“Ding” Darling NWR

Thought I’d return to our recent trip to Florida and share some additional images from “Ding” Darling NWR on Sanibel Island in southwest part of the state.

As mentioned in previous posts we were camping at Koreshan State Historic Site which acted as our base camp for area adventures on foot or by canoe. For our trip to “Ding” Darling we were very fortunate to be able to hook up with some friends who were in the Cape Coral area at the time of our visit. They made the brave decision a few years ago to go live on a boat full time so it’s always fun to catch up on news and hear what they’ve been up to.

The day consisted of a very slow drive through the NWR followed up by a paddle to explore the Mangroves.

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“Ding” Darling, my wife in the center with our sailing friends.

The Reddish Egret was one of the first birds to draw our attention:

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Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret seeming to run in pursuit of food

Reddish Egret, running in pursuit of food?

We saw one Wood Stork:

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Wood Stork

Although there are common we never get tired of looking at Ibis.

Juvenile Ibis in tree 020614 Ding Darling paddle cp1

Immature White Ibis, Donna

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White Ibis

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White Ibis, study 2

Spoonbills weren’t real common the day we were there:

Spoonbill

Spoonbill, Donna

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Spoonbill, study 2

Snowy Egrets are one of our favorite birds, note the color of their feet:

Snowy Egret on branch 020614 Ding Darling cp1

Snowy Egret, Donna

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Snowy Egret, Great Egret size comparison

White pelicans grouped on a sandbar:

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Photographing the Pelicans

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Pelicans

Beautiful in flight!

Beautiful in flight!

Shorebirds were common:

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Dunlins

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Dunlins feeding

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Willets In flight

Yellow-crown Night Herons were fairly common:

Yellow-crowned Night Heron 020614 Ding Darling paddle cp1

Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Donna

Various types of crabs were seen:

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Mangrove Crabs were everywhere in the Mangroves

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Fiddler Crab

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Blue Crab

We saw one turtle:

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Ornate Diamond-Back Terrapin

Even fish and other aquatic life:

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Sheepshead

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Starfish in shallow water

Brown Anoles were everywhere!

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Brown Anole, Cute but highly invasive.In its introduced range, it reaches exceptionally high population densities, is capable of expanding its range very quickly, and both outcompetes and consumes many species of native lizards. The brown anole was introduced into the United States in the early 1970s (Wikipedia)

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