I spent the last morning of the year at Merritt Island. We went by Blackpoint Wildlife Drive and then Biolab Rd. I was hoping to find one more species for the year, but it looks like I’ll have to end the year at 259 Florida birds.
Still, it was a nice, sunny day, and there lots of fun highlights. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many spoonbills on the island. There were easily upwards of 50 Roseate Spoonbills, plus many Glossy and White Ibises.
Ducks were also plentiful, and at times the lighting was pretty good to photograph the numerous Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, and American Wigeon and Hooded Mergansers.
On the way back, we decided to drop by the visitor center to check the bird feeders for Painted Buntings. They show up at the feeders there pretty regularly. I’ve been trying all year to photograph a male Painted Bunting. But all I’ve found all year long were females. So I broke down today and went to a feeder. Here are my first male Painted Bunting photos. Maybe next year, I’ll get some in a more natural setting.