Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A LITTLE FLORIDA BIRDING

A Reddish Egret, one of 14 "lifers" on my trip.
My recent trip to Florida was totally theme park related, but on the day I flew out, my friends were nice enough to take me to a place recommended by some birding friends, Merritt Island, where we spent a few hours birding before I got on a big metal bird to fly home.

Click on photos to enlarge and scroll through them.

I had 14 lifers on my trip;

 1. Sandhill Crane
 2. Fish Crow
 3. Royal Tern
 4. Florida Scrub Jay
 5. Black Vulture
 6. Greater Flamingo
 7. American White Pelican
 8. Brown Pelican
 9. Snowy Egret
10. Little Blue Heron
11. Tricolored Heron
12. Reddish Egret
13. Roseate Spoonbill
14. Woodstork

I didn't have my personal photographer and his "big lens" with me, so the pictures I did manage aren't great. I bird with binoculars, but Rob must of been impressed enough with my list, because we're planning a trip together in the Fall of 2014.

Tricolored Heron
I'd never seen so many American Coots at one time!

Florida Scrub Jay, thank goodness for binoculars!
Two of the birds I was most excited to see were Pelicans, and the Florida Scrub Jay. I had really good looks at both types of Pelicans and the Florida Scrub Jays, but no great pics, next time. I also didn't hang around and look at the Florida Scrub Jays to long because I was getting eaten alive by "salt water marsh mosquitoes", next time I will be better prepared.

One of the birds I had the best looks at was the Black Vulture. We came upon a  flock of them who seemed to have very recently dragged something that must of got hit by a car, off to the side of the road and were devouring it, along with a few Turkey Vultures.

Greg stopped the car and Pat and I got out and walked towards them, close to enough that we didn't need binoculars, but not to close to cause them to fly away. It was really cool to have them flying all around us, and so close, but roadkill is smelly! 

Black Vultures, a couple Turkey Vultures and a blood stained road.
Vultures doing what Vultures do, devouring road-kill.
Another shot of a Black Vulture.
Flying Turkey Vulture.
A couple other cool sightings we saw were one lone Manatee, and an alligator.

Greg got really excited when he spotted this guy.
 I'm looking forward to a return trip and spending a lot more time at this place, with bug spray!
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