Monthly Archives: December 2015

Ocklawaha River – December 8, 2015

A short little paddle today on Rodman Reservoir during the draw-down.  Rodman Reservoir was created for the extinct Cross Florida Barge Canal but despeite efforts of conservationists, federal agencies and water biologists to restore the flow of the Ocklawaha River, the dammed basin lingers on over 50 years later because it is a favored place for bass tournaments = big money for a few local businesses and state legislators.  In order to keep the reservoir from becoming totally clogged up with plants they have to pull the water down 7-8 feet every 3-4 years so a lot of the vegetation will die off.

One thing you will notice from the pictures is the tops of a lot of dead trees out in the middle of the reservoir.  This is because rather than chop down many of the trees before filling the reservoir, they left them or rolled them into the mud at the bottom figuring they would rot.  Well, cypress does not rot in an anerobic environment, so the trees that were rolled under floated to the surface and the trees that were still standing rotted out only above the water-line.  So when they draw down the water, it’s a slalom course through the remains of dead tree trunks.

Rodman Reservoir

Rodman Reservoir and dead tree tops

Rodman Reservoir

Rodman Reservoir slalom course through dead tree stubs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since they are due to close the dam next month and allow the water to fill the reservoir again we wanted to get out there to see what we can see.  And what we saw was lots of birds.  Ibis, herons – Great Blue and Little Blue, Great Egret, Bald Eagles, loads of Red-winged Blackbirds, Wood Storks and many more.

We put in at the temporary extension of the Kenwood boat ramp landing near Orange Springs and made a 5-mile circle around the center of the reservoir.

American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)

American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)

Immature American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)

Immature American White Ibis are mottled brown and white.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immature Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)

Immature Wood Stork (Mycteria americana).  The immature still have brown head feathers.

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immature Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea)

Immature Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea). They turn blue near the end of their second year.

Southern Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus leucocephalus)

Southern Bald Eagle on an Osprey nesting pole