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Silver River Report

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Report By:  darkknight    Date: 11/13/2010 
Rating:n/a     Photos: See 30 photos     Map & Directions: View

From Ray's Wayside to Silver Springs State Park

My Report:

The way I have to make my wife remember the places we kayak is naming the wildlife we see at each place. Manatees are Haulover Canal, eagles are Econlockhatchee River, gators and herons are Wekiva River/Rock Springs Run. We have been in Silver River twice and in this, our third trip, I was finally able to come with something to define this place so my wife does not ever forget: Monkeys. She used to remember the Silver River because the big gators we saw on our second trip. Not anymore. Now it is the river where we saw monkeys.

We arrived at Ray’s Wayside at 9AM. There was an armada of kayaks and canoes already there. I became impatient when more canoes arrived and pushed the issue. When we put in there were 5 kayaks already in the water; a guy followed by 4 ladies. We paddled by them and headed to the head spring. About 10 minutes up river I heard a splash to my right. An otter was swimming down river and we tried to follow it to take a pic. We did but it was a bad one. Two motor boats and two kayaks paddled by us going up. Actually, the two kayaks did pass us twice during our trip. There were lots of anhingas and cormorants in the river. But no turtles or gators were visible. It was not until the 45th minute when we saw the first turtle in a log. I told my wife that was good because, if I have learned something, that means gators are coming out soon.

In the first small island you find when going up river from Ray’s we decided to go right. In a tree in front of us there was a bird we have seen but do not have pics yet. It was a young Black Crowned Night Heron(????) and we spend several minutes shooting pics. As we were busy shooting pics I heard and saw the group of the guide with the nice ladies going up river. Once we kept going it did not take much time to pass them, just before the place people use to stop in the river.

At a small indentation to the right side of the river the two kayakers that paddled by us before where getting ready to get out and it seemed to me like the guide and his ladies where going to stop there. Like 400 yards up we saw another Black Crowned Night Heron, this time an adult, and spend a few minutes shooting pics. Shortly after that we saw our first gator, of many, of the day. A small gator in a log made my wife very happy. After that it was awesome. Gators, turtles, a red shouldered hawk flew by us with a catch, kingfishers, blue and great blue herons, etc.

There is a dock to the left side of the river and about 400 feet after that I saw a guy in one small boat with a motor taking pics at something in the trees. He kept going and as we approached the area my wife spotted some branches moving. MONKEYS!!!!! She said and pointed at one of the trees. We found a spot and started to shoot pics like crazy. There were lots of young ones jumping from branch to branch and some adults watching them. One of the adults looked like came out of a nasty fight missing an ear. An alpha male came into the scene hitting and chasing some of the small ones. Quite a show!!!!!

A small motor boat stopped near us to admire the monkeys too and started to throw fruits at them. The monkeys soon went closer to them and while it was great for my wife to shoot pics I let them know that it was wrong and left. We heard another troop at the other side of the river and we headed there. A mother with a baby was coming down of a tree and we saw how she took care of the little one. Two little monkeys put a show to us jumping all over the branches. There were more in the ground but we were not able to see them, but heard and saw the movement. It was a great experience.

We made it all the way to the head spring shooting pics of many gators nd turtles in the way up. It took us three hours and twenty five minutes to reach the top. Also saw, and shoot some pics, of a sunken boat near an island down the river close to the state park. I heard one of the tour boats captains saying that it was on that island where the monkeys were placed many years ago. We ate a sandwich while floating down the river. Had to dodge several motor boats but we were having fun. At 3:45PM we made it to the state park put in and stopped to stretch our legs and my back. An alligator snapping turtle showed its head under the ramp and I used my underwater digital camera to shoot some pics.

At 4:30PM we left the ramp in a hurry. It was starting to get really dark so we pushed it. Wifey still managed to shoot a beautiful pic with the sunlight on the back.
We made it to Ray’s between 5:30 and 5:45PM, I am not sure. But it there was barely sunlight. We loaded the yak and started our 1:45 minutes trip back home. Wifey looked at the pics and was so excited. The monkey pics are, in my humble opinion, awesome. Hope you enjoy them and sorry for the long report. I guess I have to learn not to include so many details.

Get Map & Directions for this trip

Location Data:

Difficulty: Moderate
Location Type: River
Boat Type: Kayak
Distance (miles): 8
Fees/Costs $: 5.00

Photos from Silver River:    (Click image to view full size)

Ibis No Comm
Fall colors No Comm
Fall colors
Some luck No Comm
Some luck

A Little Blue Heron caught a not so lucky little fish in front of us

Great Blue Heron No Comm
Great Blue Heron
Turtles are out!!!! No Comm
Turtles are out!!!!

45 minutes into our trip we saw our first turtle

Another LBH No Comm
Another LBH

Little Blue Heron were everywhere in the Silver River

Great Egret No Comm
Great Egret

The elegant Great Egret always cooperates.

White dots No Comm
White dots

The Ibis's flock makes a nice contrast with the forest

Face Off No Comm
Face Off

The cormorant and the turtle look like they are ready for a duel

Something new No Comm
Something new

Is this a young Black Crowned Night Heron

Trio No Comm

A turtle trio shares a log in the Silver River

Gators are out too No Comm
Gators are out too

Our first gator of the day. A small one enjoying the nice weather in the river

Black Crowned NH No Comm
Black Crowned NH

About this one I am positive. That is a Black Crowned Night Heron.

Young Ibis No Comm
Young Ibis
Up front No Comm
Up front
Monkey Time No Comm
Monkey Time
Climbing No Comm
Taking a break No Comm
Taking a break

A young monkey takes a break seated in a branch

Gator look No Comm
Gator look
Big Kahuna No Comm
Big Kahuna

A huge gator suns itself near the Silver Springs State Park

Sunk No Comm
Vigilant No Comm

An adult female watched while the little ones jump all over the place

Is not that cute? No Comm
Is not that cute?
Dude!!!!!!!!! No Comm

What did you eat? seems to be asking the little monkey.

Alpha Male No Comm
Alpha Male

This one semmed to be the sheriff there. He did chase and hit some of his partners.

Baby monkey No Comm
Baby monkey
Mix No Comm

I do not know. You tell me.

Alligator Snapping T No Comm
Alligator Snapping T
Sunset No Comm

The sun sets on us on our way back to Ray's Wayside. The wood duck escorted, or ran away, from us for a while

Wild beauty No Comm
Wild beauty

Post Date: 11/14/2010

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