Monday, February 29, 2016

Ding Darling NWR Hosting a Rare Visitor

Tuesday February 29th

Great White Pelican seen at Ding Darling NWR on Sanibel Island

Yesterday morning the first alerts of the sighting of, perhaps a first for North American, of a female Great White Pelican at nearby Ding Darling NWR. Big crowds quickly gathered to spot this large bird as it rested on a sandbar along the Wildlife Drive in the company of American White Pelicans.

 The contrast between the two species is quite apparent. The Great White Pelican is larger, with big bulging eyes.  It is normally found in parts of southeastern Europe, Africa and Asia.

So this morning I joined the crowd and got a tremendous look at the pelican, who was nice enough to hang around. Best time of the day to try for this bird is during low tide.

Common Loon also on hand

Spotted Sandpiper


  1. A very exciting morning, Tom. Thanks for pointing out the loon to me. It was also good to see Wes Dirks after a very long while, and Janet and Aaron Kirk as well.

  2. Great photos, Tom! Nice to see you and Bob Pelkey both doing what you do best. A beautiful morning with a beautiful rarity and good company. Life is good!

    Janet and Aaron Kirk