Mobile Search Team
To see some of the images presented in the travel log in a larger size, please visit the photo album.
Final day, April 27, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Martjan Lammertink
|Mobile search team vehicles at the Congaree Research Center. Photo by Martjan Lammertink
On this last on-site day we are racing against the clock with data entry and packing up. Tomorrow Chris will depart for his home in Oregon where he will resume work with Spotted Owls. Utami and I will head for Arkansas where we will store gear for the summer, then return to Ithaca. Nathan left a few days ago for his spring and summer job studying Pileated Woodpeckers in northern Louisiana. This is our final travel log entry.
We would like to say “Thank you!” to all readers for following our travels over the past five months. We look back on an intense and eventful field season that gave us a unique opportunity to explore many of the best remaining and recovering habitats for Ivory-billed Woodpeckers. We trained or interacted with many searchers, foresters, wildlife managers, and scientists throughout the Southeast, elevating our collective search capacity. We generated about 450 checklists for the online eBird program, providing distribution and abundance information for numerous birds from sites that are rarely explored. This includes information on Rusty Blackbird, a species in decline. We also collected data on woodpecker abundance and species composition in relation to hurricane damage and forest structure, and contributed woodpecker and vegetation sampling for the Occupancy Model of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker Recovery Team.
Our Mobile Search Team did not see an ivory-bill, but we are encouraged
by finding several sites with high quality habitat. In many promising places we could only spend two to twenty days on the ground with a small team and we feel that we have barely scratched the surface in searching these areas. Often it took a large proportion of our time to locate the best forest in a region, giving us only several days to search parts of the better sites. Even in the Congaree National Park, where we spent most time this season, we do not rule out the existence of a few ivory-bills. More work is needed in places like the Apalachicola, Escambia, Pascagoula, and parts of the Atchafalaya and South Carolina, before it can be said whether ivory-bills are to be, or not to be.
April 26, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Utami Setiorini
|Black Vultures. Photo by Martjan Lammertink
In the morning Martjan and Chris did the very last transect counts and took down the flagging of these routes. Martjan saw a Black-throated Blue Warbler and took pictures of Worm-eating Warbler and Gray Catbird. Chris observed several Swainson’s Warbler males in territorial fighting. I worked at the learning center sorting through the database and checking whether everybody’s data were complete and none of the tree and woodpecker data we collected were missing. The South Carolina Ivory-billed Woodpecker working group had a meeting at the learning center about the wrap-up of the season. The working group then held a fun picnic farewell party for searchers and volunteers.
April 25, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Martjan Lammertink
In the morning we worked on data management at the Congaree research center, then Chris and I went to two of the transects that we had set up early this month. We completed a final afternoon survey there and took down the transect flagging. It was a muggy afternoon with little bird action, though Chris did see a few Worm-eating Warblers and a ringneck snake.
April 24, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Chris McCafferty
We completed the final woodpecker density surveys at this campsite this morning, removing the transect flag lines on the return hike to camp. I had excellent birding this morning. I heard my first Kentucky Warbler in a small forest gap, just off the transect. While I worked my way over to investigate, I heard an Indigo Bunting singing in the same spot. I was really excited to see the Kentucky Warbler, unusual among warblers with its short bill, smallish head, and chunky body. This appears to be one of the latest arrivals here in Congaree National Park, coinciding with the reappearance of Eastern Wood-Pewee. I was also delighted to observe several Black-throated Blue Warblers along this transect—good numbers seem to be moving through the park right now. Utami had two Worm-eating Warblers in the morning and our first Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
|Worm-eating Warbler. Photo by Martjan Lammertink
We packed up camp and hit the river by mid-afternoon. It was a beautiful day on the river and difficult to feel too concerned about the lengthy paddle to the Route 601 bridge take-out. A bit of nocturnal paddling seemed a small price to pay for such a great day. Spotted Sandpipers, now in full breeding plumage, seemed to adorn every logjam and sandbar. We saw Mississippi Kites along the river in a couple of spots, and Martjan took a few very cool pictures of a flying Osprey along the way. Swainson’s Warblers resumed singing late in the day, and we heard them in several of the canebrake areas. American Redstarts seem particularly fond of the riverine forest, and in addition to the abundance of birds singing, the occasional individual could be seen flitting about in riverside vines or sallying out to nab an insect. When we reached the 601 bridge around 9:30 P.M., my GPS indicated we paddled 45 km today.
