We returned home late on Friday from an 8-day road trip down to Florida to see the Space Shuttle Atlantis lift off for the ISS. The launch was scheduled for Monday, November 16th and, unlike last time we tried to view a launch, there were no delays and the Shuttle took off right on time.
Of course we couldn’t pass up the chance to do a bit of birding along the way. While staying on the Space Coast we visited Viera Wetlands twice and spent a day at Merritt Island NWR (which remained closed during our last Florida visit, when the Shuttle was delayed, and delayed, and delayed…). We took our time driving home and stopped at Great Swamp Sanctuary in South Carolina and even drove through Great Smoky Mountains NP.
To start off what will probably be a handful of blog entries about our trip, here’s my Bird Photography Weekly submission for this week. American Coots summer up here in Illinois, but we rarely get to see them up close. At Viera, they were tooling around in large rafts all over.
nom nom nom