I was back to work today after a few days off, and I could not have picked a better three days not to fish. We had record low temperatures over that stretch so the water was the last place I wanted to be. As a matter of fact, the Indian River water temperature this morning was 54 degrees and in case you don't know that is cold for south Florida. However, I could not stay indoors so I decided to visit some of the local state parks and wildlife management areas that we have here in Martin County. As many of you know I am completely eaten up by photography and I really want to be good at it, so I went out to practice. Birds are very difficult to photograph so don't expect award winning photos from me, but I can hopefully inspire you enough to get out and enjoy your local state parks.
I live in a neighborhood called Rocky Point, just outside of Port Salerno, and there is a state park literally across the street from my neighborhood and believe it or not I had never visited it? The name of the park is Seabranch State Park and it is located on the corner of Dixie Hwy. and Cove Rd., if you live in this area and you want a very cool place to hike or take photos or both, this place is worth the visit. Now, I did not see tons of birds but I did manage to see a red shouldered hawk, an eagle, some scrub jays, and some woodpeckers. Either way it was a very enjoyable day hiking through the woods with nobody else around.
The other place I visited was a wildlife management area called Allapattah Flats, it is located in Palm City west of I-95 on highway 714. This place was full of birds, really to many to name and again I had never visited it before. This is a newer management area that is now open to the public with many entrances that you can use to access it. I managed some pretty cool shots of black bellied whistling ducks, a black neck stilt, and a crested caracara. I guess the point is, we should all get out and use this land because it will make you realize how much we are destroying natural habitat for wild birds and animals. I think it is great that the state is preserving this land and I hope that the future brings more projects like Allapattah Flats. I am sure there are areas like these right near your home that you drive by everyday. Find out and get out and enjoy them, it really is just as enjoyable as a day on the water. As for photography I would recommend using a minimum of a 400mm lens and a mono pod helps also dress properly, if you wear a bright red jacket you may not be able to get very close to the wildlife. That is a poke at my good friend Bob that went with me to Allapattah. I hope you enjoy the pictures and I will hopefully improve the more I do this. You can bet I will be back to these spots along with some new ones so stay tuned.
Bob and his camouflaged jacket!