So close to us. We are so blessed. And so is all of Florida — it is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. I will simply provide photos of the beauty there.
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge shares space with Kennedy Space Center and other coastal features on the north Atlantic coast of Florida. It is about 2 hours drive from our abode.
The highlight of the NWR is Black Point Drive, about 7 miles of a one-way auto gravel road built on top of dikes that wind through ponds and palms and mangroves, with many, many birds feeding and flying into and out of the shallow waters impounded out of the ocean.
I was able to catch an endangered wood stork feeding.
I saw, but was not able to capture via camera, a flock of roseate spoonbills in flight. That was a fantastic sight. It was Sunday so there was quite a bit of auto traffic, which spooks the birds when the drivers get out and slam their car doors.
Girls saw an armadillo on their ride. We saw alligators too and some cute lizards.
We arrive just ahead of the Annual Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival. This has been an annual event for the last 18 years, sharing exhibition space, lectures, shows, and tours all over the area. Photographers, and the hybrid group of “digiscopers” (attaching a camera to a sighting scope), have the opportunity to listen and see the best photographs of birds and other wildlife in this area and around the world. Lessons on birdwatching, photography, painting, etc. are available.
It was windy enough to show small white caps on the pools at Merritt Island. Mangrove islands everywhere.
More water than we had seen in years. Working on photographing birds in flight (still not very good.) It was mid-day so the lighting was not too good.
God-daughter and her friend brought their bikes, so they limited us in where we went and how long we stayed. But it whetted my appetite. This will be the first of several trips to the Atlantic coast. Definitely….