I just couldn’t believe the fleet sailed to King’s Landing all fat dumb & happy, right into Euron’s ambush. What was she doing with the dragons the whole time? Flying directly overhead to keep spirits up? Jon is the only other one who can ride a dragon, plus I presume he’d notice certain signs of military activity that Dany might not, so they both should have been out scouting. She knew about the scorpions from when the dragon was hit earlier, and would still have been able to see plenty while staying out of range.
My thought is that she should have occupied Dragonstone and started picking away at Cersei’s forces. The Houses that are on her side can’t have left many troops behind, fly dragons there to burn castles, crops, any industries, etc. Go make Casterly Rock look like Harrenhal. Attack wagon trains and ships bringing supplies. STEAL ships bringing supplies.
I’m a little surprised Missandei didn’t jump as a big F YOU to Cersei, instead of letting The Mountain behead her.
Except it wasn't King's Landing, it was Dragonstone, quite a ways away, and Dany had zero fear of ships - she didn't think they would improve and mount the Scorpions on ships. And yeah, she just circled low looking at the pretty ships, because reasons.
Bonus for Euron firing in volley against an aerial target, and then using them for ship-to-ship fighting. We'll leave off the ultimate Greek Fire, Wildfire, and it's absence in common warfare, especially on ships, for another time.
As to recon, well, this is an alien concept in GoT. The only times scouting parties have been used was when they showed the Night's Watch going beyond The Wall, running patrols. Even during the War of the Five Kings they didn't send scouts out to find the enemy, worrying about releasing a prisoner to send a message because he could tell the number of men they had and where they were. These are people who have the best light horse unit in the world but can't dedicate a few to keep tabs on a slow moving hoard of undead, preferring to wait around and then go into a flurry of activity when they arrive in their own due time, with most of the troops just out there freezing and waiting. Thankfully the undead had the courtesy to hold up until the defenders were ready before beginning their assault.
This is right up there with totally ignoring defense in depth, cleared zones of fire, and obstacles in Walking Dead.
They're blind spots necessary for plot points.
But it all hacks up real good, so no complaints on my end. If I can suspend disbelief for wizards, dragons, IFR capable supersonic and/or teleporting ravens, zombies, flat roofed arctic buildings, climate unique to one continent on the same latitude as another, magic steel, etc., I can just roll with the dumb actions of the normal characters.