7-9-19 J.N. Ding Darling NWR; The Bailey Tract, Sanibel, FL

Today we decided to go back to J.N. Ding Darling NWR to see if we have as good a day as yesterday! After lunch, we headed to the refuge at low tide to see if we can find any birds! We went to the Mangrove Overlook to look over the water. The first thing we saw were 10 Great Egrets in the trees across the water. There were 6 others in the water. One ate and swallowed a fish while we were watching it. Here is the complete list from the day-

  • 16 Great Egrets
  • 2 Great Blue Herons
  • 1 Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
  • 1 Northern Cardinal
  • 1 Anhinga
  • 1 Osprey

After the refuge, we headed over to the Bailey Tract, an extension of the refuge. It consists of 4 different trails. We decided to hike the American Alligator trail, as you could have the best opportunity to see an alligator, and the nesting black-necked stilts that they have at the tract. While we were hiking, we came upon a very dark heron. I thought it was a juvenile, dark morph reddish egret. We brought a photo to the people at Ding, and they said it was a dark little blue heron. We also saw-

1 Black-Necked Stilt

4 Killdeer

1 Red-Bellied Woodpecker

I loved the Bailey Tract, and I hope to go back soon!

-Gracie McMahon


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Hello. I am currently participating in the ABA Young Birder of the Year contest. I just joined NCIOS, so some of my first entries will be backdated. I have been birding for 6 years, and volunteer at Sand Bluff Bird Observatory. I won 1st place in Ornithology at the State Science Olympiad Tournament in Urbana, IL.

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