UPDATE--I corrected some of the ids from tips from "Anonymous" comments below!
Yes, I just had to escape from snowed-in Virginia for a few days to visit my sister in Ft. Myers, Florida. It was not easy--had to leave a day early to avoid a snowstorm to drive to Charlotte for the flight, then delayed on the way back by another (not complaining about that).
When my sister asked me where I wanted to go, I said to the J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island. The refuge is an undeveloped mangrove ecosystem with lots of migratory birds this time of year.
Most of my photos were taken from about 100 feet away. The birds didn't want to be close to the road and cars--I could have used a better telephoto lens.
The White Ibis uses its bill to hunt--probably a lot of good worms and crayfish in these rich waters.
The most spectacular bird is the Roseate Spoonbill (in pink) here with a Reddish Egret and White Ibis. The Reddish Egret is quite rare so I am happy to see that.
Roseate Spoonbill with White Ibis
Here you can see how the Spoonbill got its name--a spoon-shaped bill useful for scooping up shrimp (with a White Ibis in the background).
The Spoonbills look great flying.
These White Pelicans spend summers on lakes and marshes on the upper midwest of United States and Canada. They were safely on a sand island, far from the admiring crowds.
This bird has benefited greatly from the banning of DDT in 1972. Here the black color was a nice contrast to the more common whites and pink of the other birds. Did I mention there were a ton of birds?
This bird is the only true stork in North America and is most noteworthy for its size--40" length with a 60" wingspan. His neck looks a lot like a turkey's except it's dark gray.
He forages in drying ponds or shallow areas like this one. The Wood Stork stays in the southern states in the summer time and winters in Florida.
These sandpipers are larger than the typical sandpipers but smaller than chickens. They were quite interesting to watch as they walked and foraged along in unison.
I still have lots of photos to go through, including a nice sequence of a Great Egret fishing--stay tuned.