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On May 23th, six intrepid kayakers met early at Hathaway Park in Punta Gorda to experience the serenity of Prairie Creek. Because of a lack of facilities at Prairie Creek, we trundled north on Washington Loop Road to the put in spot on the creek and parked our vehicles there. The paddle was superb, weather coolish, and scenery outstanding. This creek is relatively undeveloped with many mature cypress and oaks bordering – remnants of true ‘old time Florida’. Water birds were at a minimum as the water level was a bit higher from recent rains. Flyover birds consisted of black bellied whistling ducks, ospreys, red tailed hawks, cardinals, and pileated woodpeckers. Birding by ear was a bit better with fish crows, red bellied woodpeckers, northern parulas, white eyed vireos, red shouldered hawks and several others.  We passed 2 other boats with fishermen, and 2 kayakers the entire morning. The put in spot is a bit primitive, but launching and take out was uneventful.

Returning to Hathaway Park for lunch with its convenient parking and pavilion gave us time to reminisce over the day and get to know each other a bit better. A nice way to end the day.

Mike Krzyzkowski

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