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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Sanibel Shellendipity Shelliday

Posted by on Dec 21, 2014 in Birds, CROW, Surf Scoter | 13 comments

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 CountBravo! 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

 

 

 

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