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Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (Part 2)

February 2, 2010

Black Point Wildlife Drive is a seven mile, one way drive through salt and freshwater marshes where wading birds, shorebirds, raptors, waterfowl, alligators, otters and other wildlife species can be observed.

This refuge is part of a key migratory route for thousands of birds who use the area as a rest stop on their way further south for their winter stay.  Other birds actually winter here before returning north in the spring to breed.  The refuge serves as the perfect place to stock up on food and rest.

We think this bird is a snowy egret.  Hard to tell between that and a great egret.

Mudhens.  Also known as American Coots.  They can be found from Southern Quebec all the way to South America!

A blue heron. He kind of fades into the marshes here.

From far away, these look like flamingos, but they’re not! They’re Roseate Spoonbills.

Another sort of egret, sunning himself.

And then, we found more alligators!! They were sleepy little guys, sunning themselves not too far away, thinking they were hidden!

Towards the end of the drive, we saw the shuttle on its launch pad.  It’s set to take off on February 7th, and it takes about a month for the shuttle to go on the crawler from the hangar to the launch pad.  This is blurry because I zoomed in, but look how close we were able to get!

I’m kind of over birds for the next year now, btw. :)

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