I went over to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge last weekend with Kevin K. and Kevin M. On the way, we stopped by the Cocoa Beach Pier for sunrise.
Anticipation – two surfers waiting for waves at dawn
This year, Florida red tide’s been found in many spots along both the gulf and Atlantic coasts. Normally, it’s a Gulf coast phenomenon and I don’t remember a year when it spread so far up our east coast. We’d heard reports of red tide and fish kills reaching Brevard County and Cocoa, so we were concerned about conditions at the pier. But when we were there the red tide wasn’t noticeable.
Next, we grabbed some breakfast and then headed up to MINWR for a quick pass through Black Point Wildlife Drive. Conditions in the refuge have been pretty quiet this summer and we wanted to see how the bird population is doing. There still aren’t a lot of birds around, but the variety is improving. We saw the usual wading birds, Redish Egrets, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, a few Blue Wing Teals, Osprey, Belted Kingfishers, a Sora, and a Merlin.
While I was getting out of the car so I could get (it turns out) a not so good image of the Sora, a water snake swam right in front of it. I didn’t even get to see the snake, much less photograph it by the bird. Luckily, Kevin K. did – you can view his photo here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/34024553@N08/45404193252/in/dateposted/
Jim Boland is also seeing quite a bit of bird activity in MINWR. He’s photographed a Peregrine Falcon, Merlins, Ospreys, Northern Harriers, Bald Eagles, and even Snail Kites along Playalinda Beach Road in recent weeks.
The cooler weather that’s finally arrived in Central Florida makes being outside and photographing more pleasant. And it should bring even more bird species to our area to enjoy.
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
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