Last year, there were Roseates everywhere at the Wetlands in January and February – but I had not seen nearly as many this year.
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.
Between clouds and rain showers, I was able to visit my three go-to spots for birding – Orlando Wetlands, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive – in the first two weeks of January.
In addition to seeing some new birds, I also came across some regulars who became part of some of my favorite photos of 2023.
An early morning visit to Merritt Island delivered Roseate Spoonbills Wood Storks, Reddish Egrets, Great Herons, Osprey, Scrub-Jays and lots and lots of different ducks.
Included in this group are Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Storks, Common Yellowthroats, House Wrens and Swamp Sparrows. Also, I came across another new-to-me bird, a Swamp Wren.
I woke up fairly early and decided to head to the Orlando Wetlands. It was a cool, cloudy morning – but apparently I was in a fog. I was so disappointed in my photos I had to go back again later and try again.
It was a very refreshing 66 degrees on Saturday morning when I arrived at Orlando Wetlands, hoping the cooler weather was attracting some returning birds.
Some photos of the Roseate Spoonbills at Orlando Wetlands Park, from January to May 2023.
Back in January, the park was teaming with Roseate Spoonbills who were settling in for the winter. Now it’s May, and only a few Roseate youngsters are hanging around the park.