Avocet Island

Avocet Island

A new island /sandbar emerged in the Gulf of Mexico 18 days ago. I have wanted to check it out since the first time I laid eyes on it. The day arrived for exploring this little spit of sand when Gail, Billie, Hilliary and Beth went exploring with me. I was throwing the bow anchor when Gail said, “look at those birds”.  I thought, “yes”,  there have been some nice gulls and black skimmers, but I had no idea what I was in for as I looked back and saw seven Avocets! In all my years of guiding I have never seen an Avocet. I have only seen this bird in books.  I grabbed my camera and took many photos. After catching my breath and shaking my head in disbelief, I finally got the stern anchor out and we shelled this new formation of sand and shell. This little spit of sand was loaded with a diversity of shells. A large horse conch and lightning whelk were found as well as sand dollars and a beautiful alphabet cone. The day was filled with new discoveries. I have named this new spit of sand “Avocet Island”.
Brian Holaway

I have been a Shelling Guide to Cayo Costa State Park since 1995. Many people know me as the Shelling Guide and Captain with Captiva Cruises over the past 20 years. In 2016 I began solely offering private small boat charters to the islands of Pine Island Sound including Cayo Costa State Park, Cabbage Key, Useppa Island, Pine Island and North Captiva. I am a certified Florida Master Naturalist, licensed USCG Captain, avocational photographer, seashell enthusiast and passionate about the history, people and culture of Southwest Florida, especially Cayo Costa. I volunteer as a member of Friends of Cayo Costa State Park and have great respect for the heritage of Cayo Costa. My goal is to provide guests with an overall experience and appreciation for the waters, islands, shells, plants, marine life, wildlife, history and people of this unique area of Southwest Florida.

  • Kim@Snug Harbor
    Posted at 08:49h, 23 April

    You are killing me with the shells and the birds. 3 weeks!!

  • Nancy
    Posted at 17:00h, 23 April

    I can just imagine how exciting it was to turn and see those birds! They are beautiful.

  • Susan
    Posted at 10:50h, 24 April

    Holy Smokes!

  • M
    Posted at 11:45h, 25 April

    WOW! Beautiful enjoy that private island

  • Moira
    Posted at 11:45h, 25 April

    Beautiful birds and great shells!!! One week from *right now* we will be shelling with you!!! Hope you can take us by this new island!

  • Gail D
    Posted at 21:40h, 21 May

    Is Avocet Island still there? What a fun experience to be the first ones to shell on it in April!! I also snapped a good pic of the Avocets before they flew off.