This morning around 8 a.m. we drove the one-way road through J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge here on Sanibel Island, where we are staying for a few days.
We saw this Yellow-crowned Night Heron in mangroves near a short boardwalk.
Look at that red eye.
It was overcast and the light wasn’t great, especially looking up, but heck! here’s a Red-bellied Woodpecker anyway.
Lots of nonchalant rabbits, munching here and there.
Dogs are allowed in the refuge, in cars or on leashes, so we brought ours. He’s cool with birds but the rabbits were torture.
Spotted Sandpiper, my second I’ve ever IDed. The first was two days ago.
John spotted it from pretty far off.
A flock of Roseate Spoonbills and one cormorant looked like they were just waking up.
The refuge is home for over 245 species of birds, according the the Ding Darling website. The Roseate Spoonbills are one of the Big 5 that attract birders to the refuge. We saw some birders with scopes set up, watching this flock.
One by one, some of the spoonbills took off and flew away. We were watching them from the observation tower.
Bird coming towards us over the water.
Green Heron perched just below the tower. You can really see some green in this one.
Another colored heron, the Little Blue, was waiting just at the bottom of the tower.
There is something a tiny bit comical about this bird. It seems poised between different feelings, stuck in indecision.
A decent look at the spoonbill’s bill.
On the side of the road in the mangroves, a Snowy Egret was standing on one leg as birds are sometimes wont to do. Love the bright yellow feet.
Not many cars on a July morning. That one ahead was driving slowly past a white bird.
It was a Great Egret stalking along in the grass.
When the car drove on, it walked towards us.
The egret was keeping an eye out for lizards and other delicacies.
Birds were my tasty breakfast delicacies! Figuratively, of course.