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Updated: 03/01/2018 08:30:01AM

Birding along Florida’s East Coast, part one

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By Abbie Banks

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A happy group of nine Venice Area Birding Association members were ready with their binoculars and cameras and ready for three days of birding, friends, food and fun as we gathered for our “Merritt Island and more” trip on Valentine’s Day. Off we went into the misty fog for our East Coast adventure. We arrived for lunch right near Christmas, Fla. We celebrated Valentine’s with lunch at Papa Gio’s and then off we went to one of my favorite places: Orlando Wetlands Park.

I have to thank my old friend, Cheri Pierce, for introducing me to this wonderful place over 20 years ago. I remember the day well. It was quite cold, and somehow Cheri and I ended up in the middle of a large flock of squabbling, screeching black vultures. Orlando Wetlands Park is a magnificent site. Besides being beautiful, it also represents the first large-scale manmade wetlands designed to treat reclaimed water. It is also designed to support wildlife, which it does in a grand manner.

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