Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Our Final Week in Fort Myers

This is our last week in Fort Myers and we continue to keep busy. On Sunday afternoon we sat by the lake behind the outlet shops in Bonita Beach to soak up the sun and watch a water skiing demonstration. The group is in training for a show at Cypress Gardens.

These youngsters were having a great time! Notice that each girl is on one ski.

Some of the more adventurous skiers going over a jump. There is a third skier who went around the jump and met them on the other side. The driver of the boat was as talented as the skiers.

This gorgeous tree is aptly named the Tree of Gold. Until I looked in up in my "Flor-ida's Fabulous Trees" book I called it the Daffodil Tree because each blossom in the cluster looks like one of the beautiful yellow Spring Daffodils that bloom in our yard in Colorado in April. We should be home in time to see them.

Monday was my second field trip with the Caloosa Bird Club. The day was dreary with a light drizzle but it didn't dampen our spirits one little bit. Our first stop was a birder's paradise. A couple from the club had invited the group to their home in Alva to see the Indigo Buntings and other birds that call their yard home. There must have been 3 dozen Indigo Buntings in the bushes and at the feeders! A handsome Painted Bunting, several White-winged Doves, a Red-bellied Woodpecker and a pair of Cardinals also made appearances.

I was so taken with this beautiful display that I took Bill, Mike and Mel back today to see them. Lois and Leon welcomed us, had us sign their guest book and took us on a birder's tour of their yard. They obviously delight in their birds and enjoy sharing them. Nice people - and hopefully, new friends.

At the club's next stop we saw a Great-horned Owl and a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers that mated in mid-air as we were all lined up on the side of the street - with binoculars in hand - watching them fly around.

But my real treat of the day was at the Franklin Locks where I saw this pair of Bald Eagles. They were in the distance, but stayed around long enough for us all to get a great look at them.

I took this picture of a Zebra Butterfly on one of the nature trails near the Caloosa-hatchee River. Other sightings of note included all the usual shore birds, Limpkin, Coot, Moorhen, Kingfisher, Blue-headed Vireo and a Northern Parula.

The weather had cleared up nicely by noon when the group met back at the starting place. Bill was waiting for me. We picked up Mike and Mel and went down to Bunche Beach to see if we could spot the Scarlet Ibis. Bill brought his kite for Mike and him to fly. The two great friends had a wonderful time - but it was too windy and the kite crashed.

We didn't see the Scarlet Ibis, but this Reddish Egret was walking in the shallow surf.

Bunche Beach is a strange beach - much more secluded than Fort Myers or Sanibel Beach - with more mud flats than sand. I saw lots of common shore birds.

While we were enjoying the day, this huge flock of White Pelicans flew over.

Today, on our way back to see the Indigo Buntings at Leon and Lois' feeders, we stopped at Manatee Park. Mel had never seen a Manatee. Luckily, one was there - but only one. Since the weather is warmer than in January, they have headed back out to the Gulf.

This Mockingbird was sitting in a bush singing the whole time we were there.

They have a beautiful butterfly garden with lots of pretty flowers.

Mike and Mel wanted to walk around the docks in Fort Myers. They love to look at the boats and we all talked about the one we will buy when we hit the lottery.

This is a common Rock Pigeon and, like the other birds this time of year, is showing off his colors.

Mike and Mel are leaving early tomorrow morning to head back to their home in Missouri. We've had a great time and will miss them.

No comments: