Ding Darling NWF

We got a cable today and downloaded our pictures from yesterday and today.  This little crab was one of many we saw on a short hike yesterday.

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We returned to the refuge today and went for a short hike.  There was hardly anyone at the refuge compared to yesterday.  It was very nice.  It turned out to be too hot for Dart for us to complete the hike as planned.  In addition, bugs we couldn’t see attacked.

We saw this alligator right away.  Shortly afterwards, we passed some women who advised us to be careful that Dart didn’t get attacked by an alligator.  We were vigilant.

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We found a spot with this beautiful heron (I think.  I forgot my guidebook along with everything else, like my binoculars.)

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We also saw an Anhinga nesting.  She/he was sitting on two chicks.  If you are able to zoom in on this picture, you can see their heads to the right of the parent.

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We saw a snake and lots of anoles.  I have no doubt there was a lot more stuff creeping around in the mangroves but the heat and bugs caused us to return to the car and proceed on the wildlife drive.  We saw lots of birds including this Reddish Egret and these Anhingas drying their wings.

One of the more interesting experiences was watching this young bird catch a crab and eat it.  The bird appeared to work at knocking most of the legs off the crab before swallowing it.

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It was not a good day for crabs.  This bird also picked up a crab, but fortunately for the crab, the bird gave up and selected something smaller to eat.

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I know that estuaries are nurseries for fish and I’ve been to estuaries many times, but I have never seen as many fish as I saw today.  It was amazing.  If not for worrying about Dart in the heat, I would have sat in one spot for hours watching the fish activity.  The best place to go was where there was a big pipe under the road and water was flowing from the bay to the interior of the refuge.  That is the place where many fish hung out.  It’s hard to get good pictures of fish when you are not set up for underwater pictures, but I was able to get the following.

Tomorrow we get to spend the day at the dealer so they can get the dinghy set up to be towable by the motor home.  Oh joy!

One thought on “Ding Darling NWF

  1. Dear Linda, I learn so much from your pictures and blog. Take care. Alzira

    On Sunday, April 24, 2016, Linda and Regis travel… wrote:

    > Linda posted: “We got a cable today and downloaded our pictures from > yesterday and today. This little crab was one of many we saw on a short > hike yesterday. We returned to the refuge today and went for a short hike. > There was hardly anyone at the refuge compared to” >

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