June 19 – 20, 2020.
It was a little disappointing that we didn’t get to kayak on the Snake River. When we were at Swan Falls the weather turned bad on the days we had lined up for kayaking and at Celebration Park, north of the Swan Falls dam, the current ran too fast for a leisurely paddle. So I pulled up the map on my phone and looked for a suitable spot of water where we could launch Pirogue Bleue (our inflatable kayak) at our next stop.
Further south on the river was another dam. At the dam was the CJ Strike Reservoir and a slim channel called the Narrows leading from the reservoir to a body of water called the Bruneau Arm. The Bruneau Arm looked calm and peaceful. And bonus, it had a free camping area, Jack’s Creek, on one small stretch of its banks. Perfect!
The campsites at Jack’s Creek were mostly just places you could pull off the dirt road that led along the water. Some pull-offs were big enough for a family outing with tents, a car, and a powerboat, and some like the one we pulled into just big enough for a small rig like ours and a place to set out some chairs.
As usual, the first thing we did on arrival was to walk around. We were pretty excited to see some birds right away – a red-tailed hawk, some American Avocets wading in the water, a red-winged blackbird. But the real bird haul would happen the next day.
What I didn’t realize when I saw Bruneau Arm on the map was that it was fed by Bruneau River Delta. River Delta? Are we still in Idaho? The delta was just the kind of kayaking I love – narrow meandering paths through dense vegetation. Up at the crack of dawn the next morning we put Pirogue Bleue in the water and paddled off into the Idaho reeds. There we found a variety of birds but the most surprising thing we found on our outing was all the “shorebirds.” I don’t think we have ever seen as many “shorebirds” on the actual seashore. Another Idaho surprise. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
* Click pics to enlarge and view in a slideshow. They’re better that way!
Have you ever visited anywhere where you were surprised by the wildlife? Did you know there were shorebirds in Idaho?