A Travellerspoint blog

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge!

Edgewater, FL

sunny 55 °F

Today my mom and I had a wonderful morning of birding in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. A huge thanks to her for driving!

BARRED OWL I spotted from the car on the way there:
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The main birding location for the morning was a slow drive up Black Point Wildlife Drive in search for the many aquatic avian species found there. It did not disappoint!

PIED-BILLED GREBE:
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NORTHERN SHOVELERS:
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AMERICAN AVOCETS and a NORTHERN PINTAIL:
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Male HOODED MERGANSER:
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ANHINGA:
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TRICOLORED HERON:
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ROSEATE SPOONBILLS:
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BLUE-WINGED TEAL:
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MARBLED GODWIT flyover, an uncommon species!
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CATTLE EGRET:
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LEAST SANDPIPER:
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PIPING PLOVER, an endangered species!
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NORTHERN PINTAIL:
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WOOD STORK:
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REDDISH EGRET:
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BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE:
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LESSER SCAUP:
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SALTMARSH SPARROW, a rather unexpected and amazingly rare and shy life bird!
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Next, we went to the Visitor Center to hopefully find the Painted Buntings which spend the winter there.

Sure enough, a female PAINTED BUNTING appeared:
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Followed by the INCREDIBLE male!!!!!
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Next, it was off to the Scrub Ridge trail to look for Florida Scrub-Jays. We first found this immature RED-SHOULDERED HAWK!
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Then, we nailed the scrub jay which was a life bird!
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Finally, we drove down Biolab Road in search of more waterbirds. It did not disappoint with this raft of thousands of AMERICAN COOTS:
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COMMON GROUND-DOVE:
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ZENAIDA DOVE:
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We had a pretty good view of the Kennedy Space Center:
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And seeing this Alligator was very cool!
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Overall it was a wonderful morning of birding and nature watching! Bird-of-the-day award will be shared by the Saltmarsh Sparrow and Painted Bunting, with runners-up to the Reddish Egret and Florida Scrub-Jay. The full list is below. So much fun, thanks Mom!

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 939 Species (2 life birds today: Saltmarsh Sparrow, Florida Scrub-Jay)

1. Blue-winged Teal
2. Northern Shoveler
3. Gadwall
4. Northern Pintail
5. Lesser Scaup
6. Hooded Merganser
7. Pied-billed Grebe
8. American White Pelican
9. Brown Pelican
10. Double-created Cormorant
11. Anhinga
12. Great Blue Heron
13. Great Egret
14. Snowy Egret
15. Little Blue Heron
16. Tricolored Heron
17. Reddish Egret
18. Cattle Egret
19. Green Heron
20. White Ibis
21. Glossy Ibis
22. Roseate Spoonbill
23. Wood Stork
24. Black Vulture
25. Turkey Vulture
26. Osprey
27. Bald Eagle
28. Red-shouldered Hawk
29. American Kestrel
30. Common Gallinule
31. American Coot
32. Semipalmated Plover
33. Piping Plover
34. Killdeer
35. American Avocet
36. Marbled Godwit
37. Ruddy Turnstone
38. Sanderling
39. Least Sandpiper
40. Wilson’s Snipe
41. Greater Yellowlegs
42. Laughing Gull
43. Ring-billed Gull
44. Royal Tern
45. Sandwich Tern
46. Common Ground-Dove
47. Zenaida Dove
48. Barred Owl
49. Belted Kingfisher
50. Eastern Phoebe
51. Florida Scrub-Jay
52. American Crow
53. Fish Crow
54. Tree Swallow
55. Gray Catbird
56. Northern Mockingbird
57. Common Yellowthroat
58. Palm Warbler
59. Northern Cardinal
60. Painted Bunting
61. Red-winged Blackbird
62. Common Grackle
63. Boat-tailed Grackle
64. Saltmarsh Sparrow

Posted by skwclar 10:04 Archived in USA

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Comments

Happy New Year, Henry! Great pics and great birds! We continue to enjoy following your blog and wish you a wonderful senior year!

by Ann Gunkel

Wonderful! Especially love the buntings, but you saw an impressive list.

by Kathy Garness

Great pictures Henry

by Bruce Bartel

What stunning bunting pics! Liz

by Liz Cifani

Wow!

by Betsy

Wow, Henry! What a wonderful day of birding. I loved your photos. I'm in NW Indiana and the grackles have returned to take over my bird feeders.

by Katie Ogg

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