Sanibel Island

We discovered Sanibel Island over 15 years ago and fell in love with its tranquility. Located on the Gulf side of Florida, a short ride from Ft. Myers, it offers a relaxed, un-commericalized and family focused environment which is a welcome relief from the cold New England winter. The beaches stand out for their white sand and incredible layers of sea shells. The island’s stewards restrict commercial development to maintain the prominence of its natural beauty. On the western end, before reaching the connected island of Captiva is the Ding Darling Nature Preserve. This tract of 8,000 acres is a home (at least part of the year) to over 200 species of birds. Ding Darling himself was a political cartoonist and naturalist, with a deep interest in Sanibel and a strong advocate for the preserve. Thanks in large part to him, we have a tremendous ecosystem of marshes, mangroves and shore birds to enjoy. It’s a photographer’s paradise and during the months of February and March you’ll witness large groups, with lots of expensive gear, shooting the Spoonbills, Pelicans, Wood Storks and many bird types in their early morning feeding frenzies. On our first trip there, over 15 years ago, we were fortunate enough to see the Mangrove Cuckoo. We did not understand the value of such a find back then, but in the years hence, have come to appreciate the incredible depth of wildlife at the preserve. But no repeat of the Cuckoo (yet). Enjoy some of the recent shots from our 2016 visit

The Reddish Egret, doing it’s dance to “shadow” the waters and fool the fish below to think all is clear

The Roseate Spoonbill, swooping to catch prey, contained within a pool temporarily constrained by the low tide

Or similarly, the Wood Stork, in all its beauty, doing the same

And of course, those you would expect: Snowy Egret

The White Ibis

And a great shot of the Tri-colored Heron, all enjoying the feast:

And the ever present and opportunistic Great Cormorant

As you drive along the road through the preserve, you’ll see the more patient Pelican

And further, looking up, you’ll see the platforms built for the Ospreys, and during the month of March, they were very active care taking for their nests and their chicks

Sanibel a place to relax, refresh, and enjoy the depths of nature. Enjoy.