April 23, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Utami Setiorini
|Louisiana Waterthrush. Photo by Martjan Lammertink
On our final full day of transect work I had some good birding--including a male Black-throated Blue Warbler, one Yellow-throated Warbler, five American Redstarts, and our first Indigo Bunting. Chris saw a Black-throated Blue Warbler female, several Swainson’s Warblers, Hairy Woodpeckers in good numbers, and a sharp looking male Black-and-white Warbler in breeding plumage. Martjan took pictures of a waterthrush that had us all puzzled. Its buffy coloration suggested Northern Waterthrush but based on the breast spot pattern and heavy bill we decided it must be a Louisiana Waterthrush. Nathan flew to Louisiana today for his new job.
April 22, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Nathan Banfield
|Swainson's Warbler. Photo by Martjan Lammertink
While I worked on data entry today, the rest of the crew remained at our campsite along the Congaree River. They spotted a Whip-poor-will and the first Acadian Flycatcher of the season during breakfast. Martjan tried again for Swainson’s Warbler, this time in the morning, at a site where volunteer searcher Tim Baerwald from Michigan had reported one the previous week. Martjan found a singing male there that was responsive to “pishing” and captured a few cool pictures. At the same site he saw the first Kentucky Warbler of the year and a Mississippi Kite was fumbling with nesting material in mid-air. Chris had three Yellow-billed Cuckoos and in the evening a Chuck-will’s-widow. Utami heard three Blue Jays and saw one Worm-eating Warbler as well as our very last Winter Wren.
April 21, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Martjan Lammertink
|Ovenbird. Photo by Martjan Lammertink
Heading to the transect where Chris was yesterday, I heard an Ovenbird sing, then found the bird. It was rapidly walking around on the forest floor, foraging and giving an occasional song. After much trial and error, I obtained a few pictures of its foraging antics. By the time I reached the site where Chris had seen Swainson’s Warblers yesterday it was late in the morning and they were not singing. I looked in vain for the warblers for several hours. Chris again saw one of his favored Black-throated Blue Warblers. Utami heard a Blue Jay, a species we had not found at all in the park in December, and saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a group of 11 Rusty Blackbirds, and four Wood Thrushes.
April 20, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Utami Setiorini
While I collected tree and dead wood volume data on one of the transects, the guys were doing bird counts along our three routes. Chris and Nathan found our first Worm-eating Warblers of the year, and Chris had the first Swainson’s Warbler of the search. Also today, Chris finally made a positive identification of Wood Thrush whose few shorts songs we have been hearing in recent weeks. Martjan took pictures of the first Barred Owl fledgling to venture from its nest.
April 19, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Chris McCafferty
We headed out in the morning to set up the flag lines demarking the woodpecker transects we will be surveying over the next few days. After laying out the route, we made the first transect surveys in the afternoon. Since Nathan will be departing over the weekend, we set up three transects rather than four.
Utami started collecting the vegetation data, such as the frequency and species of large-diameter trees, and volume of standing dead wood. The transect I set up passed through some particularly nice forest along its eastern half. Over succeeding days, we found that Nathan had spent much of this day setting up log bridges so we could cross the wetter northern portion of his transect in knee boots instead of waders.
|Luna moth. Photo by Nathan Banfield
At dinner time it rained hard. I stayed in my tent with a headache and no appetite. Utami ate in the tent, while Nathan and Martjan braved dinner in the downpour. Eating as fast as they could while their pasta sauce was being diluted by the rains, they exchanged stories about wet places they worked in before, respectively the Hawaiian mountains and Borneo lowland rainforests. Back in his tent Nathan found a luna moth taking refuge from the rains.
April 18, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Nathan Banfield
Packed up our gear and headed out for a camping trip in southern Congaree National Park where we will set up three more woodpecker transects. On the float down I saw 16 Spotted Sandpipers along several different sandbars. One sandbar had six Spotted Sandpipers and one Greater Yellowlegs. Chris found a good campsite near a creek where we set up and had what may be our last meal of Chris’s famous green curry.
