Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Good Day- Birds & Baseball

It's become the theme of our March trips to Florida- birds in the morning and baseball in the afternoon (or evening).  Makes a nice combination.  We especially like the Space Coast which offers Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge plus numerous other wetlands in Titusville and Viera.

So, on our anniversary (48 years no less), we began at Merritt Island on the Black Point Wildlife Drive following a beautiful Great Egret as it fished along a mangrove edge.

If you look closely, there is a very small fish in its beak.  We followed along on the road as the egret continued.  You can tell when the bird sees fish. Its neck seems to acquire a certain tension and often the head sways side-to-side to precisely gauge the distance.  Then it unleashes the strike.

From my observation, the Great Egret is successful more than three-quarters of the time. Pretty good batting average.

Another catch! Considering the small size of each catch, I guess it would have to be highly successful to match the energy required each time.  This is so interesting that time seems to melt away.

Also on the drive were some of the most colorful of the birds, Roseate Spoonbills.

That bill is so unusual that it must have a special adaptation to how they feed.  Here is a small group feeding.  They sweep the bill left and right as they advance, snapping up small prey, often shrimp. The pigment in the prey imparts the brilliant color to their feathers.

All of this can entice a lot of visitors to take up a camera though not constant photographers.  So it was that my spouse, Pam, got the bug, and worked on a cooperative Great Blue Heron that morning.

I really like how she included the complete reflection of the heron framed in the rich blue sky.

Our route on the preserve lastly took us to a small wetland with more egrets, herons and spoonbills.  Then, they were joined by two White Pelicans gliding in to feed.

It was a fruitful morning.  After three hours, we exited for lunch and a pleasant afternoon of baseball in Viera.  Of course, we had to take a "selfie" at the game.

Oh yes, it was a good game and it was sunny.   Perfect way to mark forty-eight years together.

Best to you,


No comments:

Post a Comment