Monday, February 13, 2012

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge 2/11/12

I set off for an early morning trip to MINWR on Saturday. The sky looked less than promising for some favorable light as I drove off, however, as I approached Titusville, clear blue skies came through. I made a quick stop at the Max Brewer Causeway and then headed to Black Point Wildlife Drive. My first stopping point offered a abundant display of active birds. There were numerous Reddish Egrets, most whom were boasting their breeding plumages, dancing about as they pursued their prey. There was a diverse group of water birds, including Northern Pintails, a Horned Grebe, Lesser Scaups, Northern Shovelers, Blue-winged Teals, Double-crested Cormorants, Coots,  a Lesser Yellowlegs,  Dowitchers, Pelicans, and a Roseate Spoonbill (and I'm sure a few other I don't remember).

Pair of Northern Pintails
MINWR

Pair of Northern Pintails
MINWR

Lesser Scaup
MINWR

Horned Grebe
MINWR

At the Max Brewer Causeway, I saw the usual gaggle of Ring-billed and Laughing Gulls. I also saw 4 of my favs, the Great Black-backed Gulls. There were two mature adults, one probable third year, and one first year. They were all equally monstrous  in size, however their coloring and bill markings differed. The Great Black-backed Gulls are very skittish in comparison to the other gulls. Check out the size of the bill on the third year gull!

Adult Great Black-backed Gull
Titusville, Fl

Great Black-backed Gull (third year)
Titusville, Fl

Great Black-backed Gull (first year)
Titusville, Fl

26 comments:

  1. Very good pictures Tammy.... but the third is so lovely.

    Greetings, joop

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  2. All the images are lovely Tammy and it sounds like you had a wonderful day. Love those Pintails!

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    1. Thank you Mia! I love the Pintails also!

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  3. Hi! I finally got my Great Black-backed Gull! I was looking for a good location at the bottom of the Rickenbacker Causeway when I spotted him from the parking lot. But . . . . 10 minutes earlier on Bear Cut Preserve in Crandon Park Nature Center, I walked out on the shore and saw an American Herring Gull. I have a Birds of Southern Florida book and it says the GB-bG is rare??? ( I am going for my Level I Certificate in the Wings Over Florida Program)

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    1. Glad you saw a GBBG! They are quite impressive gulls!

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  4. WOW!!!!!!! Preciosas todas!!
    Saludos!!

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  5. Nice shots Tammy, as always. I especially like the Horned Grebe. I've found it so difficult to get up close and personal with those birds.

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    1. Thanks Laurence! This guy was only around momentarily, then a NASA helicopter made a low pass and he was gone...

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  6. Tammy, I have actually seen a Great Black-backed Gull swallow a Puffin whole, down in one gulp
    All the best Gordon.

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    1. Now that sounds like quite a sight! Someone else said they saw one eat a rabbit...

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  7. you see such great waterfowl! love the pintails. they're so elegant for 'ducks'. :)

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    1. They are elegant, kind of like the Cadillac of ducks!

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  8. Lovely images again Tammy, Pintails are really smart ducks.

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  9. Those are some sharp looking pintails there, fantastic photos, im glad your able to share these with us.
    Excellent work.
    Shaun

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    1. Thanks for coming to check them out:)

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  10. The Northern Pintail is my fave, beautiful photos.

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  11. Cracking shots Tammy. We have a few Pintail at Reculver at the moment, although the weather has been a bit different by the looks of it, -11 degrees and snow.

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    1. Thanks Marc! It actually was cold here on Sunday, for one day:)

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  12. Gorgeous shots of the ducks and gulls, Tammy! I love the yellow eye on the Scaup and the red eye on the Grebe. Beautiful!

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  13. Drake Pintails are awesome!!!!

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  14. Hola Tammy magnifica serie fotograficas de esta aves acuaticas.Un fuerte abrazo

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  15. Awesome pics! I love the one of the gull, great definition and light in each of them.....
    Greetings from the new follower.
    Saludos!

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I greatly appreciate your comments!