Today began with coffee and pastries as usual but we had a mission today. We went in search of a bird seen at Ding Darling along the Shell Mound Trail, a boardwalk circling around mounds left behind by the Calusa Indians who once populated these barrier islands. It has been a few years since we walked this trail because it was closed a length of time after Hurricane Charles did major damage to the mounds. But with reports of a White-Crowned Pigeon spotted there, we decided to go in search of this unusual rare bird listed as threatened in the state of
Florida. See more about this birdhere. Unfortunately, we did not spot the bird but had a good birding trip anyway.
This is an osprey that we saw on the Shell Mound Trail.
We saw no signs of the White-Crowned Pigeon but saw a lot of Snow Berry Bushes where he feeds.
After lunch we spent a couple hours at the beach. Tonight dinner was grilled chicken breasts served on a green salad with hot rolls.
We were late getting started today. Still rather cloudy and cool. We ate an early lunch of sandwiches around 11:00. Al drove into Sanibel to Bailey's for some seafood for dinner. I went out to the beach and spent about an hour walking to the bridge and made photos of the shore birds and collected a few shells. There was a number of birds but hardly any people.
The picture directly above is an strange bird in that it is a Laughing Gull with the brightest red-orange bill and feet. He should have blackish feet in the winter. According to Lillian Stokes, in summer this bird gets a black head and dark red bill and legs are dark with
reddish undertone. Check out this poston her blog about the bird seen on Captiva at the beach in December.
Al joined me with his book on the beach when he arrived back from shopping. Even though it was a bit cool, we stayed on the beach awhile.
Helicopters on a Mission Flew Over
For dinner, I pan roasted the Grouper that Al bought with lemon and served with pasta and salad with hot rolls.
Rain! Rain! Rainy day from morning until night. I made cards and Al worked on his picks for tonight's races. Not much to write about.
I made brunch of frittata with eggs, leftover pasta and parmesan cheese that I served with fresh orange supremes and hot biscuits. For dinner I prepared Jambalaya requested by Al which we ate while we watched the races at Northfield. I ended up falling asleep on the couch while watching TV and he won a few dollars at the races.
Today was cloudy and very foggy. Al was up early and said the sky was a blaze of color at sunrise because of the fog. We had a restful morning inside and on the porch. For lunch I made Al grilled Andouille sausage with eggs and I had Tuna Salad....we had an open menu for lunch.
We sat on the beach and read our books....not much sun but was pleasant enough to sit on the beach and listen to the surf.
We went to Timbers in Sanibel for dinner....one of the restaurants we have been going to since our first trip to Captiva... always have good food and good service. And they have call ahead seating so it is not difficult to get seated in the Peak Season.
We had to have a dozen Fresh Oysters on the half shell to begin. Al ordered the Triple Shrimp Platter- scampi, baked stuffed and crunchy with French Fries and Caesar salad (that I ordered). I had Al's house salad with crab cake (appetizer size) fried and served with dill sauce.
This morning we decided to check out the Indigo Trail at DDWR...it has been several years since we walked this trail and they have built a new boardwalk with observation tower in the last couple years. There was a slight mist as we walked the trail looking for birds. We had sightings of a female Anhinga, Tri-colored Heron, and Blue-winged Teals along with several Ibis. This area is a large roosting area for the Ibis.
But the most exciting sight of the day was spotting the elusive and secretive Mangrove Cuckoo in mangroves along the boardwalk near the entry gate to the drive. Al got the photograph below:
We were very excited to see this bird and it was the fourth time we have spotted him in DDWR.
After a lunch of sandwiches, we spent a couple hours at the beach and saw more birds on the beach than in previous days. There will more photos of shore birds in later posts.
Tonight I made Shrimp Scampi with red peppers, mushrooms, and garlic served over pasta with salad and hot rolls. We enjoyed this day of warmth and sun.
Today Al went into Sanibel for his Monday Massage....he looks forward to this as it seems to give him some relief from his shoulder aches and pain. I stayed home and worked on some cards in my makeshift studio. The day is sunny and warm, with a cool breeze.
We were visited by a flock of Ibis ( about 25) feeding on the grounds. We quickly grabbed the cameras and made some photos as they strolled the length of the property:
After a lunch of Turkey Sandwiches, we settled in at the beach with books for the afternoon.
For dinner we had Orange Roasted Salmon with fresh corn and green salad. This was a great recipe...you roast slices of orange and onion with herbs for 25 min at 400 and then add salmon and pour on a mixture of orange juice, lemon juice, honey and seasonings . Bake at 425 for another 12-15 min. I am posting this recipe so I will remember for another time.
We skipped the Farmers' Market this Sunday Morning as we still have items and flowers from our last market trip. I spent some time on cards for Blog Challenges and Al was surfing the web for surveys. After a lunch of sandwiches we spent the afternoon at the beach and watched the boats go by. Spending our time reading in the sun, I finished the book Unbroken, a good read.
We grilled chicken breasts tonight and served sliced on a big bed of salad lettuce with tomatoes, avocados, red onion, red pepper, cheese, and any thing else I had. Very good with hot rolls and a glass of wine.
Today began with the usual coffee and then we had a breakfast of eggs and steak (leftover from Wednesday dinner). We took a drive through DDWR from about 11:00 until 1:00 even though the day was cool. It was a good birding drive. We were especially excited to spot a Kingfisher and get some photos.
The rest of the afternoon was spent on the beach. Lot of birds on the shore today.
Friday was another quiet day on the island. No need to bore you with the details but it was even too cold to sit on the porch or walk on the beach unless you really bundled up. We had planned to pick Cecilia, my sister, up at the Punta Gorda airport today for a visit but she decided not to come without any explanation. We were both disappointed and had been so excited about her visit.
Tonight we called Lazy Flamingo early enough to get an order to go. We did not want to fight the crowd and/or face a possible long wait for a table or space at the bar. This is one favorite, popular spot with the locals and snowbirds.
We dined on Fried Oysters with their spicy French fries, coleslaw, Caesar salad and Flamingo Garlic bread. Enjoyed this with Blue Moon beers.
After our morning coffee and pastries, we headed out to Ding Darling Wildlife Drive about 8:30 hoping to see a few birds but not expecting too much because of the cool temperatures. The temp was in the 50's requiring long pants and a jacket this morning.
We did not see many birds, mostly Ibis feeding in groups throughout the drive. We did see one Yellow-Crowned Night Heron at a distance but no photo to show of him.
We planned to spend the rainy night watching the races at Northfield via the net but the races were cancelled because of the weather conditions. Too bad since Al had his picks all chosen.
We also planned to get a carryout from Lazy Flamingo for dinner to eat while watching the races, but that plan failed too because the LF was so busy with customers that they cut off carry out orders.
Luckily we had a Bertolli Frozen Dinner as a back up. I think it was Chicken Florentine & Farfalle.
Still it was better than a cold night in the North.
We having been visiting Captiva Island for a number of years and have found it to be a most fun and relaxing place. We started coming one week in February and one week in September many years ago and have added more weeks since we retired. We now come for 6 weeks at a time.