Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ding Darling Anyone?



I am headed to Florida this coming Monday for a week, and am very excited to be visiting a vacation bucket-list destination at long last. Ding Darling is renowned for its birding and especially its waders/shorebirds which was the huge draw for me.

Now I ask...Has anyone been there and would you have any tips for me? I am also visiting Cape Coral for their Burrowing Owls, and will try to visit as many of their area parks as possible, but other than Ding Darling, I'm not sure what other locales might be a really good hotspot. So I ask my blogger buddies, what do you know about Ding Darling/Sanibel/Captiva Island or Fort Myers?

9 comments:

Tina said...

Hannibal,
How nice you are visiting Sanibel Island..3rd best place in the world for shelling!! Make sure you get to one of the public beaches if you have time to shell. Sanibel is my winter escape we usually go in Feb for 2 weeks. There is a cost of $6.00 to get across the causeway from Fort Meyers to the islands, a beautiful drive.. Ding Darling is a wonderful refuge. JN "DING" Darling was a renowned editorial cartoonist who advocated conservation..He laid the groundwork for the system of today's National Wildlife Refuges. a man before his time..he was one of the first to create political cartoons about man and his treatment of earth.There are so many little tours and activities to do and see..in the winter the roseate spoonbills are very striking.. Start,if you haven't already by visiting the following website.
http://www.fws.gov/dingdarling/
I think this website will offer all the info you need.
If you are up for a huge lunch.. try and make reservations at the Bubble Room a restaurant on Captiva..only minutes away from Sanibel..a neat restaurant..be ready for dessert!!
If you have any specific questions feel free to ask or use my e-mail address.
The island succeeded from Lee county way back and has its own goverment..hence no stop lights..Police dressed in the Brit uniform.. direct traffic. No major fast food restaurants..high rises or big developers..We did see a Subway and CVR made it on the isl last time we were down..but by the Sanibel residents taking the rule from Lee County they were able to keep it much like it was back when
Ding visited there.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Have never been to this area,but will be waiting to see all your gorgeous pictures.Have fun.
Blessings,Ruth

Eve said...

Looks like you've got some help there from Tina! I've never heard of it. Have fun and take lots of fantastic pictures for us!

jalynn01 said...

I had never heard of Ding Darling but after reading Tina's wonderful post I'm excited for you! It just sounds wonderful. Get us those close up wonderful pictures you're famous for, and by all means do go to that restaurant and eat the dessert!!! haha... Sounds like a lovely place.. Have fun!

Montanagirl said...

I have never head of Ding Darling, but CAN'T WAIT to see all your wonderful photos.

Ecobirder said...

Hannibal,

Ding Darling is usually listed in the top 5 birding spots in North America and ith good reason.I too have only been there in the winter, its good to get away when the temps get sub zero, so I am not sure how the birding is at this time of the year. Here are the places that we usually stop at when we go birding in south Florida.

Ding Darling
Venice Rookery - Small heron and egret rookery in Venice Florida
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary - An Audubon facility
Big Cypress National Park - They have a nice wildlife loop off of highway 41
Evergades National Park - Parts had not recovered from the big hurricanes last time that I was there but Shark Valley was still one of the best places in North America
Merritt Island NWR - The only one of these locations on the east coast of Florida. It is about an hour east of Orlando has great birding, Manatee, at least during the winter when we are usually there, and it is right by Cape Canaveral, which is interesting also.

Hope that this helps. I am sure that you will have a great trip and I look forward to seeing all the pics.

Willard said...

I have not been there, but have heard of it. I hope you have a good trip.

I also enjoyed the "fuddle" photos.

Bird Girl said...

Hannibal - you lucky vacationer!!! Ding Darling is on my list of future birdy places! Though I've not been there as of yet - another Birds & Blooms field editor from MN has been there several times and sent me tons of pictures that are out of this world! Can't wait to see what you bring home to blog - best of luck with your photography!!!

troutbirder said...

Can't help yet on birding but a friend recommended the island for a winter residence. I'm working on that part.