You may remember my post from late last year (https://edrosack.com/2020/12/13/three-spoonbills/) where I mentioned a Cinnamon Teal that’s been wintering on Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. I didn’t find the bird on that trip and it avoided me on three more tries, although reports kept coming that others had seen it. Finally on my fifth try last Tuesday I actually saw it with my own eyes!
Another update for today: It’s been a long while since I’ve visited Bio Lab Road. Damage from Hurricane Dorian closed it for a while, but that’s all been repaired now and the road is in very good shape. Howard T. told me they’d driven it a few weeks ago so I decided to check it out too.
There are some nice views across the Indian River through breaks in the vegetation. I think this one looking out across that sand bar is very “Florida”.
Bio Lab road is a good place to see large gators. I’m not sure if this is the same one Howard saw, but it’s huge. I was glad it was across the canal!
And here’s one last image from the day, also on Bio Lab Road. I don’t often see these little falcons and this one stayed still for a moment so I could make a photo:
It was cloudy last Tuesday. Some might think the light was bad and I agree it was dim. But diffuse, even light can be a plus. Direct sunlight can be harsh and create deep shadows and blown highlights. I had to raise my ISO to get decent shutter speeds for some of these shots, but the camera sensor handled it well. So if you’re out photographing on a cloudy day, use your ISO setting!
Thanks, Howard for reminding me to re-visit Bio Lab Road! And thanks to that darn dodging duck for providing such a large dose of motivation to get out, enjoy nature, and keep looking!
Thanks to all of you too for stopping by and reading my blog. Take care of yourselves and each other. And if you can – make some photos!
I made these photos last week while watching several cooperative and close Roseate Spoonbills posing in nice morning light.
Pretty in pink
I’d left my car in the large parking area on the south west corner of Black Point Wildlife Drive (stop 4) and was walking south along the trail toward the observation decks.
The Spoonbills were in a small opening on the right hand side of the trail almost all the way to the second deck. They were in among a group of birds that included Wood Storks and Ibis. When I first saw them, they were in the shade cast from the mangroves along the path. On my return walk, the sun was high enough to light up that area.
Red, white, and blue
The birds were busy and ignored me as they went about their morning business. With such pretty light coming over my shoulder, all I had to do is wait for an isolated moment, frame them, and click the shutter. Sometimes things come together.
Cinnamon Teal’s are a rarity in Central Florida and would be a life bird for me. Apparently this one’s been a winter visitor at that spot for the last few years. I couldn’t find it but I spoke with someone that’d seen it that morning. It likes to hang out on the east side of the trail, in among many other ducks. A morning photo into the sun might be a challenge so I think I’ll try again one afternoon.
There are lots of birds along Black Point Wildlife Drive right now. If you’ve been waiting to visit there, go ahead and go – it’s a good time. Even if you don’t spot the Cinnamon Teal, there are other things to see and photograph.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.Take care of yourselves and each other. And if you can – make some photos – even if you don’t spot what you’re searching for.