Merritt Island NWR, 1/28/2012

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This morning I went to Merritt Island and had a great morning.  I first went to the Max Brewer Causeway and saw many gulls and skimmers, but only one shorebird: a Willet.  Next I went to Pumphouse Loop--not much was there, a bunch of Dunlin, Black-bellied Plovers and Willet.  Things picked up on Blackpoint Drive.  Of the 8 Reddish Egrets I saw, two of them were white morph.  I found an American Bittern between stops 6 and 7.  He was nice enough to come out and wade in the stream.  By the restrooms I also saw a Sora.  From there I went to the Scrub Ridge Trail and found 4 Florida Scrub Jays.  From there I went down Biolab Rd, where the only birds I saw of note were Sanderlings,  Savannah Sparrows and an Eastern Phoebe.  From there I was going to head home, but I saw a bunch of cars parked on the side of the road and a raft of ducks in the water, so I pulled over and found hundreds of American Widgeon; one Eurasian Widgeon was relatively close to the shore.

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Ring-billed Gull
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White Morph Reddish Egret
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Loggerhead Shrike
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American Bittern
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Florida Scrub Jay
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Eastern Phoebe

All said in done, I found 71 species on the island.  Here's a list of the species I found between 8:30am and about 2:30 pm.

Gadwall 1
Eurasian Wigeon 1
American Wigeon 1000
Mottled Duck 5
Blue-winged Teal 10
Northern Shoveler 11
Northern Pintail 50
Lesser Scaup 1
Hooded Merganser 3
Pied-billed Grebe 20
Wood Stork 1
Double-crested Cormorant 11
Anhinga 4
American White Pelican 15
American Bittern 1
Great Blue Heron 20
Great Egret 15
Snowy Egret 5
Little Blue Heron 1
Tricolored Heron 15
Reddish Egret 8
Green Heron 1
White Ibis 30
Glossy Ibis 7
Roseate Spoonbill 11
Black Vulture X
Turkey Vulture X
Osprey 4
Bald Eagle 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
American Kestrel 1
Sora 1
Common Gallinule 3
American Coot 1000
Black-bellied Plover 10
Killdeer 3
American Avocet 4
Willet 10
Lesser Yellowlegs 3
Ruddy Turnstone 1
Sanderling 20
Dunlin 100
Short-billed Dowitcher 1
Long-billed Dowitcher 9
Laughing Gull 10
Ring-billed Gull 20
Herring Gull 5
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1
Black Skimmer 15
Common Tern 2
Forster's Tern 5
Royal Tern 3
Mourning Dove 1
Common Ground-Dove 2
Belted Kingfisher 5
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Loggerhead Shrike 4
Florida Scrub-Jay 4
Fish Crow 5
Marsh Wren 1
Gray Catbird 1
Palm Warbler 5
Pine Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 15
Savannah Sparrow 5
Northern Cardinal 1
Red-winged Blackbird 5
Eastern Meadowlark 1
Common Grackle X
Boat-tailed Grackle X


  1. Great photos Scott! I head up that way in the am as well, but I didn't make much further than the causeway. There was a great variety of gulls, terns, & shorebirds! Your list is very impressive!

    1. Tammy, thanks! We must have been there at different times. I was at the causeway too, but while I saw many gulls, I didn't see many shorebirds. I would have liked to have seen more.

  2. Love the shots. That power-pose of the Bittern is especially cool, as it is to see a Sora out in the open.

  3. Beautiful ocean & Willet..Stunning Bittern..Where are the Wigeins? Another post? It is akways a delight to see a pike of cars by the know its something good!

    1. Thanks, Cindy. I found an Eurasion Widgeon with the American, but it was facing away from me, and I didn't have time to wait for him to turn around. So I didn't post the photo. But I could, I suppose. Maybe later on today I'll post a link to it if I can find time to upload it.


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