On a whim I decided to go to Viera Wetlands to chase down the Masked Duck that had been reported there. I don't usually do these things but Viera isn't that far and it was going to be cold this weekend and Viera is a drive through place so I said "what the heck. I can bird from the comfort of my car and just maybe pick up a lifer."
Having made this decision I decided as long as I am going to Viera I might just as well go a little further north to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. I told my son my plans and he decided to tag along with me. This was nice for me as he likes to do all the driving and I can sit back relax and enjoy.
So Saturday we left early and headed for Viera. It just started raining as we left but I didn't let that dismay me as someone once said to me that you often get to see more birds when it is raining then when the sun is out. I was secretly hoping that the sun would be out up there as that was what my weather thingy said. Well the sun wasn’t out and, it was raining but not too hard and luckily the compound wasn't closed due to the rains as I have heard it sometimes is. But is was cold and sometime facing into the wind and rain trying to get a shot of a bird was darn right frigid.
We then proceeded to work our way around the ponds looking to see what we could see. We saw a lot of the usual birds and some not to usual for me. I photographed some sparrows and I am trying to ID them but to me sparrows all look alike. I thought one had nice distinct features and would be easy to ID but he looks like the rest of them.
Click on the link below to see a list of the birds we saw at Viera.
Birds seen at Viera Wetlands.
There were a couple of bonuses at Viera as well. We spent a few minutes watching this guy devour a fish.
Of course running into this one was a real pleasure.
and his mate?????
I always enjoy running into one of these but usually see them perching on the telephone or electrical wires.
This one puzzled me but finally settled on Scaup. I can see what must have been a little white cheek mark and I'm thinking Lesser as I think the head is pretty flat.
We got to watch this one as he captured his little delicacy and ran away from the group to protect his meal and when he felt safe he stopped and tenderized his meal before swallowing it head first.
One of the many Limpkins we saw.
There were a few killdeer around that day. this guy was working the water's edge others were seen in the open areas and working the banks around the cells. He looks cold, wet & unhappy.
I always enjoy running into this handsome guy even though he has a big mouth..........smile