Birdwatching Trip to Viera Wetlands – February 2-3, 2012

Alligator on bank at Viera Wetlands

Alligator on bank at Viera Wetlands

We enjoyed our visit to Viera Wetlandslast week. Good thing we went then, because we are both sick this week. (Not from the trip.) But we are on the mend. “The wetlands are a popular site for birders, photographers, and eco-tourists.  The entire wetland system is accessible by automobile, making the site popular among those who find the rigors of hiking trails and summer temperatures daunting.  Even better, viewing the site from one’s automobile serves to screen visitors from birds and widlife, enhancing the experience.” They have 4 Cells and a Lake which have a berm around them. You drive on the berm and that gets you right up to the birds. (If they cooperate)

This was not our first visit to the wetlands, but it is 100 miles from home, so it is not something we do frequently. Other than a few different birds we have almost the same ones right here at the Circle B Bar Reserve (only 4 miles from home).

Here is a list of the birds turned in to eBird for the two days we visited the wetlands:

Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) with Hood up by Lee

Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) with Hood up

Mottled Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Ring-necked Duck
Hooded Merganser
Pied-billed Grebe
Wood Stork
Double-crested Cormorant
Anhinga Viera Wetlands
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Northern Harrier
Crested Caracara

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) by Lee at Viera Wetlands

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) by Lee at Viera Wetlands

Common Gallinule
American Coot
Limpkin
Sandhill Crane
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Belted Kingfisher
Fish Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
House Wren
European Starling
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Savannah Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Boat-tailed Grackle

39 total birds seen that I can identify. If I include the rest of the birds spotted there in Brevard County including the wild birds at the Zoo and Beach, then the count goes to 52. The additional birds include the Brown Pelican, Black and Turkey Vultures, Red-shouldered Hawk, Eurasian Collared Dove, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers, Pine Warbler, Northern Cardinal and Brown-headed Cowbird. Other than the Caracara, Sanderling, and Ruddy Turnstone, I have seen the rest in Polk County, where we live.

Does that mean, I wouldn’t go back, NO WAY! I love going over there to the Wetlands because every time you go, there are different birds waiting for you to discover them. That is what birdwatching is all about. Also, Brevard County has the Merritt Island Wild Life Refuge and other great birding places.

There had to be well over 1,000 American Coots out there. What amazed me was how they would all huddle together in long streams of them. This was just one of the smaller groups. Some were hundred of Coots long.

American Coots at Viera Wetlands

American Coots at Viera Wetlands

I am not sure what this Coot did, but it appears the Northern Shovelers are escorting him out of their area.

Coot Surrounded by Shovelers at Viera Wetlands

Coot Surrounded by Shovelers at Viera Wetlands

Managed to get a close-up of a Boat-tailed Grackle sitting on a sign.

Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major) at Viera by Lee

Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major) at Viera by Lee

It seemed a little dryer than on previous visits. Looks like they could use some rain. It does make an effect on what birds are present by the water levels. Was a great visit.

I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. (Psalms 50:11 NKJV)

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