Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Moccasin Island Tract

An early morning hike at the Moccasin Island Tract in the River Lakes Conservation area was a great way to start this warm, breezy, sunny day. The tract is about a 5,000 acre recreation area, west of Viera, along the eastern bank of the St. John's River. The trails are open to hikers, bikers, and horse back riders. At this time of the year, you must head south on the trail, to avoid the presence of hunters.

I knew it was going to be an exciting day as a Northern Harrier passed by as I stepped out of my car. In the parking area, you could hear the wonderful melody of the Eastern Meadowlark, and I quickly spotted several nearby. My son and I enjoyed their song for a bit before heading down the trail.

Eastern Meadowlark
Moccasin Island Tract

The Northern Harrier passed by a few more times. There were numerous Sandhill Cranes out foraging in the muddy, open fields.

Sandhill Crane

There was a flock of hundreds of Glossy and White Ibis that continuously relocated to various sections of the field. It was quite a sight!

Glossy Ibis

A Great Blue Heron landed just ahead of us on the trail.

Great Blue Heron

We ended the day we three more raptor sightings!! A Red-shouldered Hawk, a Merlin and an American Kestrel were all perched in various trees along the drive out.

American Kestrel

Here are a few more pictures of the area, taken on previous trips.

Eagle's nest


  1. Your photos are stunning! I blog about red-tailed hawks primarily but your songbird photos provide inspiration to photograph our other feathered friends more frequently.

  2. Nice shots! My best Kestrel and Meadowlark pictures come from there too.

  3. Thanks! Scott-I hope to get a better shot of the Kestrel. Such a beautiful bird. I enjoy all your great photos and info on your blog.

  4. I love the sky pic and I was lucky to see my first Sandhill Crane this autumn which was about the 4th for Britain!


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