April 17, Great Pedee and Little Pedee River confluence, South CarolinaFrom Utami Setiorini
|Prairie Warbler. Photo by Nathan Banfield
We heard our first Yellow-billed Cuckoo while we packed up from the Ark Lodge and, on the way out, looked at Prairie Warblers in high and dry pine forest. In Columbia we bought groceries for an upcoming extended camp-based survey in Congaree National Park.
April 16, Great Pedee and Little Pedee River confluence, South CarolinaFrom Martjan Lammertink
|Prothonotary Warbler. Photo by Martjan Lammertink
Utami and I paddled Jordan Creek near the Great Pedee River. There was a narrow strip of excellent habitat along the creek, with large cypresses and huge sweetgums, which we have only seen in the Congaree River area before. There were very strong winds throughout the day. We were concerned about branches that frequently came crashing down from the towering trees, and there was little bird activity. On the bright side, I took pictures of a male Prothonotary Warbler that stayed lower in the vegetation than usual because of the wind. Nathan and Chris were disappointed with the habitats they explored, at the confluence of the Great and Little Pedee rivers. They found a Hooded Merganser with seven chicks, which appears to be out of the usual breeding range for that species.
April 15, Great Pedee and Little Pedee River confluence, South CarolinaFrom Nathan Banfield
|Green treefrog. Photo by Nathan Banfield|
I decided to sleep outside in the hammock on the front porch of the Ark Lodge and enjoyed the heavy thunderstorm that blew in sprays of cool mist while lightning cracked through the sky. We all slept late while the strongest storm of the season pelted down. We were happy to get some extra sleep after spending most of the previous 4.5 months in the field, working from before sunrise to after sunset.
When the rain tapered off in the early afternoon, Chris and I headed out to the Little Pedee River to float down to the closest landing. We were impressed by the swallows streaming by on the stiff winds. I wished I could be a swallow for a little while and enjoy the thrill of speeding along with the wind, doing acrobatic twists and turns with grace and precision.
|Tree house. Photo by Nathan Banfield
Chris and I explored a small stream that branched off before hitting a dead end. We saw a sunning snapping turtle which is highly unusual. Continuing down the Little Pedee, we noticed a dramatic drop in temperature. Unfortunately, we didn’t bring any extra clothes and had to brave the wind chill factor with long sleeved shirts. We stopped to retrieve a Reconyx camera that The Nature Conservancy crew from Congaree National Park had focused on a tree cavity. Since the water was lower now, I had to stand on cypress knees to reach the camera. I was wondering if the good-sized alligator that had just slid off into the water 20 meters away was hoping I’d make a mistake and take a plunge. Farther downstream, we came across a tree house built between several cypress trees.
The wind was chilling and there was absolutely no bird activity so for once we headed to the landing a little before sunset. Martjan soon arrived and brought stories of how he got the Jeep stuck in a deep mud hole trying to reach a creek near the Greater Pedee River. Martjan and Utami tried all kinds of tricks but Martjan ended up having to hike out to get help. He eventually got cell phone reception and called Gordon Murphy who stayed with us at the Ark Lodge the previous night. Gordon pulled out our little Jeep with his truck. Martjan and Utami left the canoe there so they could travel down the creek the following day.
April 14, Great Pedee and Little Pedee River confluence, South CarolinaFrom Utami Setiorini
We drove to the Greater Pedee and Little Pedee River region of northeastern South Carolina, to follow up on several reports of possible sightings of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers. At the kind invitation of Francis Ervin, we stayed at the Ark Lodge. This turned out to be our nicest lodgings yet. The lodge has been family-owned since it was built in the 1940s. It is a rustic, well-designed lodge of green and white painted wood, sitting on tall stilts on the bank of the Little Pedee River. It is at a secluded spot surrounded by cypress-tupelo swamps as well as upland hardwood and pine forests.
Martjan and I floated part of the Little Pedee while volunteer searchers Gordon and Brad kayaked the same route. Prothonotary Warblers were singing left and right and we scared one fairly large alligator. The forest we saw was certainly not old-growth but in some places it had concentrations of old, hollow cypress and maturing hardwoods, and it seems to have some potential for ivory-bills. Nathan and Chris explored near the Great Pedee River and reported a similar mix of young forest with older patches.
