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Father’s Day on the Odessa Water Trail June 20, 2010

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Birds, Canoeing, Nature.
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Wood Ducklings

The Beautiful and Vivacious One took me canoeing for Father’s Day. Once again we headed for the Odessa Water Trails. This time we selected the North Water Trail that runs from Schafer’s Access north to the Port Louisa Boat Access. You can see a map of the route here.

It was a lovely day for paddling and the route was perfect for an afternoon trip. We left home a little after two and were home by six.

Because most of this trip follows the channel that brings Mississippi river water into the Port Louisa/Lake Odessa complex, wind wasn’t much of a factor on our trip. Current isn’t a factor this time of year, either, because the inlet valve is closed as the managers drop the water levels within the refuge. Two hours of unhurried paddling will get you from one end of the trail to another.

You’ll hear and see a lot of different birds along the way. I spotted 29 different species that afternoon. Two of the birds were lifetime firsts: a Pied-billed Grebe and a Great Crested Flycatcher.

About halfway through the trip we came across the group of ducklings pictured above. They weren’t old enough to be afraid of us until momma duck sounded a distinctive alarm from a bush near the bank. They flapped their little wings and ran away across the top of the water. We pushed on rather than further upset the Wood Duck hen.

As the channel narrowed near the end of the trip we heard a great variety of bird songs, few of which I could identify.

When you get to the end of the trail, it will be easiest if you put out about fifty feet from the little bridge and gate that cross the inlet canal. Then carry your canoe to the parking lot.

Here are a few more of the pictures we took that afternoon.

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