Our man Walt checks out the treetops and osprey platform at Ocean’s Reach from his prime spot on the fourth floor of Building 2.
What did Walt see with his telescopic eye? Look closely and you, too, will see a refurbished osprey nest with a proud mother sitting stately. Although a late nester, and sitting since mid-February, she’s been going strong and we’re hopeful that we may be able to greet a new osprey family soon.
The birth of osprey hatchlings is a special event for our guests at Ocean’s Reach. We’ve witnessed this rare sight three times in the past ten years, so you can understand why we are on pins and needles with anticipation!
As many of you know, our Osprey Cam was struck by lightning so we’re unable to provide video as in the past, but stay tuned for breaking news!
It’s time to keep your eyes open for the protected nesting sites along the beach and the future arrival of snowy plover hatchlings!
The small shorebirds that you often see on the Ocean’s Reach beach are forming mating pairs and establishing their nesting territories. Nests consist of small scrapes in the sand, sometimes with bits of shell, and are well camouflaged to avoid detection by predators. The snowy plover lays its eggs and raises its young on the open dry sand.
Head to the east side of Ocean’s Reach to Gulfside City Park and you will see the largest nesting site roped off that we’ve ever seen! A group of plovers have been using the same area recently for foraging and roosting.
Read more about the snowy plover on Sanibel, SCCF’s new banding project and how you can get involved!
Have you ever heard that low tides are great for birding?
Tarpon Bay Explorers — the official concessionairre of the JN “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge — has just announced a new Low Tide Kayak Tour to add to your “don’t miss” list!
This 90-minute tour will take you through Tarpon Bay’s tidal flats, where extreme low tides expose mud and grass flats that create great feeding opportunities for a variety of bird species including herons, egrets, ibis and osprey. Low tides also make it easier to find manatees and dolphins. You’ll learn how these birds utilize the low tides and why small things like grasses and oysters are so crucial to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mangrove estuary ecosystem.
An added benefit of taking the tour (versus a kayak rental) is that after the 90-minute tour is complete, paddlers have the option of keeping the kayak for the rest of the day free of charge! Paddlers can keep paddling the open waters of Tarpon Bay or head into the mangrove forest through Commodore Creek (tide permitting).
The tour costs $30 per adult and $20 per child (age 12 and under). Reservations recommended.
Keep in mind, this tour is only offered when the bay is experiencing EXTREME low tides. Thus, this kayak tour is not offered every week. For dates, times and more information, call 1-239-472-8900.
The people behind the Insane Inflatable 5K — a fun and dynamic 5K, made up solely of inflatable obstacles — say this course will challenge you, surprise you, and leave you bouncing back for more!
3.1 miles. 11 insane inflatables. 1 crazy fun day!
It’s all coming to Fort Myers at jetBlue Park on Saturday, April 15. For more information, check out https://insaneinflatable5k.com/.
Bike or hike Wildlife Drive for free, watch a free film, and take advantage of free programs at this year’s Earth Day at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, April 22, 2017.
The refuge will celebrate the 47th anniversary of Earth Day with an earth-friendly Family Story & Craft time and free Gators & Crocs and Birding the Refuge programs
As in the past, the popular “Bagzilla” will mingle with guests, and show how her attire represents the average person’s annual plastic bag consumption. Plus, the refuge will screen the multi-award-winning film Bag It! Is Your Life Too Plastic? which reveals, in an entertaining manner, just how plastic crazy we really are and how we can change our patterns.
Below is the full schedule for earth-friendly and free fun throughout the day:
7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Wildlife Drive is open free to bikers and hikers only ($5 fee per vehicle).
10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Family Craft & Story, Visitor & Education Center
10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Gators & Crocs Program, Crossdike Pavilion
11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Bag It! Is Your Life Too Plastic? Film Showing, Visitor & Education Center
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Birds of the Refuge Program, Crossdike Pavilion
For more information on Earth Day at the Refuge, call 1-239-472-1100.
The ever-popular Diner’s Delight coupon booklets — better known as the “Kiwanis Books” — are here!
A key fundraising vehicle for an assortment of Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club scholarship programs, the Diner’s Delight coupon books feature promotional offers for more than two dozen favorite island eateries, valid May 1 – December 19, 2017.
This year’s participants include:
- Beach Piez
- Blue Giraffe
- The Bubble Room
- Captiva House – ‘Tween Waters Inn
- Crow’s Nest – ‘Tween Waters Inn
- Doc Ford’s – Sanibel and Captiva locations
- The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club
- Il Cielo
- The Island Cow
- Island Pizza
- Jerry’s Cafe
- La Bella Vita Ristorante – Sanibel Island Beach Resort (formerly Holiday Inn)
- Lazy Flamingo – Sanibel
- Lazy Flamingo – Santiva
- Normandie Seaside Cafe – West Wind Inn
- Sanibel Deli
- Santiva General Store
- Seabreeze Cafe – Sundial
- Sunset Grill
- Sunshine Seafood Cafe / Keylime Bistro / RC Otters / Sunshine Seafood Cafe / Cantina Captiva
- Summerlin Jake’s Seafood and Steaks
- Thistle Lodge – Casa Ybel Resort
- The Timbers
The 2017 Diner’s Delight coupon booklets are available for $35 each on a first-come, first-served payment basis. As in past years, we anticipate that they will sell out quickly, so buy yours today!
You may purchase them via cash or check at the Ocean’s Reach front office while supplies last.
Checks should be made out for $35 per booklet and payable to Sanibel-Captiva Kiiwanis Club.
We regret that we can no longer “hold” books for any guests without prior payment. Please mail your check to Ocean’s Reach, 2230 Camino del Mar, Sanibel FL 33957.
Our wonderful Ocean’s Reach summertime greeter, Wendy, said she’s found the ideal day trip for those visiting Sanibel: the Naples Botanical Gardens!
“OMG! What a beautiful place to escape for a day. Truly a treat for all the senses.
Peace and quiet abounds in this luscious gem in the middle of busy Naples. Stroll,
feast your eyes on myriad species of plants in various garden environments, and over
pools, ponds, waterfalls. Rest in one of many tucked away enclaves or on the grass,
a bench … or try the rocking bench. Bounteous orchids are abloom in the orchid
garden. Dine on yummy foods in the cafe. Stay for an evening of music, or join a
group or class. Everywhere you turn more beauty greets the eyes!”
She fell in love with the current exhibit, Origami in the Garden, on view daily through April 23, 2017. These monumental sculptures created by artist Kevin Box tell the story of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. The exhibition includes large-scale installations, gallery works, Box’s own compositions as well as collaborative works with several world-renowned origami artists. Related family activities, lectures and workshops accompany the exhibition. Origami-themed merchandise from home decor to ornaments, jewelry, and adult and children’s craft kits, are available so you can take a piece of Origami in the Garden home with you!