Cycling in Florida – Merritt Island Revisited

Another sunny day with reasonable temperatures. Began the day walking the beach in Cape Canaveral and then returned to walk the trails of Merritt Island while John did another loop on his bike. On the previous day’s visit to Merritt Island, Black Vultures and Armadillos had been the primary subjects but today I was more interested in the wading and shoreline birds.

The waters in the Merritt Island wetlands come with two distinct characters. Part are left to rise and fall with the tides and part are behind control structures that keep the water at managed levels. This results in a broad variety of habitat and plenty of wading birds. One of the sought after species is the very colourful Roseate Spoonbill. Although I saw four of these beautiful birds in flight, none came within camera range.

At Merritt Island, there were an assortment of birds that got my attention but I was most happy to see that it was warm enough for a few butterfly species to be out and about and the cactus pads were beginning to regain their shape and vigor.

One surprise sighting was the Clapper Rail that one of the birders had called out of hiding along the roadside. Unlikely that I would have seen it, since, like most of the Rail family of birds, they tend to be rather secretive and shy.

It took me a while but I was finally able to photograph one of the young Pied-Billed Grebes that were diving and chasing schools of minnows along one of the waterways.

A tri-coloured heron gave the big GULP treatment to one of his quarry.

Although I didn’t photograph a Roseate Spoonbill, the weather was beautiful (for a change) and the sunshine was wonderful.




About Ron

Ron has long had an interest in photography and traveling and, in recent years, has had more time to devote to both activities. Long a Pentax user, Ron switched to Nikon gear when he went digital. The advent of the digital SLR camera, and the ease of the internet blogging process, has provided a venue for sharing his photography and travel experience at the local, national and international level. More about Ron
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1 Response to Cycling in Florida – Merritt Island Revisited

  1. Hi Ron,
    You guys could not have choosen a better time…Good time to get away, from the cold.
    Have fun and be safe.


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