Friday, November 6, 2009

Eagle on the Beach at Sanibel

We've been on Sanibel Island for the past week.

I'm always a little perplexed at how November is such a light month for visitors to the Island as it is invariably a beautiful month with perfect temperature. This month is no different. It's been hot, sunny and breezy every day with enough cooling down at sunset to allow for the ac to be shut off and windows thrown open.

There are even fewer visitors here this November than others when we have visited. The down turn in the economy has left many vacation rentals empty and most restaurants begging for customers.

But we have enjoyed every moment here on this tropical paradise and have had a few nice surprises with meeting some lovely new people and discovering a few new places to eat.

The nicest surprise came today when I wandered to the beach by myself and sat looking at the incredible number of pelicans and shore birds gathered there. There obviously must have been a huge school of fish close in to land as the pelicans and smaller birds were diving into the gulf repeatedly coming up with tasty morsels. Also close in were several dolphin jumping for joy it seemed at the bounty of food just below the water's surface.

The most amazing sight, however, and one I had never witnessed on Sanibel, was the eagle who was walking along the beach. He appeared to have no fear whatsoever of the few beach goers and was walking up to them within arms reach.

The beach goers were racing back to their condos and houses to grab their cameras, and the eagle seemed to be waiting for their return.

When the cameras arrived, the eagle just posed and walked about close to the wannabe nature photographers.

I thought perhaps he was injured and was a bit alarmed, but after posing for a dozen portraits, he fluffed his wings and flew away, amazingly graceful in his departure.

Perhaps his friendliness is due to the fact that he has been able to garner not only admiration but some handouts from beach goers, and that would make sense.

Or, perhaps, like most "wild" creatures on Sanibel, he knows that all creatures great and small are welcome on this little island, protected and treasured.

Either way, his presence was awe inspiring.


Tootie said...

What a nice surprise that was! I loved your description, the next best thing to being there. :-)

Samba said...

Unlike us, Tootie, I know you are lucky enough to live here year round. Are eagle beach visits a common thing?

Our Vanilla Life said...

That is too cool!