It might be easier if duolingo accepted "Over there are eight red flowers." That would show the difference between "da sind" and "es gibt".
"da ist/sind" is used in a specific sense (as in "X is right over there"), while "es gibt" is nonspecific (as in "X exists").
Although you are right, it doesn't sound right to me. My instinctive reaction to "da" is "there". To me it is the most frequent meaning. I know that in certain situations "da" is more like "here" because it is not far away, but that could still be considered "there" - not as far away but as a pointer to a specific spot. As Krueksauer wrote for "here" there is a perfect translation "hier". In short: "da" is pointing at something near or farther away, "hier" is pointing at something close, "dort" is pointing at something farther away.
Oh! German adjective agreements! Was there ever anything more designed to trap the unwary? Or the forgetful. . .
I swear I've heard "Das sind acht Rote Blumen" and not "Da sind acht rote Blumen".
Yes, I should have told you. Sorry I'm not able to do a screen shot. 1. You do a sentence. 2. Check to see if it is correct or not. 3. Now you'll see on the bottom left a space that says: Report a problem. 4. click that and you'll get a few choices (the audio was bad, etc) if you want there is a space at the end to write your problem. 5. Then press "Submit".
Then the staff read all the problem and make changes if they think it's necessary. You don't get a reply, only next time you see that "mistake" it might be corrected, then you know you helped. If you need help let me know. Good luck, good learning.