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My Life’s Birds: #65

January 23, 2008

JUNE 14, 1993- “Ding” Darling NWR, FL – For our last day in Florida before heading back home to the Midwest we somehow convinced the rest of family to let us have just that one more trip through the Wildlife Drive at Ding Darling. How we did it I don’t know, but it was well worth it to get an eyeful of the birds we’d be missing as we traveled home to Missouri.

There were the usual birds, the herons and egrets and shorebirds we had seen before, but one more. Dancing in the shallows was a Reddish Egret. A bird that in the years since I’ve only seen a few times, so each one is noteworthy. I’ve seen Reddish Egrets in Florida and Texas since, nearly always on salt-water, and nearly always alone and away from the other birds, for whatever reason. Not to make any assumption about the social preference of the bird, it’s just my personal observations.

And with that our vacation was over and it was time to return home. The flow of lifers would slow, but I still had many local regulars to add to my growing list and several places to explore that would become regular birding locales in southwest Missouri. Florida birds are fun, but it’s the picking of oddities out of the regulars that make a birder. My journey was far from over.

photo from wikipedia


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