Archive for Roseate Spoonbill
As long as we’ve lived on Sanibel, there are only a handful of times I have seen ROSEATE SPOONBILLS close enough to get (somewhat) good photos of them. It’s such a special treat to see them!
We saw these ROSEATE SPOONBILLS in the same area we passed on our way to Cayo Costa on the iLoveShelling Captiva Cruise where I showed you the WHITE PELICANS. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to go back there! We didn’t see the WHITE PELICANS this time but I was thrilled when Clark spotted these instead.
I always see them swinging their beaks from side to side through low tide mucky water feeling for tiny fish or shrimp or other crustaceans to feast on. Once their beak comes in contact with food, a special sensory nerve signals their beak to instantly close (I think I have that too- haha). Wouldn’t you like to see them feeding too? Well I thought so, so I took a video of them! Actually I have 2 videos for you but here’s the first one I took a few days ago. Oops! It’s a little shaky since I was sinking in that tidal muck so I was trying to keep my balance! But you’ll get the see how beautiful they are and witness that motion with their beaks for feeding.
I made this next video 2 years ago (my post Roseate Spoonbills At Sanibel Causeway) when I saw quite a few ROSEATE SPOONBILLS near the causeway in Fort Myers. I had a little more time back then so I made a fancy dancy movie with music- I love doing that! If you missed it then, you are in for a treat! Enjoy!
PS- I’ve also seen them multiple times in Ding Darling National Refuge on Sanibel. You just never know where they will show up but that’s a good place to start if you want to spot them.
We went for a boat ride around the islands of Sanibel, Captiva and North Captiva on Saturday. Clark was so jealous he wasn’t able to go out on our iLoveShelling Captiva Cruises last week, and it’s been months on our boat so he was bound and determined to get out and about on the water. Of course we had to stop at plenty of beaches to look for shells.
We found a few! Of course I was thaaa-rilled to find this beautiful wormie and a couple of perfect medium sized SAND DOLLARS.
But. My favorite find of the weekend was this lemon yellow ROUGH SCALLOP. Yummy find!
We spent a good part of the day watching the wildlife and fell in love with several ROSEATE SPOONBILL birds feasting on tiny fish or crabs in the low tide pools…
We found a few more shells but these are our faves. I know, I know… Yes, those are DEPRESSED SLIPPER SHELLS in our faves pile but we saw so many, I feel like they were speaking to me. And when I bent down to pick up a SAND DOLLAR or WORM SHELL or that cute little DUSKY CONE, I couldn’t help but pick up a pretty JINGLE or two as well. JINGLES make me happy- I dont know why- they just do. It was such a wonderful day to be out on the water and out with my honey. He makes me happy too.
Everything seemed to be coming up pink roses while I took a walk on the south stretch of Fort Myers Beach Friday afternoon. ROSE PETAL TELLINS, ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHERS, AUGERS, SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS and BANDED TULIPS all had a beautiful pink tint. The beach was blushing with beauty!
The last time I was on this beach I found oodles of shells but I thought it may have been because of Tropical Storm Andrea. Obviously not! I went to see my friend Stefanie on south Fort Myers Beach again but this time, she went shelling with me. She was thrilled to find a SAND DOLLAR!
Well, let me rephrase… she was ecstatic when she found 7 SAND DOLLARS (one broke- waaaa)! Along with the ROSE PETAL TELLINS and ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHERS, we found a GAUDY NATICA, a NUMEG, OLIVES, FIGHTING CONCHS, 2 SHARKS EYS and 4 KINGS CROWNS. Wow!
You had to pick up each FIGHTING CONCH and KING’S CROWN to look inside to make sure nobody was home. It was fun to see lots of live shells but it was way more fun to find an empty one to shout about. “It’s empty! Look how pretty!”
We met Alysa and Justin visiting from Colorado…
They were finding great shells too!
I knew we were going to have good luck anyway though. As soon as we stepped on the beach by Pointe Estero Resort we were surrounded by DRAGONFLIES. I’m not sure you can see them all in the next photo but click on the pic to enlarge it to see thousands of them. They bring good luck!
I tried to rescue one of them that got stuck in a tidal pool but not sure if she made it. She was sooooo beautiful!
Stefanie and I had a wonderful time collecting not only shells but very cool BEACH BLING. It’s a hidden gem!
