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vagabonds3 "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness." Mark Twain

The Same Old Song

USA | Sunday, 6 January 2019 | Views [70]

Roseate Spoonbill, Ding Darling NWS

Roseate Spoonbill, Ding Darling NWS

EXCEPT TO THOSE WHO ARE WORKING WITHOUT PAY, the government shutdown is hardly noticeable here in Fort Myers.  It’s not like much work has been getting done recently anyway.  The Ding Darling National Wildlife Reserve on Sanibel Island, a haven for birders, is operating as usual and I suspect the birds would come even if the reserve were closed.  It’s our favorite, but just one of several birding hotspots we’ve been visiting.

nn

    Green heron, Six Mile Cypress Slough

Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area is home to the endangered Red-Cocaded Woodpecker.  It would be one of our favorites if it weren’t for the gun range.  Florida is one place where anyone over 18 can have a gun in his car without a license.  Florida law also allows — nay, encourages? — homeowners to “stand their ground” and shoot to defend their property.  And all these gun owners need a place to practice, right?  Unfortunately for the birds — and birders — Babcock-Webb has a very active shooting range.

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      Aptly named Reddish Egret

The beaches like Bunche Preserve around Fort Myers are popular with families and birds.  We keep returning to see lines of black scoters, large sea-ducks that frequent the Gulf Coast.  So far we’ve seen only common loons along with all the expected heron/egret species.  But hope springs eternal.

nn

          Sandhill Cranes, life-long mates

Harnes Marsh is another interesting area for birding and a great place for a long walk.  It is a haven for black vultures and we have seen several gray-headed swamp hens, a foreign invader that has become a naturalized citizen.  It’s also a great place to get up close to sandhill cranes, devoted birds who mate for life.

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  Six-Mile Cypress Slough                     Great Egret

Our newest discovery is Six Mile Cypress Slough Park, a miniature version of the Corkscrew Audubon Sanctuary.  The mile-and-a-half boardwalk circles several ponds with all manner of egrets and herons.  And gators, too.

 

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John and Connie, Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

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