Incoming !

First there were two American White Pelicans, preening their feathers in the morning sun. Then a large flock of sandpipers swooped in, silently.

#pelican, #whitepelican, #Americanwhitepelican, #sandpiper, #sanibel, #dingdarling, #wildlife, #refuge
Action: Dozens of tiny sandpipers flew in and landed near the White Pelicans.

Then, one by one, more white pelicans landed, so graceful with orange legs and wings outstretched.

#whitepelican, #Americanwhitepelican, #sanibel, #florida, #dingdarling, #wildlife #refuge, #wings
After a flock of sandpipers, three more American White Pelicans fly in to join the first two in Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Egret Composition

This great egret wading near a mangrove tree makes a serene scene. When you take a careful look, can you see the circular bands of light reflecting up on the egret?

#greategret, #egret, #sanibel, #dingdarling, #florida, #wildlife, #nature, #bird, #reflection, #blueandgreen
The great egret stands alone in the still water, accompanied only by his reflection.

My favorite part of this image is the composition, in which the strong vertical lines complement the horizontal lines. In addition, the generous amount of negative space adds to the simplicity and the serenity of the image. The color palette is also simple and natural.

What do you see? What do you like?

White Pelicans of Sanibel

I was an early bird this morning, driving an hour from Naples to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge to photograph the American White Pelicans. These giant snowbirds only live here in Florida from October to April each year. I enjoyed watching them in the early morning sun. Nearby white ibis, great egrets, anhinga and sandpipers waded and fed in low tide.

#whitepelican, #pelicans, #florida, #wildlife, #snowbird, #morning, #sun, #dingdarling, #wildlife, #refuge, #birds, #florida, #sanibel
Gathering of American White Pelicans on a sandbar on Sanibel Island.

White Pelicans Assemble

Early Sunday morning, they sought light, peace and community. You could call it Bird Church. This flock of unusual white pelicans mingled with the cormorants. All I can say is this: I was grateful to bear witness.

#pelican, #cormorant, #Sanibel, #florida, #birds, #wildlife, #birds, #dingdarling, #preserve
White pelicans and black cormorants mingle in Sunday sun on Sanibel Island, FL

We are all connected

This image of these two great egrets crossing each others’ paths while feeding reminds me of the universal truth about Nature that all of life is interconnected. The food chain ties together many life forms: plants, fish and mammals. Just think of what humans eat. All life forms depend on clean air, clean water and undeveloped areas of Earth.

#egrets, #birds, #sanibel, #dingdarling
Two egrets cross paths at Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve, Sanibel Island, FL

I photographed these egrets in a nature preserve on Sanibel Island that is named for an editorial cartoonist who was passionate about the environment and was an important early conservationist. J. N. “Ding” Darling was concerned about the pace of development and believed that urban development was suffocating the ever shrinking untouched natural environments. ” D’ing” worked in Des Moines and New York City and won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1924. He was was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as head of the U.S. Biological Survey, forerunner of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Wikipedia)

In 1976, 5200 acres on Sanibel Island, FL were set aside as a National Wildlife Refuge, and the area is known for migratory bird populations. Often large flocks of roseate spoonbills feed there. Keep an eye out for more photos in future blogs.