The day continued to be near perfect. Sunshine all day, not hot, a light breeze and a few clouds now and then. Spring was in the air. We spent the afternoon with the birds of the refuge. They rested, chased away trespassers, bathed, preened, flew to and fro and always hunted. The ducks, especially, were almost in constant motion as they must gather enough energy for returning north in the coming weeks.
With the sun dropping toward the horizon, we reluctantly headed in the same direction. Stopping at the bridge connecting the refuge to the mainland, we enjoyed a Florida sunset and agreed, once again, that we are two of the most blessed individuals on the planet.
Images of our afternoon.
Watching a Reddish Egret chase a meal would make Baryshnikov blush with envy. I had to literally run along the shoreline to keep up with this racer. He would stop suddenly only to burst out running again. Finally, he stabbed the shallow water and came up with a minnow which seemed too small to even consider as a meal for this large wader. It’s gonna take a lot of those to fill up Big Red!
Lesser Scaup were plentiful in the marshes and this one found a piece of quiet beach to enjoy a nap in the Florida sun. Just as soon as the pesky paparazzi leave.
As breeding season approaches, the plumage of the Roseate Spoonbill begins to brighten. Watching these large birds sweep their namesake bill back and forth in the shallow water is fascinating! Gini spotted an enterprising female Blue-winged Teal taking advantage of some shade provided by a tall pink tree.
Blue-winged Teal were the most numerous duck species at the refuge today. This male finished bathing and preening with a wing flap showing how it got its name.
Late afternoon and the salt marsh stretches in all directions.
Strong sunlight about an hour before sunset puts a spotlight on a freshwater hammock.
This Bald Eagle takes on a golden glow from the setting sun.
A pause at the bridge to the mainland as we reflect on our very special day and sigh heavily as the sun sinks beyond the St. Johns River.
The beginning and end of our journey today were in darkness. In between, we were in the full light of Nature as she shared a small bit of beauty with us. Come visit this special place if you have an opportunity. It is worth the time.
We hope you enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit.