Ding Darling NWR

Double Crested Cormorant With Dinner

Our first visit to Ding Darling NWR on Sanibel Island the other day was reasonably successful.  Tony & I were on Sanibel for sunrise and were a little disappointed at the lighthouse on the island.  It looks more like a very large water tower than a lighthouse.  We didn’t stay long after getting a few shots.  I have heard lots about Ding Darling NWR in the last year or two and have always wanted to go there but it was a bit of a drive from Tanglewood in Sebring.  From Riverbend it is only about 70 minutes.  There is a $5.00 fee per vehicle to do the 4 mile long self guided nature tour at Ding Darling.  Once we paid our fee, it wasn’t long before we were pulled over with half a dozen other vehicles and out taking photos.  Tony was using his 600mm lens with tripod while I opted for handheld with my 300mm and 1.4x extender.  There were quite a few bugs in the air.  Not sure whether they were gnats or noseeums but they were terrible.  We’ll have to be better prepared next time.  We took our time driving the loop making sure to stop if we saw anything interesting.  Ideally in order to get the best light, we should have been there an hour or more sooner and skipped going to the lighthouse.  We’ve made a mental note for our next visit.  Enjoy today’s photos and feel free to drop a comment if you like.

Sanibel Island, Ding Darling NWRSnowy Egret in Flight

The shot of the snowy egret in flight is actually a composite.  In the original photo there was a cloudless blue sky in the background, so I added a few clouds to make what I think is a more pleasing image.  I also added an oil painting effect on the sky and clouds in Photoshop CC.

White Pelican Deposit

White Pelican Depositing

There was a flock of white pelicans in the distance, a little too far away for a good photograph.  I spotted the above white pelican flying by much closer than the rest of the flock and panned along with him until I got what I thought was a good wing position.  Lets just say I was a little surprised at what else I saw in my view finder!