The water in MANGROVE SWAMPS is brackish. Saw a STAR CRAB SPIDER, a beautiful black and red star-shaped creature. It’s common in mangroves. We saw a flock of WOOD STORKS that looked like grazing cattle. Heard the flutter and patter of a few COOTS taking off and then the watery whoosh of a whole flock pattering across the water into the mangroves in alarm. They sounded like an egg beater beating on the surface of the water or maybe like rapidly boiling water or maybe like a strong wind in dense foliage. They looked like small boats or hover craft. 11:30 a.m.: Between markers 4A and 4 (headed back to where we put in), we saw a large gathering of HERONS and SPOONBILLS in an enclosed pool among the mangrove islands. Some of the herons had black bills and yellow feet, and some were raising their head feathers. Others  had long yellow beaks and black legs. There were some smaller white birds with down-curved pinkish beaks and pink legs. Some had solid white wings and some had black wing tips. We watched two big herons face each other, raise their beaks, then fly up together and landed on a low branch. A smaller darker heron flew in — LITTLE BLUE? LOUISIANA? A WHITE PELICAN flew overhead but didn’t land. Also saw a BROWN DUCK that looked like a mallard and a KINGFISHER plus BOAT-TAILED GRACKLES and GULLS flying over.

Back on land, on Park Road near 9-Mile Pond, an OTTER came out of the trees and started toward the road. Mickey slowed down; the otter turned around and headed back into the trees.

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