April 21, 2009

Merritt Island NWR

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is one of the top birding sites on the Florida Atlantic coast. The refuge contains 21 threatened and endangered animals. This is more than any other U.S. refuge outside of Hawaii. All the refuge lands were purchased in the 1960's by the US government to develop the Kennedy Space Center. Non-essential part of the property created a buffer around the space center and became the refuge.

Approximately one half of the 140, 000 acres contained in the refuge are brackish estuaries and marsh. The remaining lands consist of beaches, dunes, scrub oaks, pine forest and oak and plam hammocks.

Bird abound! We were told that the numbers were down because the water was low. We discovered that if you found water, you found birds! Large numbers of wading birds were in pockets where we found water that contained food.

High winds kept us from wanting to stay at the beach for very long.

We enjoyed hiking several different trails through oak and palm hammocks. Though we heard several birds, we never got many good looks. We enjoyed a bite from a sour wild orange.

While walking on one of the boardwalks, we heard what we thought was a branch falling out of the tree. Looking to where it had falled we saw a small snake trying to wriggle through the holes in the boards.
There were plenty of vines to enjoy and play Tarzan on.

Within site of each other you have the advancement of travel to outer space to the primitive Florida landscape complete with prehistoric relics.

No comments: