"I'm in love with Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. What an amazing, serene, beautiful bird paradise."
I had a leisurely day leaving south Florida going to St. Augustine for the evening, so I decided to stop on the way at this place I knew almost nothing about except where it was and that it was probably a good place to see birds. Got there only an hour and a half before sunset, picked a path, and soon saw this:
In the foreground are glossy ibis, and behind them are mostly northern pintail ducks, with a few gadwalls and blue winged teals and maybe other species. Sorry about the wind noise - it was breezy but not enough that I thought of how much it would affect my camera's microphone; in real life I was hearing lots of bird calls, and in the video they're mostly drowned out :(
Everything I saw there was in just that one hour and a half, driving one loop road and hiking just the first 1/4 mile or so of two trails. Never more than a few minutes until the next exciting bird sighting. This was my favorite thing I saw:
And this video is a collage of various other moments from my brief time there.
Next time I'll go for a whole day, or several. Hike all the trails, and just sit down some places for a long time watching. I could've spent the whole hour and a half just sitting by that lake of ibis and pintails if I'd had more time.