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Coots In Blue And Green
Photo By Toby Gant

  • Title: Coots In Blue And Green
  • State/Province/Region: Florida
  • Country: United States
  • Nearest Area: Merritt Island
  • Nearest Town: Titusville, FL
  • Brief Directions: From Interstate 95, take Exit 220 to Titusville, FL. It’s the State Road 406 exit. Drive east on SR406, also known as Garden Street. Continue east on Garden Street for 4 miles and travel over the Max Brewer Causeway Bridge. The Refuge begins at the east side of the causeway. To reach the Black Point Wildlife Drive, continue 4 miles past the Refuge entrance (turn to your left at the fork in the road) and the Wildlife Drive will be on your left after you cross the railroad tracks. It is clearly marked with a sign on the right hand side of the road.
  • Notes: Bring a long telephoto lens, a Puffin Pad, and plenty of insect repellent. Make certain to carry $5 in cash to cover your daily entry. Annual passes are also available.
  • GPS Longitude: 80
  • GPS Latitude: 28
  • Best Season: Spring
  • Description: Black Point Wildlife Drive on Merritt Island is a 7 mile drive through marsh impoundments and pine flats. I have been to the drive several times now through all seasons and it has never disappointed me. If you arrive early you can capture classic Florida landscapes. There is always wildlife to be found. I’ve found there are more birds in the springtime than any other single time of year. However, I’ve been able to observe birds at all times of the year. You will of course want to get out of the car and shoot from a tripod to capture landscape images. But, you will want to stay inside your vehicle if you are after wildlife shots. The Puffin Pad or some sort of bean bag is a must for shooting from inside your vehicle. The wildlife is comfortable with vehicles. If you step out they will simply fade away to the far reaches of the park. Insect repellent is a must when you visit. In the cooler months you should be fine. In the warm months do not attempt without some sort of protection. I have personally observed ducks, coots, herons, egrets, ibis, spoonbills, ospreys, bald eagles, American alligators, bobcats, nighthawks and rattlesnakes. If you are not finding wildlife at every turn then you are simply moving too fast. Take the trail at a slow pace and you will see wildlife everywhere. This truly is a great place for any photographer, bird watcher or anyone who enjoys nature.
  • Gear: DSLR, tripod, Puffin Pad, and insect repellent.
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