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My Life’s Birds: #62-64

January 16, 2008

JUNE 12, 1993- “Ding” Darling NWR, FL – The wildlife drive at Ding is a popular spot, allowing folks to view some of the best wildlife Florida has to offer from the comfort of their cars. So it was fun to be able to show the rest of the family the great birds without having to force them on what they would certainly see as a death march through the heat and bugs.

It was mostly wading birds we’d seen before, but unfortunately we couldn’t refind the Spoonbills from the previous day. We manged a couple new ones however. As I was a young inexperienced birder I didn’t feel up to some of the tougher shorebirds. I was able to pick out the many Black-necked Stilts in the marshes though, and a Willet, once flushed and showing the diagnostic wing pattern, is an easy enough bird even for someone with only a few months experience.

It was our last morning for now on Sannibel, we were going to head down to Naples to visit my uncle who had a house there. It was a typical Florida golf course development but that didn’t stop us from getting out and looking for anything new. A walk around the neighborhood was well worthwhile. In one of the less developed areas we even heard Chuck-will’s-widows calling, a bird I still don’t have on my life list even though I’ve heard them on several occasions. I won’t count a bird I’ve only heard on my life list, though they’re eligible for any other kind of list I have. Chucks will just have to stay off until I run into one. One bird we heard and saw was a Great Horned Owl, silhouetted in a large pine tree. So there are new birds everywhere.

photos from wikipedia

One Comment
  1. LynnErla permalink
    January 18, 2008 7:02 pm

    I enjoy your blog… and this comment on FL birding gives me an opportunity to chime in. I visited my beloved parents over the holidays. They reside near Daytona Beach, FL. While walking on the beach, I was rewarded with a close encounter with a 2nd-winter Glaucous Gull! The large, tame, all-white bird was standing with a dozen ring-bills and others. This was a “life bird” for me, and a rare one for FL… luckily, I took careful notes of the birds field marks. It was as large as a black-back, but all white, with off-pink legs, pinkish bill (black tip), black eye, and very faint honey-colored streaks on the nape. Only five feet away from me on the beach! So you never know when that rare bird will show up….

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