Merritt Island – April 10, 2013

Black Skimmers… I’ve never seen so much skimming. Long graceful glides over flat water with an uncluttered background, sometimes fairly close to shore. They use their longer, lower bills to slice through the surface searching for fish and write a sharp wake behind them. Wonderful to watch and with such good light, and a near perfect opportunity for photographs.

Forster's Tern

I think I’ve confessed here before that I’m just a beginning birder. I enjoy identifying the birds I see, although sometimes it’s tough for me to figure out ones that I don’t see very often. Gulls and Terns seem especially hard. Anyway, I photographed this bird last weekend at MINWR and it took me a while to sit down and research what it is.

Central Florida Bird update

The spring migration has made the last few weeks an intense time for birding in Central Florida. There was a fall out in Fort Desoto in late April where my friend Kevin M. sighted 110 different bird species in one day! As those migrants moved on, other locations have also seen quite a few visitors, especially smaller birds.

The activity at Blackpoint Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Orlando Wetlands Park, and Viera Wetlands is slowing down from the peak nesting and breeding season. Most of the young ones are hatched, grown, and fledged, although you can still find some amazing sights such as a White Eyed Vireo nest next to the boardwalk at the MINWR visitors center.

The Falcon and the Redheads

We’d heard about a sighting of a Redhead duck and wanted to see if we could find it and sure enough, we came across it after just a little while. I think it’s amazing how a few bits of information over the internet can lead to sighting a semi-rare (for Florida) bird. It’s a great time to enjoy this kind of thing.