This year's vacation highlights include viewing five new birds to add to my life list. A few that I listed were two Northern Harriers, a Limpkin, and thanks to my very observant, handsome husband, a Northern Gannet. While at Celery Fields, we were treated to observe a pond filled to the brim with hundreds of various herons, egrets, ibises and Wood Storks plucking fish continually from the shallows. Bruce and I stood, mouths agape while the birds casually waded in the dark water. A Bald Eagle, two Ospreys and five White Pelicans soared effortlessly aloft. I was giddy with delight when we took in the beauty of at least forty Roseate Spoonbills seen across the lake from the bird walk at Myakka River State Park. We also enjoyed watching several furtive American Alligators and mud wallowing Wild Hogs. One of our favorite experiences was coming across three feeding Manta Ray pups gliding swiftly back and forth, mouths agape, wings rippling at the surface and only inches from our toes. These seemingly carefree, acrobatic rays were seen while taking a leisurely stroll on the beach. We even saw one of the pups break the surface and soar through the air!
Back to the birds! This post features several lovely birds seen while vacationing in Florida.
A magnificent Osprey looks out over Sarasota Bay
Pretty in pink ~ A young Roseate Spoonbill sweeps it bill back and forth through the water searching for prey
Northern Mockingbirds are quite a common sight
A lone Short-billed Dowitcher soaks in the late afternoon sun
A sun-kissed Black-bellied Plover escapes the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico
Foraging for food in the shallow waters of Sarasota Bay ~ Snowy Egret
In search of sustenance, a Wood Stork wades amid water hyacinth
A lovely Tricolored Heron blends in well at Celery Fields
A handsome Sandhill Crane pair seen at Myakka River State Park
One of at least twenty stunning Little Blue Herons observed at Celery Fields
A striking Yellow-crowned Night Heron spends the morning fishing in cool bay waters
An elegant Great Blue Heron plucks a fish out of the water
A tiny Sanderling chases the ebbing waves in search of mollusks, sand crabs and other crustaceans
Posted by Julie A. Gidwitz