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Birding at Ding Darling

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The fabulous Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on beautiful Sanibel Island, Florida, is today’s topic. Among the many stunningly beautiful birds I saw on Wednesday, June 29, 2013, were White Pelicans; Brown Pelicans; American White Ibises; Great Egrets,; Reddish Egrets; Tri-color Herons; Little Blue Herons, Pied-billed Grebes, Cormorants, several types of Sea Gulls; Osprey; and the most beautifully pink Roseate Spoonbills!

An enormous feeding frenzy happened during the change of tides outward to sea from the lagoon and Mangrove marshes.  The exposed sandbars and channel bottoms offered tasty shrimp and other aquatic delights for the hungry throng of birds!  It was a cloudy and windy morning when I took these pictures at about 8:00.

I highly recommend that you visit this spectacular protected wildlife-rich place.  There are easy, level hiking trails, and a four mile car drive through the heart of the refuge.  I recommend both.  There are several observation towers and plenty to see.  There is a modest charge for hiking and for you to drive your own car and tour through the refuge (We used our National Parks pass).   Check ahead with the refuge for open hours and more information.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

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Comments on: "Birding at Ding Darling" (6)

  1. Believe it or not, I stayed at Captiva Island a few years back but didn’t find time to get to Ding Darling! (At the time I was going through a bad time with the mozzies and couldn’t face another session of the little blighters!

    • Hi Stephen, Captiva is a magical place. We did not stay there but did take a quick drive through (small island). Yes, I was happy that because it was cold (I also had bug spray on just in case), I did not have bug problems. Ding Darling has expanded its programs and has a newer visitor center in past 25 years. My last visit had been way back in 1988 so this week I had noticed many changes there. Have a great weekend and thanks for your nice comment!

  2. the tri-color is SO gorgeous! you just can’t go wrong with a name like ‘ding darling’. 🙂

    • Hi Theresa, There were a lot of Tri-colors there when I visited. It surprised me in that I saw many more Tri’s than other kinds of herons. Have a great weekend!

  3. I have been to Ding Darling last year and love it! Wonderful birds and photos. The Roseate Spoonbills are my favorite. Have a happy weekend!

    • Hi Eileen, Your nice post was my inspiration for this quick trip. Some of the birds were a long way off from where we were viewing and some were quite close. Many herons were close to the trails. I also saw a pair of Green Teal Ducks but I did not have the camera with me that first afternoon when I spotted those ducks. I will be posting more of the 500 pictures I took in coming days (no, not all of ’em! Ha!). Have a pleasant weekend and thanks for your nice comments and that inspiration!

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