Posts in Category: Merritt Island NWR

Ruddy Turnstones

We return to Florida and the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival in Titusville. On my last day there, my daughter Sally and I did a loop around Black Point Wildlife Drive and then the short loop of Gator Creek, where we found a small flock of Rudy Turnstones, which we pulled over to watch in two different spots as they moved along the waterfront. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Assembled in FrameMagic. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, Florida, USA.

Juvenile Bald Eagle, Florida

A rather scruffy looking Bald Eagle on a power pylon on the way to Black Point Wildlife Drive at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Florida, USA. I pulled the car over on the verge and walked past the pole for these shots. This appears to be a 3rd or 4th year juvenile, depending on how you sequence the plumage stages of the Bald Eagle…whether you put full adult plumage at 4 or 5 or even 6 years. However you do it, this bird is still at least a year shy of full adult. The head is getting on towards mostly white, and the bill is all yellow, but it still has the dark terminal tail band. (I had, of course, to look up the sequencing this morning…and the sources I found were not all that consistent. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Perfect pinkness.

The perfect pinkness of Roseate Spoonbills again. These two were among a flock of 30 birds that flew into the channel beside the road at Black Point Wildlife Drive at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near Titusville, Florida, USA. Overcast day so the pinks really burn. The Roseates were particularly intense this year in Florida. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Great Blue Heron in the rain.

Great Blue Heron in the rain at Orlando Wetlands Scenic Park, in Christmas, Florida, USA. I had a Point and Shoot Nature Photography Workshop at Orlando Wetlands one morning during the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. We spent the first hour waiting out the rain under the shelter at the entrance, but when it did let up enough for walking this was the wader we encountered. Still raining a bit, but there is nothing quite like the mixed textures of the plumage of a Great Blue Heron to catch the eye. Worth a look in any light. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Great Egret

Great Egret, Black Point Wildlife Drive, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, Florida, USA. There are always great numbers of Great Egrets on the refuge in January, and this year was no exception. My first loop around the Drive was on an overcast day, which can be excellent light for Egrets. This one was high-stepping across on of the ponds. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe, Black Point Wildlife Drive, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, Florida, USA. There were more Pied-billed Grebes in Space Coast Florida this year then I have ever seen before…and they were groups of 15-30. Groups of Grebes is not something I remember. Generally I have seen them like this one, alone, feeding well away from any other Grebe. This one was in the channel along the Drive. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis, Black Point Wildlife Drive, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, Florida, USA. The other Florida Ibis. This year at least there were many more Glossy than White Ibis. I saw flocks of a hundred or more in flight, and great numbers of birds feeding in the ponds and pools. The Glossy and White-faced Ibis have similar plumage…with those iridescent highlights of green and red. I always think of stained glass when I see them. This bird was on the back side of the loop, feeding almost too close to photograph at full zoom. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

White Ibis

White Ibis, Black Point Wildlife Drive, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near Titusville, Florida (USA). It is amazing how close you can get to the larger waders at Merritt Island NWR. As you drive Black Point Wildlife Drive and the other dike roads of the refuge the birds are often right there, in the little canals and wetlands 20-50 feet from the road. This is an experience relatively unique to Florida. In my experience, you have to work much harder to photograph these birds anywhere else. Florida has both White and Glossy Ibis (with an occasional White-faced in the mix). Again, in my experience the Glossy outnumber the White, at least at Merritt Island, by at least a factor of 2, but both are among the most numerous waders in these waters. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Adult Little Blue Heron

Adult plumage Little Blue Heron. I featured a white plumage immature Little Blue Heron yesterday. This adult, in its full blue/purple finery, was at the other end of Black Point Wildlife Drive at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near Titusville, Florida (USA) on the same day, high stepping through one of the ponds. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Immature Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron on its reflection. One of the first birds I encountered on Black Point Wildlife Drive at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, Florida, USA was this juvenile Little Blue Heron, still in its all white plumage. Though it is about the same size, and similar in color to a Snowy Egret, I don’t find them confusing as they such different shapes overall. The Snowy is slender and elegant. The immature Little Blue is more robust. To me the difference is obvious even at a distance, and certainly up close as in this photo. Sony Rx10iv at 560mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.