Welcome to my photo journal.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lover's Key State Park

Two Oyster Catchers we were lucky to see on one of our visits.
 Lover's Key is one of our favorite low tide places to visit for gathering shells and looking at the live sea animals digging in to wait for the tide to come in.
We haven't visited Lover's Key in a few weeks, we've been focusing on birds and the Key doesn't have as many as Bunche Beach.
 This is a Fighting Conch working it's way back to the water but has run into a road block.
 This is just one of a few sea anemones I found on the beach, if you touch it it will squirt back at you.
 A track of a Sea Star.
 Old trees on the beach.
A crab, I haven't learned my crabs yet.

 A couple of Olives digging into the sand to wait for the tide to come in.
There are several osprey nests in the old trees that line the beach.
I think it's time to go back and see how the Ospreys are doing,
They are probably sitting on their eggs which they do for around 48 days.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge

Ding Darling is a favorite destination for tourists and birders, it is located on Sanibel Island.
J.N. Darling was a editorial cartoonist for the Des Moines Registor and his cartoons were syndicated  to major newspapers.  He was so interested in conservation of wildlife he started the Duck Stamp program.

 Friday we joined Don and Lillian Stokes on their fundraising  tour of the refuge.  
The refuge is normally closed on Fridays to allow the volunteers to do some clean up and staff to do some research and testing of the waters.
 Reddish Egret starting to get it's breeding plumage.
 Fiddler crabs.
 There are three major ponds to view wildlife and the best time to visit is low tide when you will find the birds resting and feeding on the sandbars. There are volunteers stationed along the road to help with questions and sometimes they had a spotting scope to help you spot and identify the birds.
 But the birds also like to roost in the trees as these egrets are doing and as you drive along look in the open areas for night herons and anhingas and if lucky an alligator.

 American pelicans are numerous here.

 The refuge also has Bailey's track another spot to visit on Sanibel Island, it is not as well visited as the main refuge as you have to walk it.  Here we found the Clapper Rails and Sora and several alliagators.
 This is a Mangrove crab a tiny crab hard to spot and there is usually a volunteer to help you spot them.
This looks like it could be a relative of the poinsettia plant, I haven't discovered it's name yet.
We have visited the refuge several times and each time we find something new.