Wildlife of the ICW

Chris and I really thought our (very loud) outboard engine would scare away any and all wildlife we would have potentially seen on our trip down the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). However, noisemaker aside, we’ve been lucky enough to see some pretty cool animals so far.

For example, yesterday Chris saw a huge sea turtle right on the surface of the water just south of St. Augustine! We were caught unprepared and didn’t manage to get a photo, but how cool is that?

We have managed to get photos of a lot of the other wildlife we’ve come across, so I wanted to share them with you all, dear readers.

We heavily use our iPhones for blog photos out of convenience and dummy-proofédness, but when it comes to getting shots of wild animals, they’re not exactly the best.

I have a Cannon Rebel XS DSLR camera that we brought along, and we mainly keep the 55-250mm lens on there, which gives us a bit of zooming power. So, I’ve finally taken the time to grab some of those photos off the SIM card so I could upload them to our Flickr account.

First off, starting somewhere in North Carolina, we got to the point where we started seeing dolphins every single day, multiple times per day. It’s weird to think that I see dolphins about ten times as often as I see squirrels these days. Getting a good photo of a dolphin has proven tricky for us (neither of us is necessarily a pro), but Chris managed to snap some pretty durn good ones the other day while we were anchored at Cumberland Island in Georgia:

We’ve also seen all kinds of cool birds on this trip, some of which have been heading South like us.

Cormorants have been everywhere, all the way from Virginia down to Florida. They often sit on the ICW navigation markers and spread their wings out to dry after a dive for food:

We’ve been lucky enough to see bald eagles on several occasions:

And pelicans were dive-bombing for fish on Mobjack Bay at the beginning of the trip and have showed up here and there as we’ve moved South. This one was kind of just hanging out with us and “Firefly” in Swansboro, NC:


We’ve also seen a ton of Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets:

I also kind of freaked out when we were anchored off Plum Orchard (also on Cumberland Island, GA) and I saw two pink birds land in a tree already filled with other birds. I was convinced that we were seeing wild pink flamingos. However, a very nice couple we’ve encountered several times on the trip so far (Hi Bill and Judy!) filled me in (and very kindly gave us a bird field guide): They’re actually called Roseate Spoonbills. Check one out in the upper right-hand corner of this photo:


We saw a wild horse on the shore of Cumberland Island (If you haven’t figured it out yet, this place is awesome):


And I would say the most surprising sighting we’ve had (besides the sea turtle!) was of wild boars on a tiny little marshy island in South Carolina. I just heard a crashing sound, looked over, and saw two dark shapes on the island. At first I thought they were black bears (such a Virginia girl, I guess) and then realized they were boars:

So cool.

I hope the animals of the ICW continue to forgive us our “putt-putting” and our “oohs” and “aahs” and hang out with us here and there. I feel very lucky to have seen so much over the past 6 weeks or so, and we’ll share any cool shots we get with you all.



5 thoughts on “Wildlife of the ICW

  1. I look forward to your posts and I count on them as much as I depend on coffee to help me to get through my day!
    Did you answer this question already? How far are you going? Or do you know yet? 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your adventure! Can’t wait for the nest post!

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