On first appearance, it may not seem that there is much to see at the 140-acre Helen and Alan Cruickshank Sanctuary in Rockledge, but looks can be deceiving. A short walk along the sandy trail which winds its way through the pine flatwoods habitat yielded my target bird within the first five minutes. I was here to see the precocious Florida scrub-jay which hang out in the area, and for this alone, the site is well worth the visit.
I have seen photos on the internet where the scrub-jays here land on people’s heads. Although I did not have that experience, the local inhabitants were not shy about showing themselves to my camera. On today’s visit, a couple of mockingbirds were singing the praises of their territory. What appeared to cat birds flitted in the undergrowth. The site is also good for soaring raptors and the scat along the trail indicated bobcats frequented the area as well.
If it's Florida scrub-jay you seek see this would be a prime location. While in the area be sure to stop by the Viera Wetlands a short distance to the west.
The Cruickshank Sanctuary is open from sunrise to sunset seven days a week. There is limited parking and no facilities. Bring water.
The park is located at 360 Barnes Blvd Rockledge, FL 32955 a half mile or so east of US Hwy 1.