We had a 15mph SSW wind leaving the put-in at the Bayou Benoit parking area, so we headed north on Bayou Amie towards Grand Bayou Gueule. The water was high since we received quit a bit of rain lately, that makes for a much easier launch from the bank which is a drop off of 3 feet when the water is lower. Grand Bayou Grueule cuts through a hardwood forest to Lake Dautrieve. There are plenty of dead end waterways to explore that are filled with cypress trees where we saw wading birds such as Great Blue Heron and Great Egret.
We also heard plenty of songbirds such as the Prothonotary Warbler and Northern Parula along this waterway. Once we hit Lake Dautrieve and started our paddle amongst the old, hollowed-out cypress trees, we were able to paddle within about 15 feet of a 4 foot alligator to get a few photographs. Not long after that wonderful sighting, we watched 3 Osprey kettling above us and the cypress trees, these fish eating birds of prey are often mistaken for Bald Eagle. As if the Osprey, songbirds, wading birds, cypress and the Alligator were not enough, we apparently snuck up on a perched adult Bald Eagle. It was perched high up in a cypress, we saw it take off and soar around the lake, waiting to return to its perch. WOW!! Several people on the trip had never seen a Bald Eagle before today. We headed back up Bayou Amie to the put-in with the wind at our backs for a total of about a 6 mile loop.
To see all the photos from this trip, Click Here