This beach reminds me so much of Lover’s Key beaches with the same types of shells but with the added bonus of SAND DOLLARS. I guess it should remind me of that beach since it’s right across the bridge from Lover’s Key State Park. If you arent staying at a resort like Gullwing or Pointe Estero, it’s a little harder to get to this beach because there is limited public parking…BUT… there are about 5 metered parking spaces about 5 blocks north on Flamingo Street. I think this is another reason why it’s such a good shelling beach- not much competition! LOL
PS- Remember- Big hats and sunscreen. We only want to find pink shells and pink bling… not pink skin!
As part of the Ocean Conservancy‘s 2012 International Coastal Cleanup, Dee Serage of the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) organized volunteers to pick up and document litter on our beaches and coastlines this past Saturday. So the beach on Sanibel from Blind Pass to Bowman’s is free and clear of any trash because of our fun little cleanup crew in the photo above from left to right… Susan (Soul Sister Susan), Daron who was our efficient record keeper, me, Super Sheller Clark, Judy, Grant, Cameron and Berringer.
We spread out and literally combed the beach.. or should I say “litteraly”.
We searched high on the beach for trash…
…and we searched low on the beach for litter. We had to leave these big shells piles for another day but couldn’t help but look for something unusual.
Berringer did find a few unusal shells. Oh, and remember the SPOTTED EAGLE RAY I showed on my last video? Clark had “spotted” the ray in the water and told everybody to come look at it but Berringer is the one who knew exactly what it was right away. “Look! It’s an EAGLE RAY!” (you see why I like him?)
He found a beautiful yellow ALTERNATE TELLIN pair…
And look at the bright purple color of this SOUTHERN HORSE MUSSEL !
It even has purple in the interior…
Grant found this very cool completely dried PUFFER FISH…
This is what I call cool BEACH BLING…
Grant also found this sweet little SEA URCHIN…
Yes, there were lots of shell piles like I showed you in the cyber shelling photo on my last post with but we were on a mission to pick up trash and we had a very long walk so we only picked up the cool unusual things that didn’t weigh much… like this ROSEATE SPOONBILL FEATHER! We rarely find these…
Clark brought home this aqua buoy. We couldn’t throw that away!
But back to the main reason we were there… to rid the beach of any trash. Cigarettes, plastic bottles, plastic caps, more and more plastic were the top items found but I was so surprised to see so many balloons with ribbons on the beach. Balloons are a huge NO-NO to bring to the beach! They can get swallowed or wrapped around wildlife so please never take balloons to the beach for any occasion.
Fortunately, our beaches aren’t terribly littered so I think we only filled up 7 fairly small bags which is not so bad for a 2 and 1/2 mile walk. But Clark didn’t stop there. He even saw trash thrown over the beach access boardwalk so he fished it out under the rail. Go Super Sheller Clark!
I’m sure yall do this already, but just a reminder while we are shelling… let’s pick up any trash and put it in our shell bag until we can find a trash can or dumpster to dispose of it. Okay, So… lets recap what we do as “shellers”. On our beach walks we can get exercise, find treasure, explore, learn about wildlife and the creatures of the sea AND save the planet AND spread peace on earth. LOL Yes! Shellers save the planet! We are the Super Shellers!
My Top 10 Most Fave Posts Of 2011!
Happy New Year’s Eve! It’s been an amazing year on the beach so I thought I’d look back on all of my favorite posts of 2011. I realized not all of my favorite days were completely about seashells. Some of my favorite days of 2011 have been about the wildlife I’ve experienced because of my
obsession (ha!) passion for shelling. So I’m starting with #10 then counting down to my number ONE favorite post. I bet you guess what that will be- heehee. Click on each title or photo to read each post…
#1 Favorite !!!!! (Of Course, right?!!!)
These were my favorites, what was your fave iLoveShelling post of 2011?
It’s always a thrill to spot a ROSEATE SPOONBILL with its bright pink feathers and its aptly named bill that looks like a wooden kitchen spoon.
As soon as we drive over the Sanibel causeway at low tide to get to the Fort Myers side, we look to the water on the right to see if the ROSEATE SPOONBILLS are feeding. They were there this past weekend! I took a few minutes to capture them with my camera lens.
I even caught them phooning…
They feed by swinging their head back and forth sweeping their bill in the water feeling for fish, insects, crustaceans and a few water plants. When they feel the right food, they snap it up.
You can see it for yourself! I made a video for you to see these beautiful ROSEATE SPOONBILLS and the IBIS birds they hang out with.