A new bird and some old ones

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I finally made it down to Fort Desoto to see the smooth billed ani. This counts as a new bird for me.  I had seen the grooved billed ani at Boyd Hill Park back in 2011.  The smooth billed had spent a while at the park during the holidays but I wasn’t able to get down there until January. He wasn’t too hard to find. Just look for the group of people staring at it.

Above is the groove bill ani. They look exactly the same except for the bill.

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This was only the 2nd time I had seen a lark sparrow. One was hanging out near the same spot as the ani. This one spent the morning feeding on the ground.

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A kestrel high up in a tree.

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This snowy egret has a shrimp. He was fishing along the shoreline next to the pier.

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The pelican clan hanging out on the jetty.

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Some small things on the beach. A mangrove taking root and a small fiddler crab.

Fort Desoto in mid-January.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

My first trip to Ding Darling.

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A cormorant and a green heron along the water.

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A juvenile night heron filling up on fiddler crabs.

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The fiddler crabs were out by the thousands since it was a low tide.

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Pretty purple.

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Mangroves at low tide. You can really see the oysters that have built up on the roots.

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The water from the observation deck.

For years I have heard that Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge was the place to go to see birds. Half of Sanibel Island, just south of Fort Myers, is the refuge. It is on the east side of the island and runs along the water. There are lagoons and inlets all along the trail. It’s a paved driving trail over 4 miles long. We must have been there during the off season because we saw very few birds there. The winter snow birds hadn’t arrived yet, it was too early for fall migration and the summer birds had disappeared. It was still a beautiful place to visit.  I walked most of the trail and Brett would drive ahead and then wait for me to catch up. It was too perfect outside to be in the car. I need to get back there in the winter.

Saturday morning at Fort Desoto.

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This black bellied plover was washing his face.

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Is this a Cooper’s hawk or a northern harrier?  It was flying across the north beach.

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White pelicans all in a row.

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Stumpy getting a snack.

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The osprey was not going to share his meal.

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The osprey nest at the fishing pier. I guess that trash makes a nice cushion.

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Low tide at North beach.

A few shots from a recent morning walk at Fort Desoto.

SkyWatch Friday

Growing in the backyard

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This is my view looking out the kitchen window. Our neighbor’s plant has gotten so big it is over the fence.

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Plant in the yard.

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Poinsettia in hanging baskets.

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These do stay red through the spring.

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Around our fence.

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These are pretty in the fall.

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Reflection of our neighbor’s boat. Taken from our dock and cropped up. The neighborhood osprey sleeps on top of this mast.

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Down at the end of our channel. A Santa in someone’s backyard. I take a left in front of the Santa to get out to the bay.

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Mangroves growing in our corner.

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I threw last year’s poinsettia in the corner by the shed and it came back this year.

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Hibiscus through our fence.

Shine the Divine