April 13, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Chris McCafferty
|A fallen green ash branch coated with Spanish moss. Photo by Martjan Lammertink
We spent the day today conducting vegetation sampling along the woodpecker transects we have been surveying over the past week, recording large, living trees and standing dead wood in a 20-meter-wide strip along the transect. This experience highlighted once again how many large, old trees there are here in the Congaree, and how much dead wood should be present in a well-developed older stand. The latter feature seems to have obvious significance to woodpeckers, and I have been struck repeatedly over the preceding months by the scarcity of dead wood in many of the young stands we have seen.
Birding highlights of the day included a singing Black-and-White Warbler. We had become accustomed to seeing them in the Congaree in December, but they have been quite scarce since our return. I also spent some time watching a Louisiana Waterthrush foraging along a shallow gut. It may not be one of the more colorful warblers, but this species more than compensates with heaps of personality. It is a real treat to watch one for a while as it bobs and pokes among the creekside debris. Something about their rapid, sweeping flight style is also dramatic and engaging.
We completed another round of transect surveys late in the day before returning to the research station to prepare for our departure in the morning to the Pedee River system.
April 11 and 12, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Utami Setiorini
These were our first days off since December! We caught up on sleep, took care of tax paperwork, and prepared for our next jobs.
April 10, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Nathan Banfield
Started out the day early on woodpecker transect number three at about 7:38 A.M. When I was 150 meters into the 2.4 kilometer transect I heard a crisp, distinctive double knock behind me. This stopped me at once and I turned quickly. This was roughly 7:45 A.M. The double knock certainly sounded like something striking a tree. I estimated the sound came from 300-400 meters away. I stayed there momentarily listening and watching before I started to quietly move through the forest in the direction of the double knock. When I was about 300 meters from where I first heard the sound, I stopped to listen and watch. After not hearing or seeing anything else I decided to do a series of double knock playbacks, which I started at 7:54 A.M. After more listening and quiet explorations I went back to do my woodpecker transect.
The double knock seemed like a near-perfect match for the sound made by the woodpecker genus that includes the ivory-bill, (there are no known recordings of an ivory-bill double knock), but I remain highly skeptical of it. If there was a repetition of at least two double knocks, or a reaction to my playback, then I would have stayed at the spot searching the area all day. It seems more likely a bird would make a series of knocks. What makes it somewhat interesting though, is that this sound was only a little over a kilometer from where Martjan heard a double knock on April 6.
|Tufted Titmouse. Photo by Nathan Banfield
Bird activity was certainly very high today and I kept stumbling into photo opportunity after photo opportunity. A male Wood Duck landed in a tree right next to me. A Pileated Woodpecker flew right up in front of me and started digging a hole in a tree. I took several pictures of the pileated slamming its head against the tree, trying to capture motion blur of the head. Later on near Cedar Creek mobs of Yellow-rumped Warblers were foraging throughout the trees. They are fattening up for a flight up north. During the middle of the day I came across a singing Ovenbird that I digiscoped. It is a nice surprise to see new birds starting to show up. I followed a Tufted Titmouse with a big wad of moss in her bill back to a nest she was building in a broken-off section of a small tupelo. On the way back I came across another Barred Owl hunting crawfish. He didn’t seem to mind me at all as I sat there taking pictures of him from 15 meters away. Then still later on I found a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron foraging in a small slough with his reflection dancing on the water. And then to top it off, while I was taking pictures of the heron, a Pileated Woodpecker flew up to a tree right behind me and traded places with its mate at the nest. It was one of those days that stayed exciting from start to finish.
April 9, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Martjan Lammertink
A new full day of transect work. The morning and late afternoon surveys last two to three hours each. We also stay out during the middle part of the day, so we are listening for ivory-bills sounds at least 13 hours each day.
My best photo opportunity today was of a gray squirrel. It is an ordinary animal, but it was a pretty scene with the squirrel sitting on a fallen sweetgum branch decorated with Spanish moss and yellow butterweed flowers in the background. Spring migrants continue to roll in, and wintering birds are still present in the forest. Today was one of the last days we had multiple Winter Wren and Blue-headed Vireo sightings.
