Saturday, December 12, 2015

Farewell Tour

            Kim and I decided to launch our Farewell Tour of Florida, visiting some of our favorite spots for bird photography before we move north. We hoped that announcing it as a “Farewell Tour” would somehow help us sell our house. It’s been on the market for a while, so creative measures are required. Our three-day tour included New Smyrna Beach, Black Point Drive on Merritt Island, and Viera Wetlands, all located on the Atlantic Coast near Cape Canaveral.

            The rock jetty at New Smyrna Beach is a reliable source of Snowy Egrets and Ruddy Turnstones.

Snowy Egret on the rocks

Snowy on a good feather day

Ruddy Turnstone, named because he is ruddy and turns stones looking for food. This one is into bondage.

Taking a dip in the Atlantic

An unusual beachgoer was this Turkey Vulture, here enjoying a morning snack.

            We visited Black Point Drive before the ducks arrived, but we did see thousands of American Coots, plus a few old friends.

Wood Stork caught red-footed and having a bad head day

Note the tongue action on this Tricolored Heron

And the always photogenic Roseate Spoonbills

We dealt with drizzle off and on, leading to this Blackpoint Drive sunset.

            Viera Wetlands is conveniently located a few short miles from our motel and a Starbucks.

Common Gallinule doing some serious grooming of tail feathers. How can such a beautiful bird be called "common"?

Nest building time for the Great Blue Herons

We enjoy birds' being awkward (David more than Kim). This young Osprey struggles to hold his place in the wind.

He seemed pretty solid there for a minute.

Bad feather day

Green Heron looking more stable than the Osprey

Great Egret, serene and elegant as usual. (Those are plants, not Japanese writing.)

On our way out of Black Point Drive we saw this Black Vulture cleaning up what might have been an armadillo, or maybe a turtle.

Hobo Herons, riding the rails

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