Our camping spot beside the canal at St. Lucie Locks and Dam in Stuart, Florida had its advantages. Every hour a new batch of boats would pass by :-).
For our cycling outing today, we started out with a ride north along the barrier islands at Hobe Sound. At the north end of the barrier island, Juniper Island the road ends at Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is a bit unique in that there are no trails through the preserve so the only area that is open for walking is the beach area, about five miles worth.
Birds along the beach were kind enough to pose for me. The most interesting were the large, crested Royal Terns (Sterna maxima) walking along the shoreline as if on patrol.
It wasn’t until I was looking at the images later that I realized that here was one, lone Forster’s Tern (Sterna forsteri) among the Royal Terns.
Other birds of interest were a large Black-backed Gull and a number of Ruddy Turnstones in winter plumage.
Although I could probably have sat on the beach all day talking to the local fishermen or photographing birds flying by, after walking on the beach for awhile, it was back onto the bikes.
We cycled about 7 miles to the south end of the island with a stop along the way at the Nature Conservancy Blowing Rocks Preserve before heading back north to our parking spot.