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Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Christmas on the coast
Took a few much needed days off and headed for the East coast of Florida, to Merritt Island and camped at Manatee Hammock Campground on the Indian River. We heard there were painted buntings at the visitors center and lots of good nature walks through some of the wet lands. Leroy and Diane Jacobsen also went, as Diane is the one who told us about the buntings. We were not disappointed let me tell you. We saw painted buntings right off. Such beautiful birds with blue, purple, red, and green feathers. Because of their colors they are being trapped and sold as cage birds so they are endangered now. In another area we got to see Florida scrub jays which also are endangered. At the Viero wet lands we walked around the ponds and saw all kinds of water fowl, ducks, coots, herons, egrets, spoonbills, ibis, grebes, mergansers, hawks and of course in any Fl. wet land, gators. The best was watching a Great Blue heron catch and eat a fish about a foot long, and also watching a gator sneaking up on a bunch of coots although the coots were keeping their eyes on that gator. Took a short kayak paddle on the Indian River from the campground and saw manatee and dolphin. Had a wonderful time seeing all the wildlife and evenings just sitting around the camp fire talking about the days fun with good friends. What a great way to spend Christmas.