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Our Property Becomes a Refuge for Sandpipers Impacted by Red Tide

Published on March 19, 2019 by espaid

Although technically called Sanderling, you may know them better as Sandpipers. Presently, these plump little peeps have migrated to our private shore as a respite. They have been enjoyable to watch dart back and forth in choreographed unison across the sandbar created by breezes driven from the north.

Sandpipers or Sanderlings

Birds of a feather flock together chasing waves and feeding.

Our vacation property is an eco-destination that connects vacationers with nature in a relaxed environment. We provide a vacation guide with information about activities on and off the water, kayaks for guests to explore the Santa Rosa Sound to get close to dolphins, or see Bald Eagles roosting atop pine trees. It is why we also provide a 200-ft dock where guests can enjoy crabbing and fishing right on the property.

The dock is the epicenter for nature watching. In the morning you can enjoy pelicans and blue herons hanging out on the dock. They like to perch high to watch over the water. In the afternoon, walk along the dock and peer into the clear water, which provides a window to viewing schools of fish. You can occasionally see a passing pod of dolphin from the end of the dock as well. In the evening, as the water calms and the sun sets, you can observe fish leaping from the water.

The Santa Rosa Sound

Our private dock overlooking the Santa Rosa Sound is the epicenter for watching nature.

This past year the Gulf Coast was impacted by a cataclysmic red tide, which caused a bloom of algae that is toxic to sensitive populations of sea life that feed from the ocean bottom. Miles of dead fish littered the Gulf beaches in 2018, creating both a bad odor. Even manatees, dolphins, and hundreds of sea turtles washed up dead on the shores.

The red tide left its mark on Florida’s birds, too. Sick birds have shown up at wildlife hospitals in record numbers. Naturally, your smaller species, such as sandpipers, are more sensitive to the changes in their environment and their food supply.

That is why it is rewarding that our spot along the Santa Rosa Sound has been an oasis both from the red tide impacting the Gulf shore, and in providing a safe location for migratory birds to wade and feed.

Make vacation plans to visit Navarre, FL and our homes on the Santa Rosa Sound where you can be treated to scenes like this one taken recently of these fascinating birds feeding on a sandbar alongside our dock.

Meet The Author
We have been hosting guests since 2003 when we bought our first place on Folly Beach, near Charleston, SC. It was something we kind of fell into. One day our friends mentioned a place they bought on Folly and invited us to stay. We headed there during a cold weekend in February and were wowed by the funky island and the amazing view of the river and marsh. The price was low and we decided to buy one as well and rent it out. We have added two more places in the Florida Panhandle and have not looked back.
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