Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Thursday January 29th

Visited the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island this morning to look for the White-crowned Pigeon and Eastern Screech Owl, as well as to test out my replacement camera. My old camera was damaged after falling into the water at Six-mile Cypress Slough a couple of weeks ago.  Canon replaced it with a refurbished camera at no cost to me,
Eastern Screech-Owl

Arrived at a low tide and hundreds of wading birds were present, including mostly Great Egrets, White Ibis and Roseate Spoonbills, but very few shorebirds. The shorebirds seen were mostly Willets, with a few Spotted Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plover and Black-bellied Plovers.

Spotted Sandpiper

Ring-billed Gull

Black-bellied Plover

Reddish Egret

American White Pelicans

A Wood Stork
On the trail close to the Wildlife Drive entrance was found the Eastern Screen-Owl, along with several Blue-winged Teal, a couple of Green-winged Teal and several Black-crowned Night-herons.

At the Shell Mound Trail I was able to find the White-crowned Pigeon, but only because of the help of a gentleman who was already on the bird. Getting a descent  photo was difficult as the bird was staying some what buried in the foliage.
White crowned Pigeon

After leaving the refuge I visited nearby Blind Pass were several Northern Gannets were seen and as I was heading home, a stop along the Sanibel Causeway Park I was able to add a Common Loon and a Black Scoter.  It was a good morning.

The fruit of the Gumbo Limbo Tree, which is one of the food sources for the pigeon

The Snowberry is currently the favored food for the pigeon.

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