Merritt Island NWR, 12/10/2011

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Reddish Egret

This morning I went out to Merritt Island again.  I arrived at 8am, and the lighting wasn't all that great--in fact, it was raining.  I stopped on the left hand side of the road after crossing the Max Brewer bridge and saw Laughing Gulls, Ring-Billed Gulls and Ruddy Turnstones.  Then I went to Pumphouse Rd, and the light became progressively better.  This is becoming one of my favorite places to visit--it's free, and this morning I saw more species here than on Blackpoint Dr.  I saw no less than 4 Reddish Egrets, about 20 Osprey, 2 Northern Flickers, many American Avocet, Willet and Dunlin.  I also saw flyovers of Black Skimmers, Northern Pintail and 13 Buffleheads.  Yellow-Rumped Warblers and a Common Yellowthroat put on a show for me as well.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Common Yellowthroat
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Tricolored Heron
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Willet
After this I drove to Blackpoint Dr.  By station 2, there were a few Northern Pintail close to my car, and I was able to capture my best Pintail photos this morning.  Then, by station 3, I found a Horned Grebe.  I stayed and watched it for some time.  It was moving in the direction of my car.  So every time it dove, I'd move the car forward.  Eventually, he came up pretty close to me, and I was able to get my favorite Horned Grebe photos too.  There were many ducks there, though they were farther out than they were last week, and I wasn't able to pick out as many species.  I know I found Blue-Winged Teal, American Widgeon, Northern Shoveler and Northern Pintail off in the distance.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Northern Pintail
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Pied-Billed Grebe
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Horned Grebe
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Belted Kingfisher

All in all it was a pretty good morning.  I didn't see anything new, though the Buffleheads were the first I've seen in Florida.  Here is a list of the species I saw on both the Pumphouse Rd and Blackpoint Dr of Merritt Island.  This is a total of 55 species (some seen in both locations) between 8:00am and 11:30am.

Pumphouse Rd
Blue-winged Teal X
Northern Shoveler X
Northern Pintail X
Ring-necked Duck 4
Lesser Scaup 4
Bufflehead 13
Pied-billed Grebe X
Wood Stork 2
Double-crested Cormorant X
Anhinga X
Great Blue Heron 2
Great Egret 2
Tricolored Heron 3
Reddish Egret 4
Green Heron 1
White Ibis X
Glossy Ibis X
Black Vulture X
Turkey Vulture X
Osprey 20
American Coot X
Black-bellied Plover 1
American Avocet 50
Willet 25
Lesser Yellowlegs 2
Ruddy Turnstone 5
Dunlin X
Laughing Gull X
Ring-billed Gull X
Forster's Tern 1
Black Skimmer 5
Belted Kingfisher 1
Northern Flicker 2
Loggerhead Shrike 1
Fish Crow X
Tree Swallow X
Gray Catbird 1
Common Yellowthroat 2
Palm Warbler X
Yellow-rumped Warbler X
Swamp Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 1
Red-winged Blackbird 2

Blackpoint Dr.
American Wigeon 4
Blue-winged Teal X
Northern Shoveler X
Northern Pintail X
Pied-billed Grebe X
Horned Grebe 1
Wood Stork 3
Double-crested Cormorant X
Anhinga X
Great Blue Heron X
Great Egret X
Snowy Egret 1
Little Blue Heron 5
Tricolored Heron 4
Reddish Egret 1
Green Heron 1
White Ibis X
Glossy Ibis X
Roseate Spoonbill 7
Black Vulture X
Turkey Vulture X
Osprey 3
Northern Harrier 1
American Coot X
Black-bellied Plover 2
Willet X
Dunlin X
Short-billed Dowitcher 4
Laughing Gull X
Ring-billed Gull X
Forster's Tern 2
Rock Pigeon X
Mourning Dove X
Belted Kingfisher 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Northern Mockingbird X
Common Yellowthroat 1
Palm Warbler X
Yellow-rumped Warbler X
Savannah Sparrow 1
Red-winged Blackbird X

Comments

  1. Sounds like a Wonderful Day!! I've heard great things about Merritt Island. It's on my list to visit one day :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful pictures Scott. The Horned Grebe particularly caught my eye. I love the large red eye, and even how it's complimented by the spherical blue water drop on the bird's rump--a complex and exceptionally well-crafted photo.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Enjoyed your pictures. Beautiful shots!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Willet fly-by my favorite shot!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I really like that Willet shot for some reason...good color in there. The Tricolored is pretty sweet too. Ah, to bird in Florida again...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, thanks all for the compliments! Kerri, if you visit Merritt Island, makes sure to make time to visit other places w/in a half-hour drive of it that are just as great.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Feel free to comment to leave feedback.