In the COVID Bubble - Winter 2021 travel blog

manatee

green heron

ibis

snowy egret

green heron

great blue heron

anhinga

untitled

bird buffet

anhinga

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bird buffet


A huge swathe of the Florida coast around the NASA space installation is wild and undeveloped. Today it is designated as a national seashore and protected wildlife area, but we understand that as NASA struggled to develop rockets that would reliably leave the earth early in the space program, it was clear that homes, business and resorts should not be built anywhere near the space center for safety sake. While they were protecting the people they ended up protecting the wildlife and nature.

The first time we came to TGO we kept hearing about a one-way drive down Black Point Road near the protected seashore, and when we gave it a try we were blown away. The mind is a tricky thing and as I remember it, there were amazing groups of birds eating and playing in the water along the whole drive. We couldn't stop taking photographs. We're have gone back many times and have never duplicated that experience. This especially concerns me when we take visitors there and want them to feel as amazed as we did.

But nature is nature and Black Point is not Disney World. The birds are always around, but they don't necessarily hang out near the road. We come to spots where we remember great displays of birds and there is nothing to see but water or mud. Because different birds required different conditions, the wildlife managers manipulate the water levels between the little ponds. Wading water birds cannot wade if the water is too deep and some eat critters that also require specific plants. Most of the birds are large and easy to spot, but as with many wild places, the best way to see the animals is to watch for clusters of cars. Today an especially large gathering was around a culvert where a manatee was surfing in the water. Manatee come inland this time of year when the sea is too cold, but we have never seen one at Black Point. The water was barely deep enough to cover his scarred body; most manatees have scars from encountering boats. He appeared to be teenage size. Hope he will be able to find his way out again.

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