Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Egrets, I've Had a Few…

          Because I'm still all a-twitter about all the cool birds I saw in Florida, I'm going to share more pix of Birds You Don't Normally See in Kansas City, More's the Pity.

Great Egret fishing for crawdads
(©Nancy Banks)

          We saw this striking egret at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a 14,000-acre preserve in the western Everglades. If you're ever in the Naples area, don't think twice—just go directly to visit this sanctuary. There is a 2.25-mile boardwalk which takes you through pine flatwoods, wet prairie, marshlands, and the largest old-growth Bald Cypress forest in North America. It is a magical place, and you will leave having seen the heart of wild Florida, some beautiful wildlife as well.
           And over at the beach, another type of egret clocked in every day and obligingly posed for tourist photos: the Snowy.

I'm enchanted by his stylish two-tone legs.
(©Nancy Banks)

On my last day there, I was walking in the surf, watching the pelicans fish, when I glanced into the shallows next to where I was walking. Swimming about ten feet away from me were these enchanting fellows:

Not possessing Peterson's Field Guide to the Rays and Skates of the Gulf
of Mexico
, I can't tell you what kind these guys are, only that seeing
them was a huge thrill.
(©Nancy Banks)
I've been on a lot of beaches on a lot of oceans, and this is the first time I've ever seen rays.
          Florida, I'm a convert.

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