Kevin M. asked if I wanted to go photographing on Saturday and we decided to go over to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. I hadn’t been in a while and I wanted to see how it’s doing during the Government shutdown. We also invited Kevin K. to go along.
We stopped at the Titusville Marina for a few sunrise snaps. A cold front was passing through and it was still overcast and a little dreary. But there was a small break in the clouds right at daybreak.
As far as the shutdown goes, this is what the MINWR website says:
“Where public access to refuge lands does not require the presence of a federal employee or contractor, activities on refuge lands will be allowed to continue on the same terms as before the appropriations lapse.”
So facilities at MINWR are closed and locked, but the trails we tried were open (Gator Creek road and Black Point). We didn’t see any rangers, but the wildlife is still showing up.
Note: Jim Boland reports that Cape Canaveral National Seashore (Playalinda) and Biolab Road are closed.
Some of what we saw: a Bald Eagle, Ospreys, a Northern Harrier, Belted Kingfishers, a Reddish Egret, Coots, Common Gallinules, Northern Shovelers, Blue-Wing Teals, Hooded Mergansers, Pie Billed Grebes, White Pelicans, Roseate Spoonbills, Great and Snowy Egrets, Great and Little Blue Herons, Tri-colored Herons, White Ibis, and Alligators.
The birds were fairly abundant, but I struggled to get good images. The light was dim under the clouds and the birds were a little too far away. We even came up on a feeding frenzy. But it was in a small pond behind some thick mangroves that were just about impossible to photograph through. Here’s my best shot of that – this Ibis was diving back in to get another snack:
The sun broke through one other time before we left:
All in all, a pretty nice photo expedition. So don’t use the government shutdown as an excuse. – you can still go out and enjoy our natural resources.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2019, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved
10 thoughts on “Is Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Shutdown?”
Cape Canaveral National Seashore (Playalinda) and Biolab Road are closed.
Thanks for the info, Jim. I updated my post.
Beautiful photography..glad some of the Island is open!
Thanks, Dorothy. I’m glad too!
Great pics! Thanks!
Thank you, Ashley – good to hear from you!
Thank you Linda – I’m glad you liked it!
Thank you for sharing your beautiful photographs, Ed! Love that sunshine over the wetlands!
Also appreciate the update on the effect of the shutdown at the refuge.
Thanks Wally, and you’re welcome. I hope the refuge can stay open if the shutdown keeps going.