I found some old pictures that I had taken many years ago of my first encounter with roseate spoonbills. These were taken in 2009 with my first DSLR camera, a Nikon D60. I was out walking around at Lake Seminole Park and saw these guys walking along the lake. The water was low and I was able to hike out near the edge and stood in the muck watching these guys feed for at least an hour. I was using my old Sigma 150mm – 500mm lens so they were still pretty far out. Every once in a while they would look up at me but then continue to feed. I remember this morning well.
Some of the friends nearby were mallards and a black neck stilt.
I look over to my left and this tri colored heron was watching me like I was crazy.
I walked into the big aviary at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park and the spoonbills were lined up along the railing. They didn’t move at all when I walked in. I had to stand in the doorway to get them across the boardwalk with my 300mm lens. They are beautiful birds, like pink cotton candy. The colors and details in their faces are amazing. They seem to be just waking up from their morning nap when I had walked in, stretching and preening.
The two above were taken with my phone.
The northern pintail taking a nap on the boardwalk didn’t move when I walked past him. I enjoyed a few minutes of quiet time with the spoonies before a big family came in the aviary. At that point, the spoonies and pintail knew it was time to leave the boardwalk and head to the bushes and water in the aviary.
Lots of spoonbills in the marsh mixed in with the ibis.
Must have been some good snacks in the marsh this morning I was at Circle B Bar Reserve in late January.
Lots of white pelicans flying overhead but none were landing.
A great blue heron taking off.
I’ve only seen 2 blue wing teals this winter.
This sandhill crane was standing on a nest out in the marsh. I have since heard that this nest did not work but there are other crane couples out there nesting. It would be fun to have crane babies this spring.
This spring we had a drought here in central Florida. The marshes at Circle B Bar Reserve had all dried up except for a tiny few spots. This one marsh still had some water in it so all of the birds were feeding in the same spot. I guess the bugs were plentiful in this spot. I’m not sure how long they stayed there feeding but the morning I was there in late April they were packed in and fighting over space. The crowd was mostly great egrets, snowy egrets and spoonbills but there were a few tricolored herons, little blue herons, great blue herons and green herons. Oh, also glossy ibis, white ibis and wood storks. It’s been years since we’ve seen that many water birds congregate like that so everyone was taking tons of pictures including me.
Due to the drought we’ve had in April and May, the water level was very low at Lettuce Lake Park in north Tampa. Before I got to the boardwalk I noticed a lot of pink near the shoreline of the lake where the canoe launch is. There was a handful of spoonbills feeding close to the shoreline. They didn’t seem to mind me, kept right on feeding with barely a glance.