My first time seeing a bald eagle in the wild! We love kayaking in the marshes near North Myrtle Beach (Cherry Grove inlet to be exact) because is so peaceful and you get to watch a variety of wildlife in their natural habitat. This was indeed icing on the cake…
We started out at sunrise and let in at the boat ramp inside Cherry Grove Park adjacent the Heritage Shores Nature Preserve (highly recommending visiting , free admission).
After a hearty 30 minutes paddle going against the current as we were trying to reachthe ocean, we turned around looking for a better way.
We found it right across the dock where we let in. There is a mini inlet going parallel to main channel (Go only at high tide to avoid getting stuck in the sea grass or the oyster beds).
What a world of difference!
While my husband guided the kayak at a leisurely pace, I was able to take photos, enjoy the beautiful marsh views, and look out for wildlife.
We hit the jackpot! A remarkable American bald eagle perched on a pole,scanning the marsh in search for a morning prey, oblivious to our presence…
For a long time it stood so still I wondered whether is one of those fake birds you see around the beach.
But it did eventually move when we got really close.
As I was shooting a video of its huge, beautiful wings in full strike, my batteries ran out…go figure! At least I got some nice still shots.
Here is another big bird beauty, a great white egret sitting in a tree in the middle of the preserve.
A double crested cormorant gliding smoothly above the water. Did you know that cormorants dive for food and after catching a fish, resurface, flip it into the air and swallow it head first?
Our initial attempt to pass “the Gauntlet of Death” (the nickname my husband gave the spot where the inlet meets the ocean and strong waves push against you) failed. But our second try through the side inlet succeeded with ease. We reached the barrier island and decided to take a break.
Another treat in store: bottlenose dolphins feeding offshore. During our extended winter vacation at Cherry Grove Beach we were lucky to see dolphins swimming by the pier almost every day. Here is a memorable video with a pair of dolphins doing a spectacular synchronized jump.
What else can you ask for? The ocean, sun, amazing wildlife encounters and a healthy dose of exercise at the beach, all free. Happy New Year everyone!
Start a new family tradition this year: kayaking along the South Carolina coast!
Filed under: Bird watching, Boating and Fishing, Canoe and Kayak, Carolina Beaches, Free Things to Do, Myrtle Beach, Nature Preserve Cherry Grove Park, Outdoor Activities | Tagged: bald eagle perched on pole SC marsh, bald eagle sightseeing Cherry Grove park, best place to go kayaking in myrtle beach, Birds of prey viewing Hog Inlet marsh, Cherry Grove boat fishing dock at sunrise, Double crested cormorant gliding over inlet, free eco things to do north myrtle beach, how to reach the ocean by kayak, North Myrtle Beach family fun activities, paddling in the Cherry Grove marsh, spotting a bald eagle at Cherry Grove Beach, where to kayak in myrtle beach |