Big pluses were definitely the Hooded Mergansers, which I managed to see many of on several different occasions, and getting to see and photograph Black Skimmers, which although very unusual looking are quite an incredible bird. Getting a decent photo of the Black-bellied Whistling Duck was also an achievement as I'd been hoping for quite some time to find them in a location were I could photograph them.
By far the most exciting though was the Burrowing Owls, I have wanted to see these birds for years and I finally got the chance to see them. We checked out the recommended spots for them on our way to Captiva, but without any luck. We checked the same haunts again on the way home, the first yielded no birds but the second site gave us a few sightings, and despite little to no light and crappy photos, I'm pleased as punch about having seen those delightful little owls.
Onto the images:
Hooded Merganser (male)
Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Bottlenose Dolphin taken from a cruise
Great Blue Heron
Bald Eagle (3rd year bird)
Interestingly I saw a 4th year bird use the same small copse of trees on a following day.
Sanderling (The Red-necked Stint of Florida)
Brown Pelican preparing to dive for fish
Burrowing Owls (a terrible photo but still burrowing owls!)