Archive for Birds
We found WHELKS, BABYS EARS, WORMIES, CONCHS and lots of SEA URCHINS on our iLoveShelling cruise to Cayo Costa … but Jeff (from VA) got a head start of everybody else. He started shelling on the low tide mud flat beside the dock at Mccarthy’s Marina before our Captiva Cruises boat even left for the island! He spotted something on the bar then came up with 2 LIGHTNING WHELKS and a PEAR WHELK. Love it!
We arrived on Cayo costa to grey, overcast skies…
But the sun started peaking out just in time to shine on the shells. Amy from Kansas City quickly found 2 SUNRAY VENUS clams with both sides still attached. It was a SUNRAY VENUS kinda day!
Trish and Bill (FL) were having the same luck with FIGHTING CONCHS on the bayside where the boat anchored.
As I walked around to the Gulf side of the island, I saw Elizabeth and her Gramma Linda (Nebraska) working the high tide wrack line where all of the miniatures were hiding.
Elizabeth said she saw a BUBBLE SHELL so then started to focus on finding a WENTLETRAP. Yes! She found one along with a whole host of other sweet minis like this FALSE ANGEL WING, teeny tiny juvie CHESTNUT TURBAN, CERITHS, WHELKS, CONCHS and even tiny dried SEA URCHINS.
Sarah from Fort Lauderdale found a few nice chunks of COQUINA LIMESTONE to use as display for the different shells she found on her trip.
Sasha and Brooks (IL) found a few treasures to fill their shell bucket but I was thrilled for Sasha that she found a beautiful FLORIDA CONE.
I was tickled to see Becky and Wade on the cruise! They are amazing shellers who love everything about the beach and end up sharing most of their shells since they have so many. They are always a delight.
They couldn’t resist keeping the gorgeous double SUNRAY VENUSES. I don’t blame them… look at those colors!
There were some very cool WORM SHELLS that Ellen and Chad (Ohio) found but they found SUNRAY VENUSES as well and the one Ellen is holding up has an incredible color pattern- the color was as magenta as her jacket!
Jeff and Lisa found even more treasures to add to Jeff’s finds at the marina dock and they were also happy to receive $25 gift certificates from Sealife By Congress.
Yes, once again everybody on the iLoveShelling cruise received a $25 gift certificate to trade for a sterling silver charm or to use for anything else in their store. Thank you Sealife By Congress!
It was really fun to see Candace and Ken (MO) again (Candace helped me solve the Texas Longhorn mystery!) in her cutie tee shirt and she had strung a SUNRAY VENUS on a necklace with a silver charm similar to my DOSINIA necklace. Warm and fuzzies, I tell ya.
But hold on, we didn’t just find shells… Sisters Cissy (Asheville, NC), Debbie (Chapel Hill, NC) and Karen (Charleston, SC) had great luck finding shells (the top photo with the BABYS EARS) but they also saw an injured bird that needed rescuing. Carolina Sisters to the rescue!
They hurried back to the boat to tell Captain Skip who grabbed a towel then hurried to the beach to find it. He found a SANDWICH TERN unable to fly because of an injured wing so he gently gathered the bird in the towel to keep her secure then headed back to the boat to call CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation Of Wildlife).
As soon as we got back to the dock, CROW volunteers Jaclyn and Ryan were waiting with a carrier to get Miss SANDWICH TERN safely to the clinic for medical help and treated ASAP. I called today to see how she was – she’s gaining weight and healing her wing but she still needs a few more days to recover. Get well quickly, Miss BLT! heehee
Here are the awesome rescuers…
See? Shelling is ALWAYS an adventure. You should join us on one of these exshellent shelling trips with so many other fabshellous shellers. I just announced new dates through May 2015… CLICK HERE for the new dates and more info…
Like many other shellers, my first memories of shelling were being mesmerized with the colors of COQUINAS. “Butterfly” shells. I can get lost for hours in a small stretch of beach sorting through pink, yellow, red, orange, purple and striped COQUINAS. This is exactly what happened last night at Sanibel’s Gulfside City Park. Something happens to the rest of the world. I’m not sure where it goes but it disappears when I see these little beauties as I wonder how each one can look like they’ve been hand painted by thousands of different artists.
The only thing that can snap me out of my world of seashell wonder is another extraordinary event… like an OSPREY plopping down his dinner feast on the same stretch of beach.
It’s not often an OSPREY will get so close to us on the beach with his meal but I think this fish was about to wiggle its way out of the grips of this hungry predator. I’m assuming Mr Osprey had to land his catch on the beach to get a better grip so he wouldn’t lose this tasty dinner. Whatever the reason, Clark and I were thrilled to see this OSPREY show and I figured you might want to see it too! Enjoy the quick OSPREY show…
Signs of summer have been showing up early on the islands lately. The late afternoon billowy clouds have been rolling in on the horizon causing afternoon showers and gorgeous sunsets. I finally made it back to Bowman’s Beach the other evening to watch the sky show at sunset and to see what types of shells have been washing upon that shore.
I mostly found the common bivalves, but I was happy enough with collecting a WORM in a BUTTERCUP topped with an OLIVE and a pinch of NUTMEG.
Summer might be right around the corner, but the animals on the island know it’s still Spring. It’s been so much fun watching the wildlife in the last few weeks now that the island isn’t as busy. My friend Diane has been watching a family of NIGHT HERONS nest in her back yard so I had to go pay them a visit. Oh My! There are three young chicks in the nest with the Mamma. So sweet!
Clark and I watch this ALLIGATOR cross the road right in front of us in our car last week. Yikes! It’s still mating season for them so he was moving pretty quickly from one pond to another (thank goodness). This was the best photo I could get with such short notice. LOL
Last night by the Sanibel Pier, I couldn’t peel myself away from watching this awesome OSPREY catch and feed on a nice size POMPANO fish. Clark and I watched him eat this fish dinner for maybe 20 minutes all while his family screeched and yelled at him to bring fish dinner back to the nest only 20 yards away.
As we started to walk away from the OSPREY show, a Mother DOLPHIN and her baby splashed out of the water next to the pier then a MANATEE swam by. Magical. Since the wildlife was the life of the party last night, the only shell I collected to bring home was this BABY’S EAR.
That one shell was well worth an evening’s walk on the beach to witness more wild wonders of life on Sanibel.
Join us on tomorrow for an iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa with Captiva Cruises! Call 239-472-5300