Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve

Boy did we hit the jackpot on Friday afternoon!  Our visit to Santee Lakes was simply wonderful.  Santee Lakes is a beautiful 190 acre park surrounding a chain of seven scenic lakes.  The park provides a safe and tranquil setting for camping, fishing, picnics, hiking, fitness, bird watching, boating and recreation in a natural environment.  
Ring Necked Duck - Adult Male
Ring Necked Duck
We spent the afternoon sitting at the water’s edge feeding the ducks, taking photographs and Chris even managed to do a little reading on her Kindle. We even ran into Fred from Las Vegas who we met Friday morning in La Jolla while photographing the pelicans.  He had been busy photographing some wood ducks while we were occupied with cormorants, snowy egrets, coots and various varieties of ducks.  There was even an osprey roosting in one of the trees near the store but he was too well concealed with branches for me to get a decent shot.

 Snowy Egret - Adult Male
Snowy Egret

A Canadian couple from Saskatoon stopped to say hi while out for a stroll around the perimeter of the lakes.  They are here in a fifth wheel and have spent the last 5 winters at the campground.  We took a drive through the campground before leaving and were impressed with the size of the lots and the amenities offered.  The newly installed floating rental cabins also looked quite interesting.  Camping sites can be leased for daily, weekly or monthly rates. Monthly leasees are responsible for their own electric.  For more information about this area please click on the title of this post for a link to their website.

Wood Duck - Adult Male
Wood Duck – Male
Wood Duck – Female 
It is not hard to see why Santee Lakes has such a great reputation with birders and photographers alike.  There are many species to see, so many that visitors are given a species list of birds common to this area.  Weekday admission is $3 per vehicle, $5 per vehicle on weekends.  We thought about going back today but they are restocking the lakes with fish today so I expect it will be much busier than it was on Friday.  We will definitely be coming back here!
 Double Crested Cormorant - Immature
Double Crested Cormorant
On a technical note, a reader asked me a few posts ago how I did the collage slideshow in the righthand margin.  I’m afraid I do not have the programming skills to do that by myself…. yet! That slideshow is a feature offered to Smugmug subscribers.  Smugmug lets me select the gallery I want to include in the slideshow and also lets me size it accordingly.  Generally speaking most of the photographs on our blog are embeddable links right from the Smugmug display gallery, although some photos are uploaded direct from my laptop’s  hard drive.  Clicking on most of the photographs should take you right to my Smugmug homepage.
Spotted Sandpiper - Juvenile
Spotted Sandpiper – Juvenile
Photography has been a life long passion for me and something I find very rewarding during retirement life.   Photography and travel….doesn’t get much better than that.  Hope you enjoy today’s photographs.  Aren’t the colors in the male wood duck gorgeous?       


  1. Keith January 21, 2011 at 4:23 am #

    The one of the Male wood duck is outstanding! Nice work.

  2. E Squared and Mui January 16, 2011 at 2:11 am #

    great shots all; especially the male wood duck with the reflection

  3. Sue and Doug January 16, 2011 at 1:48 am #

    great shots of the birds today!!..just beautiful!!