It was cold on Saturday on Jan. 20. Very cold and very windy. But the sun was expected to shine – something that has happened in a while when I have tried to go birding.
So, I decided to make the most of what has been rare January sunshine and hit up both Orlando Wetlands and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Sort of a birding doubleheader. But I hit the Daily Double for these trips.
At the Wetlands I came across three different Bald Eagles. Apparently, in addition to OW’s regular nesting pair, there’s another pair of nesting Bald Eagles in adjacent Seminole Ranch. I also spotted the resident Sandhill Crane couple, appearing to build a nest in the same spot where they nested last year and successfully hatched two colts.
Over at Merritt Island, I was able to fulfill two goals: Get more pictures of Painted Buntings and get pictures of American Kestrels not on a powerline. The Buntings were the easier part of the task, since they hang around the Visitor Center at MINWR. The Kestrel goal has been an elusive one, but along Biolab Road I came across one of the little raptors who stayed in a palm and another tree enough for me to take pictures.