Viera Wetlands/Moccasin Island, Part II: Moo for Meadowlarks!

The Moccasin Island Tract is part of the River Lakes Conservation Area and is adjacent to the Viera Wetlands. Where the Viera Wetlands are, well WET, the Tract is an upland area. In fact, much of the land around the Tract is a cattle ranch.

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Cows ahead

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Florida looking very Western (except for the palms). Click to enlarge

Of course, Stitch was with us.

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Cedric took this photograph of me on a concrete bridge just near the entrance to the path we took into the Tract. Based on the trail map, there are quite a few miles of trails, but we stuck to one straight road and hiked in about a mile or so.

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Look at me! Binocs AND camera! Starting to look profesh!

We came here to have a look at cows (and birds). We must have been on the right track.

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Hey, man. Look at that hay.

The most obvious indication of any birds in the area was the beautiful flute-like song of the Eastern Meadowlark. In fact, this seemed to be THE bird of the day here. Every few fence posts and there was a meadowlark, singing away.

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One of the many Eastern Meadowlarks that stake out the Tract

There wasn’t much else obvious in the way of birds, but with some careful listening, I caught a glimpse of some Red-bellied Woodpeckers and at least one Northern Mockingbird. As we walked up to a bit of remnant water off the side of the trail, we saw these two cute baby alligators!

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Little Monsters

Cedric wondered aloud if Momma Gator was around, but these seemed a bit big to have Momma still watching them, but we scanned around just in case. Here’s a closer look at one of them.

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What a beauty!

I had expected to see some caracaras over the upland areas, and I did see one. It must have been from the same camera-dodging clan as the ones in the Wetlands, so I didn’t manage to catch a photo of it. As I said, this is ranch land, and there were cows!

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Cows of a feather flock together?

The cows were very interested in what we were doing, but kept their distance.

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Curious Cows

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Far away.

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You lose something over here, Hondo?

The sky was gorgeous, and we had a tremendous time of it, but we had to head on out.

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Big Sky Country, Florida style.

Thanks for the fabulous time, Cedric.

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