Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Our new Backyard...St Marks National Wildlife Refugee, Florida

Howdee all,

We left St.George yesterday and drove 2 hours east to our new backyard.
We are staying in a small County Campground in Newport, Florida just a few minutes drive to
St. Marks National Wildlife Refugee and a half hour south of Tallahassee.

The Campground is partly wooded, we have full hookups..which means, unlike the state parks, I can take longer showers and do laundry.....Yipee...i wont stink and my clothes will be clean!
We can walk to a small river to view Manatees(haven't done that yet)

If you look on the map below you can see the refugee south of us..follow Lighthouse road..rt. 59.

View Larger Map

Today we drove to the Refugee to see what it was all about. We stopped at the visitor center, where we saw great close up views of Red-Shouldered Hawks on the Balcony railing.

below ..view of Visitor Center from trail
The Refugee is very large...and spreads throughout several towns.
Today we saw just a portion...
We checked out a few of the many ponds.

We had a fun day birding...
Lots of birdies here.
Canvasbacks and Redhead ducks were some of our highlights.

check out this beautiful Redhead Duck in the video.....

Black Necked Stilt
Great Egret

look at this Pied billed Grebe ..It kept spreading its wings like below..
does anyone know why it did this? Is it trying to attract a mate?

not such a great photo..but I loved how the green on this Green winged Teal...
just glowed.

We drove Lighthouse road...
to the end.

more ponds and birdies..gulls, terns, shorebirds, ducks, snipes, soras
We are very excited ...this is a beautiful refugee and birding is great. We look forward to the next week here...and who knows...we may extend our stay another week.

Goodnight from us here at St. Marks Wildlife Refugee


  1. The Refuge looks wonderful. Have a great birding time!

  2. It looks lovely there. I especially like the green winged teal. I have never seen one of those before.

  3. It looks like a awesome birding refuge. I'm glad your still having a blast and wont stink as much as you usually do.. hee hee

  4. I would definitely stay another week. What a lovely area. So many things to see.

  5. Looks like a great place to stay for a while. Great scenery and birds. Helen

  6. A nice comfortable campground and lots of birds-what's not to like? I am looking forward to seeing more pictures.

  7. Beautiful scenes..love the video!
    Would love to sit and look at that sunset..glad you are having a great stay!

  8. So beautiful, I would enjoy camping there with so much birdlife to watch in such attractive scenery.
    We have a Pied Stilt that looks very similar to your Stilt.

  9. That teal glowed so beautifully! SO many great pics. I would love to see all those birds!

  10. Looks like an awesome place to live for a week, or two. Nice to be so close to a large refuge.
    I look forward to manatee pics.

  11. WOW! What a site! Love the photos.

    Sounds like a good place to get away from all of this snow and cold.

  12. Dear Dawn,
    This looks to be an awsome place.
    So many birds!
    I love how close you can get.
    Shore birds are fun to watch. Living right in the middle of the country means I only see ocean when I travel....
    Looks as if you have found a nice place to hike about.

  13. Looks like a really cool place Dawn. I learned from my Operation Migration podcasts that 7 whooping crane chicks were brought here from the Necedah National Wildlife refuge in the beginning of January (via ultralight flight). St. Mark's has been preparing for this for many years and there was lots of excitement at their arrival. Hope you get a chance to see them too.

  14. Would love to have a backyard with egrets in it! ;)

  15. Excellent photos. Thanks for posting them.


ok what do you really think?????