This is a truly great time of year to visit the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. I’ve gone over for the last two weekends. As I mentioned in my previous post, I took Lynn, Mary, and Monette there last Sunday – we had a great time and spotted lots of birds. I told Kevin M. about it and he insisted we go back yesterday with Kevin K.
Why is it so good over there now? I’m glad you asked! The number and types of birds in and around Black Point Wildlife Drive are probably the greatest I’ve ever seen. There are both regular species and winter visitors. Ducks are there in huge numbers, both in the water and flying overhead in vast formations close enough that the sound of their beating wings is quite loud. The larger wading and shorebirds are also there in force. On both days, there were feeding frenzies going on in ponds along BPWD. The water is full of minnows and the birds are feasting on them.
Black Point Wildlife Drive Feeding Frenzy Video
By the way, this situation is an ideal set up to practice your BIF (birds in flight) photography. Here’s a photo I made at this same pond, showing an egret with one of the minnows.
And here’s a close-up of the minnows in the water. No wonder the birds are going crazy!
The reason for the festive gathering (photo by Kevin McKinney)
On these two days, we saw close to 40 different types of wildlife. And I’m sure there were others I either didn’t see, didn’t recognize or forgot. Here’s a partial list:
- Alligator, Cows, Deer, Manatee
- American Avocets
- Belted Kingfishers
- Black vultures
- Black Skimmers
- Ducks: American Wigeon, Blue Wing Teals, Hooded Merganser, Lesser Scaup, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler
- Egrets: Cattle, Great, Reddish, and Snowy
- Herons: Great Blue, Green, Little blue, and Tri-color
- Ibis: Glossy, and White
- Mourning Doves
- Northern Mockingbird
- Pie billed grebe
- Red Bellied woodpecker
- Ring billed Gull
- Roseate Spoonbills
- White pelican
- Wood storks
- Yellow Rumped Warbler
Cruising White Pelican – a winter migrant to our area
So two wonderful visits, although we did have some disappointments. We looked for Florida Scrub Jays and didn’t see them in the normal spot. And the sunrise photos on both days were a challenge. Here’s what it looked like yesterday:
As usual, you can see larger versions of these images on Flickr by clicking on them. And I have more photos from MINWR in this set and BPWD in this set.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.
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