April 8, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Martjan Lammertink
|Barred Owl eating a crawfish. Photo by Nathan Banfield
With the lengthening of daylight hours, our field days now last 14 hours or more. This schedule allows little time to catch up with the travel log or with other indoor tasks, so today we decided to do a morning survey only and then come in to the Congaree Research Center. The day started out with a cold sunrise again, with temperatures just above freezing. Unlike yesterday, there was little wind, and woodpecker activity was good throughout the morning. Nathan found a Louisiana Waterthrush and photographed a Barred Owl that caught a crawfish.
April 7, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Utami Setiorini
Our second day of woodpecker transect surveys today. It was clear and sunny but so cold this morning I had to dig through my clothes to find a sweater, jacket, hat, and gloves—items I had not needed for months. Woodpeckers and other birds were very quiet during my morning transect, especially after the wind picked up. I recorded only 10 woodpeckers plus a few White-breasted Nuthatch on the 2.4 km transect. I had expected the woodpecker density would be consistently high in these old growth bottomland hardwoods compared to the woodpecker densities we found in the Big Woods of Arkansas at the same time of year.
|Wise Lake in Congaree National Park, South Carolina. Photo by Martjan Lammertink|
After our wanderings through many areas in the southeast, I was again amazed at how nice the habitat was along the transect in this park, with humongous sweetgums and loblolly pines. Northern Parulas and vireos are never absent from my lists. I saw a Hooded Warbler and a Wild Turkey that I could approach as close as 20 m. I also heard a Black-throated Green Warbler but unfortunately I could not see the bird because the forest is so dense now. I listened to my iPod recording to make sure it was indeed a Black-throated Green warbler.
At 4:30 p.m. I started my afternoon transect. It was windy and still cold but it was not cold enough to keep the mosquitoes away, though they were not as bad as the day before. Again I had very few woodpecker records during the afternoon transect. I saw a flock of 20 Rusty Blackbirds which was my birding highlight for the afternoon. In general everybody had few woodpecker records today because of the wind.
April 6, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Chris McCafferty
|Pileated Woodpecker. Photo by Martjan Lammertink
Headed into the forest at first light to conduct woodpecker surveys along the transect lines we set up yesterday. It was not a particularly active morning for woodpeckers, with minimal drumming and few vocalizations. But I had several excellent opportunities to observe Pileated Woodpeckers foraging at close range as the day progressed. The birds here seem unusually approachable, and a modicum of stealth seems to do nicely in getting me in close. It was a real pleasure to be back in this great forest.
After completing the morning transect, I did some exploring down toward the Congaree River, where I encountered our first American Redstarts of the year. Several birds were singing on territories in the forest along the riverside. There were some very impressive old cherrybark oaks in this area. I also had some great looks at Hooded Warblers, which seem to frequent the patches with more developed shrub understories.
Despite the advanced stage of leaf-out and the appearance of spring here in the park, the arrival of migrant summer residents seems to be just getting started. Species such as Northern Parula and Red-eyed Vireo are now present in good numbers. Others, such as Prothonotary Warbler, are present but in relatively low numbers. A few of the wintering birds such as Hermit Thrush and Winter Wren are still here, though their numbers have thinned substantially. Northern Flicker and Yellow-breasted Sapsucker have nearly all departed.
Martjan heard a possible double-knock after completing a playback session, but heard nothing further, and thought it not particularly compelling in the absence of repeated sounds. The woodpeckers were even quieter during the afternoon transects than they had been in the morning. If only the mosquitoes had been as inconspicuous, but unfortunately the little beasts were ruthless this evening.
April 5, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Nathan Banfield
In the morning Martjan finalized maps for the places he wanted to put our woodpecker transect lines. We are setting up eight transects temporarily marked with colored flags, each 2.4 km long. We’ll do morning and evening woodpecker transect surveys with distance estimates. We aim to assess breeding woodpecker densities in old growth bottomland forests and compare them with transects that were done during the two previous search seasons in Arkansas.
We all headed out shortly after lunch to set up four of the eight transects. Mosquitoes were out in huge numbers. I found it difficult to set up the straight transect line because the leaf-out on the trees created extremely poor GPS reception. This made it necessary for me to do a lot of back-and-forth while marking the route. I wasn’t able to finish it all before dark and ended up having to leave 250 meters for tomorrow. I got back to the research center shortly after 9:30 p.m. and grabbed a bite of dinner before heading off to bed.
April 4, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Utami Setiorini
At the Congaree Research Center we met with Matthew Moskwik and Theresa Thom. They briefed us about the results of past months here: no ivory-bill sightings or sounds heard by the professional search crew. They did say some volunteers and visitors reported hearing possible double-knocks and calls from one area, and one good double-knock was recorded by an autonomous recording unit (ARU) from the same site. Matthew asked us to keep a presence in that area during the coming month.
We spent several hours poring over maps to plan the layout of our transects as we survey for woodpecker densities through the area of interest. We looked through photos of cavities found in the Congaree search. A few of the tree cavities looked interesting, but we will have to see them in the field to get a good sense for how big they are. In the late afternoon we were reunited with South Carolina search crew members Katie Martin and Brett Hubbard, with whom we worked in early January.
April 3, Congaree National Park, South CarolinaFrom Nathan Banfield
We woke up early after a wonderful night’s rest at Todd Engstrom’s
house. In the morning we talked more with Todd about where he searched
in Apalachicola and looked over maps of the areas. We headed out for a
long drive back to Congaree National Park in South Carolina. We will
spend the final month of this year’s mobile search effort there.
We stopped in Columbia to pick up supplies. In our lodgings at the Congaree Research Center I decided to sleep outside without a tent. After a couple hours of sweating from inside my sleeping bag and getting bitten by mosquitoes in the warm humid South Carolina night, I decided to move inside. No sooner had I gotten into bed when it started to rain.
April 2, Escambia River Basin, FloridaFrom Martjan Lammertink
|An Osprey pair at the nest. Photo by Nathan Banfield
We took down our wet tents in the dark, drove to the landing at
Mystic Springs along the Escambia, and put in our canoes at sunrise.
The river was swollen and flowing fast. The forests we saw along the
Escambia had taken a heavy hit from Hurricane Ivan in September 2004.
The damage appeared more extensive than what we saw at the Pascagoula
River in Mississippi or at the Neches River in Texas, but it was not an
all-out blowdown as in the Pearl River area of Louisiana—a lot of snags
and damaged trees were still standing.
Woodpeckers appeared quite abundant, with eight pileateds, 16 red-bellieds, and a handful of Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers recorded in the first few hours. These are good numbers for April, when most woodpeckers are breeding and are quieter than in winter and early spring.
|Yellow-crowned Night-Heron. Photo by Martjan Lammertink|
A few kilometers downstream we split up. Nathan followed the main river while Utami and I headed for a parallel creek via a small connecting slough. At first we made good progress but then we had to drag our canoe over eight fallen logs. We hoped the bigger parallel creek would be wider and navigable, but when we finally reached it the creek turned out to be small and just as clogged with hurricane debris. We had to backtrack across the same fallen logs we had just crossed.
Along the slough we saw a Great-crested Flycatcher, a Swallow-tailed Kite, and nest-building Yellow-crowned Night-herons. Back on the main river there were two Green Herons and an active Osprey nest. We were hit by a short but powerful rain storm. We regret not having more time to explore this interesting river because of delays for vehicle repairs in Texas.
We returned to shore near McDavid, retrieved the drop-off vehicle, and drove to Tallahassee. Todd and Kim Engstrom kindly hosted us for the night. We talked with Todd about the surveys he did in the Apalachicola basin of the Florida panhandle after we left in January. Todd and his volunteers found several sites with promising habitat, but had no sightings or sounds of ivory-bills. Todd and Kim had other guests. We met Gilberto Pasinelli and Karin Schiegg, Swiss biologists who have studied Middle Spotted Woodpeckers and are currently volunteering for the Apalachicola search for two weeks.
April 1, Escambia River Basin, FloridaFrom Utami Setiorini
We drove to the Escambia River in northwestern Florida from Slidell, Louisiana. After having a late lunch in Pensacola, we drove north to check out several landings. We decided to use Mystic River landing as a put-in point for the next day’s float. Since there was no place to camp around the Mystic River landing we drove to the McDavid landing and camped out there for the night. After midnight we had a long rain storm—fortunately we put an extra covering over our tent so the water did not get in.