Saturday, September 29, 2012

Crested Caracara

I saw this pair of Crested Caracara while on a walk at the Viera Wetlands last week. We observed them cleaning away for quite some time.

They occasionally took a break to see if there was anything of interest around.

And then it was back to cleaning.

Until one decided it needed some space.

One Crested Caracara decided it was ready to move on and took off.

We decided to continue on with our walk. I turned around a short time later to see one approaching.

And it flew right over us!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Friend or Foe

 Was the turtle showing off or trying to convince the gator to attempt something new.....

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I have fallen a bit behind in blogging these days as things have been quite busy around here. Here are a few photos of what I have managed to squeeze in over the past few weeks...

A beautiful sunrise over the Indian River Friday morning.


An Osprey on a post near my home...what are you lookin' at???

Red-shouldered Hawk

One of the many Red-shouldered Hawks that hang out near my work. I don't usually take my camera to work...I'd be too tempted to go take pictures of the birds...but I did Wednesday as the plane carrying Space Shuttle Endeavour was going to be flying over head. I happened to pick the wrong side of the building to look for it and missed it.  Oh well, at least this hawk flew up next to me:)

Red Knot

This was one of the seven Red Knots that were foraging in the surf along the Atlantic when we made a visit to Jetty Park.

Laughing Gull

Did this Laughing Gull really catch a fish of its own...or did the gull confiscate it from a tern....

While in Lakeland a few weeks ago, I took a sunrise walk at Circle B Reserve. It is such a beautiful place to visit.

While we mostly saw waders and a few hawks, there were plenty of these spiders around. I was glad I didn't accidentally walk into on of these webs!

I saw this young male White-tailed Deer along the side of the road heading out to Moccasin Island on Friday. I'm thinking it might be the same one I saw and posted photos of on 9/8/12 as it was in the same location. Usually by this time of the morning you don't see the deer wandering near this road. I ave to wonder if something may be wrong with this fellow. We stopped a little ways up the road to watch him and take a few photos. He didn't seem to acknowledge our vehicle, but I figured with the first click of the shutter he would take notice, but he didn't seem to hear anything. Out of curiosity, I whistled to see if the deer would respond and it did not.

I know I'm really focused when I'm hungry...maybe that was the case.

Finally when we drove right past him, he looked at us, but did not run. I hope this beautiful boy is okay.

Great Egret

Not much happening at the wetlands. We did have fun watching a pair of Crested Caracara, but I'll save that for my next post.

American Bittern

We found this well hidden Bittern doing its best to blend right in.

Well, this has nothing to do with birds,but...a pair of Donkeys have appeared near our highway exit...we couldn't resist a visit. They are so sweet!!!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

MINWR 9/15/12

I had a hard time deciding where to go this morning...a nice sunrise at Jetty Park or Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, but we decided on the refuge. As we approached our exit on the highway, some large storm clouds appeared along with some rain. I had a feeling it wasn't going to last, and thankfully it didn't.

Luckily for us, with the rain, comes rainbows. And we saw a bunch of rainbows this morning!

We headed out to the shore first, but things were pretty quiet there. I had hoped to see some Black-bellied Plovers, but once again, they were not there.

Ruddy Turnstone

But there were several Ruddy Turnstones foraging in the sand.


And this sweet little Sanderling preening in the sand.


This dragonfly was resting along the sea grape plants. After the beach, we decided to make a loop through Black Point Drive. It was pretty quiet there as well. We saw plenty of herons and egrets. We saw 2 Reddish Egrets which are always fun to watch.

Finally, from quite a distance, we saw some of the plovers we were looking for. In this area, we saw the largest number of birds. There were Black-bellied Plovers, Willets, a Caspian Tern, Black Skimmers, Forster's Terns, Laughing Gulls, some Blue-winged Teals, and probably a few others that we missed.

Turkey Vulture

On the way home, we drove along the edge of the causeway where there were numerous Turkey and Black Vultures scuffling over a small dead fish.

Turkey & Black Vulture

I loved the look on the Turkey Vulture's face when the Black Vulture took its food. It looked as if to say..."hey, I had that first!!!".

juvenile Black Vulture

Little did they know, this juvenile Black Vulture was sitting on a jackpot just up the shore.


We also saw two Dowitchers, which I think were Long-billed....We made one more stop at another small park on the way home.

Northern Mockingbird

We saw some interesting interactions between this Mockingbird and a Brown Thrasher.

The two were attempting to occupy the same tree, but the Mockingbird was not pleased about that.

The moment the thrasher would come out of the brush, the mocker would attack him.

The Thrasher didn't give up though. It kept trying to claim an upper branch. This is about as far as it got.

Loggerhead Shrike 

This shrike was observing the action from the next tree over, wondering what all the fuss was about...

Hope you're having a great weekend:)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Please Obey All Signs

We took a trip out to Moccasin Island today, and it was just one of those days. You know, the kind of day when you feel like someone is always watching you. As we began our ascent up the road we encountered this adult Caracara schooling her young on how to keep the traffic moving.(I assure you I didn't stop to take this photo)

Adult & Juvenile Crested Caracaras

The patrols were definitely out today. We encountered this Red-shouldered Hawk at the next sign along the road.

Red-shouldered Hawk

The hawk initially seemed very serious about enforcing the sign, even gesturing to it to be sure we saw it.

Red-shouldered Hawk

But, the hawk decided to abandoned its post about a minute later to retrieve something of interest.

Next, we came across some cattle that had gone AWOL. They stood in the road for a few minutes, staring at us down, forcing us to ignore the sign and stop. They eventually moved and we continued on.

White-tailed Deer

We came across this handsome young man as he wandered along the road. He took off in bounding leaps as  we drove along, but it wouldn't be the last we saw of him.

Common Ground Doves

These little Common Ground-Doves, along with a handful of others, found the middle of the road to be a wonderful place for a rest.

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallows were everywhere. Many of them were resting along this pretty wire, tired from their daily high paced activity.

Eastern Meadowlark

We arrived at the empty parking area, and decided on a walk up the southern trail. The area surrounding the parking field was full of Eastern Meadowlarks. We didn't end up walking to far as the mosquitoes were really hungry and my son decided stomping in a huge puddle was more fun than going for a walk.

We saw the young deer again as we were leaving. It was about a mile up the road from where we first saw it. Once again it decided not to stick around.

We made a loop around the Click Ponds on our way out. Things were very low key there. We did see nearly a dozen young Green Herons.

And one juvenile Night Heron.

This gator decided it was time for his morning exercise, a few laps around the pond!