Sunday, October 1, 2017

Little Estero Critical Wildlife Area, Florida, USA

If you wonder how you may combine a super beach holiday in Florida with some sparetime birding, Fort Myers Beach may be the place! Especially seabirds and wetlandbirds are plentiful in the lagoons a bit south on the Island. And inside the island, a boattrip will provide mangroves and well wooded areas to complement the seaside experience

The northernmost lagoon, with high waters after a small stormsurge,  Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012
Fort Myers Beach is a long island dominated by a huge seaside beach, just outside the city of Fort Myers, on the gulf-coast of Florida. A few hours drive west of Orlando. The Island has a bridge to mainland Fort Myers in north, and another connection southward at the southern tip. If you follow the beach or drives south, you will easily find Little Estero Lagoon, breaking up the beach with mangroves, dams and more banks than beach in the south.

Hard to pass the mangroves at hight tide, Little Estero, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012
Little Estero Lagoon is a small peaceful place in a sea of hotels, appartements, tourists, and beaches. The banks further out differs a lot at low tide versus high tide, but the banks and channels attract a lot of birds. And some areas are actually closed of in the breeding season to pretect the birds.

The area ha a lot of waterfowl: herons, waders, gulls, terns and the skimmer. I think we actually had eight different heron-species, some of them pictured below! Above you might see the Bald Eagles and Ospreys. And in the boat-harbors there are manatees with with boat-propeller tracks over their back...

Below are some of the pictures from the area:

Willet, common on the beach,  Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

Ruddy Turnstone, migrating north, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

Sanderlings, as well on migration north,  Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012
Least Sandpiper, Ft. Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012



Little Blue Heron in full breeding plumage, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

Manatee, with a calf searching for milk, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012
Wilson's Plover in evening twilight, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

Snowy Egret, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

Loggerhead Shrike,  Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012
Great Egret, right on the beach, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012



Boat-tailed Grackle, Ft. Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012


Brown Pelican males in breeding plumage, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

Great Blue Heron, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012
This is the place, Ft Myers Beach, FL, USA, 2012

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