Saturday, January 24, 2015

Birding, Beaching & Shelling on Sanibel Island

Had a credit I had to use or lose on JetBlue by the end of January, so the spouse and I decided to take a quick mid-winter, mid-week break on Sanibel Island, one of my favorite places.*

For those of you unfamiliar with Sanibel Island, it is in Southwest Florida (near Ft. Myers, just north of Naples), and is renowned for its shelling, birding, miles of beach, and fabulous sunrises and sunsets.

Here are some of my favorite photos (and memories) from our recent Sanibel jaunt, taken with my little Canon PowerShot S90 or my Nexus 5 smart phone ('cause the spouse convinced me I didn't need to bring my Nikon -- ahem).

First up, the prettiest sunrise that you ever did see.

Next, shells. The reason I go to Sanibel Island. Though the shelling was not particularly good this visit, despite there being a new moon. Still, I managed to find a dozen or so nice ones. (The colors are much deeper and brighter when the shells are wet. But I was in a hurry and didn't have time to spritz them for their close-up.)

I had much better results with birding, though.

First up, check out this lovely snowy egret, wading into the water, on the beach in front of the Island Inn, where we stayed this visit.

Next, a visit to the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, an amazing place, yielded several photos of roseate spoonbills. I even managed to convince one roseate spoonbill to come up very close to the viewing platform, so I could snap this photo of it. (I am the roseate spoonbill whisperer.)

We also spotted flocks of white pelicans and storks and this little night heron there. (Look, he's smiling!)

Back on the beach, we watched this seagull land this silvery, catfish-looking fish and then wrestle with it, which was pretty amazing. (I will spare you the gory photos.)

And there were terns everywhere. I particularly love this photo where the tern second from the right is chewing out the tern next to her. (I really should have taken a video. It was hysterical. Talk about hen-pecked!)

I also managed to catch an ibis in flight. (Look to the left of the photo.) So beautiful.

Sunsets are a big deal on Sanibel, with people lining the beach, or relaxing in beach chairs (like these plastic Adirondack chairs), to view it (often with a glass, or bottle, of wine).

I think this photo captures the mood.

Speaking of the sunsets, I took dozens of photos of the two sunsets we saw, but I particularly like this one, where you can see brown pelicans fishing near the horizon.

Until next time...

*Luckily (?), we made it  back to Connecticut just before Mother Nature decided to dump six (or was it seven?) inches of snow on us last night.Woohoo! (I miss you, 75-degree weather and beautiful, warm sandy beach!)

1 comment:

AlyssaGoodman said...

Awesome photos Jennifer-I am truly jealous! Glad you enjoyed. A.