Florida, USA

16th December 2011 - 4th January 2012

Sanibel Island

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)

Although I got numerous good photos there, Sanibel Island was a bit of a disappointment.  'Ding Darling' Wildlife Management Area was more or less a complete waste of time which, when you consider that it used to be rated as one of the premiere places for bird photography in the whole United States, is pretty poor. On both of the days I visited, birds there were few and far between and those that were present were mostly either too far away or the sun was at the wrong angle to get good photographs.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)

Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

I had far more success on the day I rented a kayak and went paddling in Tarpon Bay and along the canoe trail in the reserve. 

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

In the bay, there are several small islands that the birds use for roosting and both species of Pelican were present.

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)

At low tide, several mud banks in the bay are exposed and these were occupied by a few small flocks of Killdeer and other shorebirds.

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)

Elsewhere on the island, the Lighthouse fishing pier was the most reliable for finding birds.  Egrets, Pelicans and gulls all hang around there waiting on the fishermen to catch something.

juvenile Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)

Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)

The fishing pier was also a good spot for photographing the Magnificent Frigatebirds that were gracefully soaring offshore.

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens)

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens)

Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)

The picnic tables on the causeway islands were frequented by Boat-tailed Grackles hoping to scrounge any leftovers or dropped morsels.

Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)

Palm Warbler (Dendroica palmarus)

Everglades National Park: Royal Palms Back to map Bunche Beach