Good Natured River Tours

After my trip on the Ocklawaha, (see previous post) I was anxious to get out again for some more birding. I booked a tour with Good Natured River Tours on the Indian River in Melbourne, FL. The highlight of this tour was seeing dolphins. Since this Indian River is pretty shallow, the boat stirs up the bottom and the dolphins come in to see if there is any fish to eat. They also enjoyed riding the wake of the boat. I didn’t get the greatest pictures since I had my telephoto lens and the dolphins were up close. In the first one you can see a little baby next to his mom.

The birding was very good – this is were my telephoto lens was appreciated. Let’s start with Brown Pelicans. A very prehistoric looking bird. Not sure what’s going on in the 2nd and 3rd photo. But I snapped the shots after what appeared to be a yawn. I love how the veins show through their pouch.

One of my favorite Florida birds is the Anhinga. Also known as a snake bird. They have beautiful feathers and markings. They have no oil on their feathers, so after diving they have to spread their wings to dry them off. The feathers in the first picture look rather ratty. I am guessing this is what they look like when very wet.

We saw some of the standard Long Legged Waders, which is what draws me to Florida. Great Blue Heron, Great White Egret, Snowy Egret, Ibis, and a Juvenile Little Blue Heron. (I’ve seen 2 of these Juvies so far but no adults yet)

My favorite raptor of course is the Osprey

And a final look at some Great Blue Herons

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