Tag Archives: Willet

Birds Abound at Black Point

I spent last Wednesday morning at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  I hadn’t been in a while and I enjoyed seeing what’s going on over there.

As usual, I arrived early for a sunrise photo.  I’ve photographed from this spot on Gator Creek Road several times, but I’ve never noticed flowers blooming there before.  I think they make a nice foreground accent.

Another day beginsAnother day begins

After the sun was up, I drove around both Black Point Wildlife Drive and Gator Creek Road.  There were a tremendous number of birds around – the winter visitors are here in force!

You can get an idea of which species to expect at MINWR (and when) over at this page on ebird.  Here are the ones I recognized on my visit:  Northern Shoveler, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Merganser, Pie-billed Grebe, Wood Stork, Double Crested Cormorant, Anhinga, White Pelican, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Tri-colored Heron, Little Blue Heron, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Red-shouldered Hawk, American Coot, Black-bellied Plover, Killdeer, Willet, Ring-billed Gull, Laughing Gull, Black Skimmer, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Loggerhead Shrike, and Savannah Sparrow.  I’m sure a more experienced birder would have recognized even more.  I also saw an Alligator or two and a River Otter.

And my online blogging friend Jim Boland also spotted a Red-headed Duck there recently.

This bird was posing on a mound of seaweed next to the causeway.  I was able to crouch down and make some eye level photos with a nice out of focus background.

Black-bellied Plover Black-bellied Plover

And this Willet was hunting in the surf, also along the causeway.  The sun was coming over my shoulder and the small waves rolling in made the blue sky reflections contrast nicely with the sandy bottom showing through the water.

WilletWillet

And here’s a bonus sunrise photo – made with my long lens.  I like the group of birds flying in front of the sun in the distance.

Merritt Island MorningMerritt Island Morning – The sun rises next to NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

What a nice visit to one of our Central Florida Photo Op treasures!  If you haven’t been over there recently, now is a great time of year to check it out.  You can see other photographs from MINWR in this set on Flickr, and from BPWD in this set.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2014, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Happy Labor Day!

Like many people in the US, Lynn and I headed to the beach for Labor Day.  We really like Casey Key on the Gulf Coast of Florida just north of Venice.  Like always, it was very relaxing.  We swam, shelled, ate, walked the beach, and got plenty of sun.  I also had a little time for some photography.

Jetty Sunset
The north jetty at the inlet in Casey Key Florida is full of people fishing and watching the sunset. I watched from the south jetty in Venice. The sail boat was a nice bonus.

Willet on the beach
Willet on the beach – This bird was very cooperative.  When not fishing in the surf, it would occasionally come close.

On the beach
On the beach – We were wandering around exploring the area near the Venice Pier. Since it was close to mid-day, I didn’t expect any good light but I took my IR camera in case something came up. I think the IR characteristics add a lot of interest to the photo.

You can see some other photos from Casey Key in this set on Flickr.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2012, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

A summertime visit to MINWR – Black Point and Scrub Ridge Trail

A few of us visited Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge yesterday for the first time in a while. We wanted to see what’s going on at Black Point Wildlife Drive and Scrub Ridge Trail. Since it’s now officially summer time here in Florida, the temperature and humidity is soaring and it’s hard to get motivated for a long hike to see / photograph nature and wildlife.  So it’s nice to go out to a place like Black Point where you can drive through instead of having to walk.

The water levels were quite low, which I think is typical this time of year. There weren’t a great many birds, but there were enough to make it interesting. We saw a few of the usual Egrets and Herons, as well as a couple of adult and three or four juvenile Reddish Egrets. There were also some Black Neck Stilts, a Willet or two and a wild and very muddy pig.

We decided to go by Scrub Ridge trail on the way home to check out how the Scrub Jays are doing. They’re fine, although somewhat feisty. Several of us were “dive bombed” and one came so close to Kevin M. that he felt the wind from its wings on his head.  While at Scrub Ridge trail we also saw a very young Gopher Tortoise and a rabbit.

I’ve included several photos from the trip below, and you can click on these to see larger versions on Flickr.

Florida Scrub Jay watches us
Florida Scrub Jay watches us – There was a family of Florida Scrub Jays out yesterday. One or two were real posers. And one of those was a “dive bomber”. It flew at our heads a few times trying to discourage us.

Juvenile Reddish Egret
Juvenile Reddish Egret

Rabbit
Rabbit – This little guy froze and looked the other way hoping we wouldn’t see him.

Wild, muddy pig
Wild, muddy pig

Willet
Willet

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2011, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved