Tag Archives: Savannah Sparrow

Black Point Wildlife Drive is open again!

Yay! Jim Boland’s newsletter let us know that they’ve reopened Black Point so when Tom M. asked if I wanted to go out photographing I suggested we head to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. We met early Friday morning and drove over on State Road 50.

St. Johns River at dawnSt. Johns River at dawn

Our first stop was at the boat ramp on the St. Johns River. It’s a pretty place at dawn and the view was different this time since the water is several feet higher than I’ve ever seen it. Lots of rain here recently.

Once at the refuge, we headed straight to Black Point. The water there is a little higher than I’ve ever seen it too. The road surface was in great shape – I didn’t see any damage remaining from the hurricane.

Spiders and webs were very common. This one had set up in some great early morning light.

Banana SpiderBanana Spider – A little early for Halloween!

Some of our winter migrants are starting to show up and our regular birds were around, but not in great numbers. Belted Kingfishers teased us, and there were a few Savannah Sparrows foraging near the road.

Savannah SparrowSavannah Sparrow

We didn’t see too many ducks. I’m not sure if they just haven’t come down yet, or if they’re somewhere else.

We thought we spotted another Kingfisher over the canal on the right by the paved section near the exit. It was about the right size and seemed to fly like a Kingfisher. But then it landed in a tree and started acting like a Woodpecker – perched on the side of the main trunk and hopping around. I was pretty far away but took several photos anyway. When I got home and looked closely I didn’t recognize the bird. Kevin M. helped me ID it as a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (another new life bird for me!). Unfortunately, the photos aren’t very good so I haven’t posted them. Maybe next time I can catch it closer in better light. It seems like I’m always saying that!

One more thing: We met a woman at the rest area on the drive who’d just seen a Bobcat. She was patiently waiting to see if she could get a better photo. We left before we found out if she was successful. I’ve seen a Bobcat out there before, but it was further along, not near the Rest Area. If you go, keep your eyes open!

I have many more Black Point photos in this folder on Flickr. I’m glad it didn’t suffer too much damage from Hurricane Irma and it’s open again.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2017, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge – December 19, 2013

I spent last Thursday morning at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  It’d been a while since I tried for a sunrise photo, so I went over early.  There wasn’t a lot of color in the sky, but the scene was still pretty.

A calm morning on Gator CreekA calm morning on Gator Creek

After sunrise, I stopped by this decaying dock – there won’t be anything left of it soon.  The strong side light from the early morning sun helped capture detail and texture in this black and white, infrared photo.

Weathered woodWeathered Wood

When I left this spot, I drove back around East Gator Creek Road.  There was a huge flock of ducks in a V-wedge heading for the full moon that was setting in the west.  I couldn’t get my camera ready in time to capture the sight, so I just watched.  It would have made a wonderful photo.

There were many birds on East Gator Creek and on Blackpoint Wildlife Drive although the numbers weren’t as great as some other times I’ve been there.   Most of the regular birds were around including various Herons and Egrets, Belted Kingfishers, Wood Storks, Ospreys, Cormorants, Anhingas, Gulls, Terns, Brown Pelicans, White Ibis, Vultures, a Bald Eagle, Sandpipers, Roseate Spoonbills, Grebes, and a few others.  I also saw some winter migrants including White Pelicans, Northern Pintails, Savannah Sparrows, and what I think was a Northern Flickr.  For some reason, most of the birds were in the distance – too far away for good photos.  This sparrow though was very close.

Savanah SparrowSavannah Sparrow

I also came across several wild boars, including this one.

Making a pig of itselfMaking a pig of itself — A wild boar stops foraging for a moment to give me the evil eye this morning on Blackpoint Wildlife Drive.

I’m even more distrustful of these animals than alligators.  Wild boars can be aggressive and threatening.  I was returning to my car once and found a mother with several piglets scouring the ground for food near my path.  I went out of my way to go around them and tried to keep as much distance between us as I could.  Even so, the mother watched me closely and grunted at me as I got to my car.  The one in the photo above was on the other side of a ditch full of water and I was close enough to my car this time to jump in if it came toward me.  But I still didn’t like the way it watched me.

Another interesting day with lots to see.  You can click on the photos above to view a larger version and you can look at this set on Flickr to see these and many other photos from Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2013, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved