I was blown away by my visit to Kennedy Space Centre! We were primarily on a music-driven trip to the USA but Florida had a lot to offer and the Space Centre exceeded expectations.
Whilst being driven around the Space Centre we were treated to the sight of a manatee basking in the warm brackish water. We also saw a huge Bald eagle nest in a large dead tree. These eagles pair for life and the same couple had been adding to that nest for the past 20 years. Their nests can weigh over 350kg! March-September is their breeding season.
On the basis of those sightings, we decided to visit the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is an overlay of the John F. Kennedy Space Centre and provides a buffer zone for NASA’s space program. Approximately half of the 140,000 acres consists of brackish estuaries and marshes. The remaining lands consist of coastal dunes, scrub oaks, pine forests and flatwoods, and palm and oak hammocks. This area very importantly provides a variety of habitats for over 500 wildlife species. Apparently up to 400 manatees live here! It’s also a bird watcher’s paradise.
Just as we crossed the bridge toward the Refuge we came across at least 7 manatees enjoying each others company. Beautiful animals, hard to photograph!
Unfortunately, we ran out of daylight so another adventure to add to my ‘bucket list’…
Warning for the inexperienced… Don’t drive towards Merritt Island from the Space Centre! This wildlife refuge is best accessed from Titusville. If you need an address to plug into your GPS then (Canaveral National Seashore) 212 S Washington Ave, Titusville, FL 32796 will bring you to the access point. Bring plenty of insect repellent, water, sunscreen etc!!