Archive for Birds

Mar
27

Beautiful Life On The Beach Video

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bird in the yellow sunset

You wanted a video? Is that what I heard earlier this week after I posted photos of lots of living sea creatures in the low tidal pools? If so….  I’m delivering! I captured some footage of the awesome SHARKS EYE, STARFISH, SAND DOLLAR, FIGHTING CONCHS, BABYS EAR and an incredible LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL. Wherever in the world you might be, sit back and enjoy the beautiful life on the Sanibel beaches.

YouTube Preview Image

 

Dec
21

Sanibel Shellendipity Shelliday

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seashells from sanibel december 2014

The weather outside is delightful. Our Sanibel Island mornings have been cool and crisp with the afternoons in the 80s- perfect holiday weather to share with peeps visiting from Boston like cutie little sheller Raquel with her dad Jeff, mom Jackie and brother Adam.

family with seashells on Sanibel beach

They showed me their favorite shells they found near Gulfside City Park beach then named each one since they just learned the shell names from talking with other shellers on the beach.

favorite shells

This is how the beach brings people to together… I had met sweet Beverly (Maine) and her daughter Carolyn (Boston) just a few minutes before meeting Raquel’s family… which they had been ones to share some of the shell names with them. It’s such a close and wonderful shelling community!

shellers on sanibel

Then I saw Carol from Sanibel Seashells shop walking with a group of birders on the beach with binoculars, books and a clip board in hand. They were volunteering for the Sanibel edition of the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count. Bravo! They had already counted lots of birds in their count circle but leading the count in numbers were SANDERLINGS, LAUGHING GULLS, WILLETS and RING BILLED GULLS. So cool.

audubon society sanibel christmas bird count

I stood with them a few minutes as they counted a few adorable little SNOWY PLOVERS then we turned to the gulf to see a SURF SCOTER sitting at the edge of the water. How odd! We rarely see SURF SCOTERS on Sanibel and there I was with a bunch of birders to see an uncommon sight … and then to realize it was injured.

surf scoter Melanitta perspicillata Sanibel island

One of the Bird Count volunteers Katharine (Vermont) quickly ran over to secure the SCOTER then rushed it to CROW (Clinic for Rehabilitation Of Wildlife). Great job Katharine!
saving a surf scoter bird sanibel island florida

Which reminds me… I found out that the SANDWICH TERN that we rescued on our Captiva Cruises shelling trip had been released. Yay! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for MS. SCOTER too.

The day seemed so serendipitous which is why I love this next photo. Here’s birder Katharine rescuing the SCOTER with a volunteer bird counter holding a bird handbook. Then there’s Jackie from Boston witnessing the rescue who learned shell IDs from Beverly along with her daughter Carolyn… from Boston (in the far background). Shellendipity!

bird counting and rescuing

Oh and PS- Guess who is getting in the holiday spirit… my fave shelling captain Brian Holaway. He decorated his boat with SEASHELLS and STARFISH lights for the Captiva Boat Parade. So cute!

Captain Brian Holaway Sanibel shelling guide

The Holaway Holiday boat…

Holaway holiday boat

I’m in the spirit too so I’m off to make my SAND DOLLAR cookies for Christmas. Remember these? Everybody loves these cookies and they are so easy. (CLICK HERE for my post on the SAND DOLLAR cookies… but just in case you might no know, any time you see that I’ve highlighted and bolded words in my posts- I have linked to another page for more information – happy linking!)

Happy Shellidays!

Sand-dollar-cookies

 

 

 

Categories : Birds, Surf Scoter
Comments (13)

Finding seashells and sea urchins

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!

Shelling the mud flats

We arrived on Cayo costa to grey, overcast skies…

gray sky and seashells

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!

Finding Sunray Venus clam shells

Trish and Bill (FL) were having the same luck with FIGHTING CONCHS on the bayside where the boat anchored.

Shelling on the bay side of Cayo Costa

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.

shelling for miniature seashells

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.

Sweet miniature shells on Cayo Costa

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.

Shelling on Cayo Costa

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.

Finding a Florida Cone shell

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.

Becky Wade with shells on iLoveShelling cruise

They couldn’t resist keeping the gorgeous double SUNRAY VENUSES. I don’t blame them… look at those colors!

Double sunray venus shells

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!

sun ray venus shells found on cayo costa

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.

Shelling trip to Cayo Costa Florida

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!

SLBC iLSPromo

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.

Getting ready for an iLoveShelling Captiva Cruise

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!

Having fun shelling Cayo Costa

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).

Captain Skip saving a sandwich tern on the beach

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…

saving a sandwich tern on shelling boat

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…

pam rambo shelling trips