All I can say about Viera Wetlands is ……WoW!! What a great water reclamation project. We headed south on I-95 from Titusville to Wickham Rd in Melbourne, FL around 7:30 am this morning and were on site shortly after 8 am. Viera Wetlands is a series of ponds at the extreme west end of Wickham Rd. There are dykes around all the ponds and it is easy to drive around all the ponds using the dirt roads. This place was absolutely teeming with water fowl. We saw ospreys, bald eagles, ibis, great blue heron, limpkin, cormorant, anhinga, moorhen, egret, alligators, and more! It was an awesome day.
We found the late morning light was really strong over most of the ponds. There was an osprey sitting in a dead tree who was eyeing up some fish in a corner of one of the ponds but it was almost impossible to get a good angle on the osprey for a photo because of the position of the morning sun. I would have loved to get a shot of the osprey diving into the water after a fish. I had to over expose by over 2 + f/stops in order to get enough detail in the osprey as it sat in the tree. Meanwhile, we were fortune enough to also see a bald eagle flying around the ponds before we headed off to Starbucks for a coffee and snack around lunch time.
The light around mid day was really harsh, so after Starbucks we headed off to Ron Jon’s Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach so Chris could look for a few things. The drive along the coastal highway was awesome. Chris popped into Ron Jon’s while Teddy and I found a place to park across the street. We were on our way back to Viera Wetlands by 2:30 pm and had time to also check out the Click Ponds next to Viera Wetlands. A local photographer we met this morning told us they are draining one of the two click ponds so quite a few waders are feeding in the pond with the lower water level. Unfortunately, we struck out at the click ponds but our late afternoon session at Viera Wetlands was simply stellar. I managed to photograph a bald eagle in flight with a fish in it’s talons and also got an osprey in flight as well. I took over 500 shots today and have my work cut out for me as I pick and choose my keepers. Here are a couple of early favorites from today.
We are taking tomorrow off from birding so we can enjoy a little down time at The Great Outdoors. This place has so much to offer and we haven’t much time to check out everything. I’ll post more photos in the coming days.