IN THE PINK; ROSEATE SPOONBILLS
|A Roseate Spoonbill sitting on a tree branch along Hwy 41, Big Cypress National Preserve, FL; 12/29/2012.|
|The arrows are pointing to two Roseate Spoonbills mixed in with some Reddish Egrets, Magnificent Frigatebirds, and Brown Pelicans, Isla Contoy, MX; 12/21/2010.|
|A blurry Roseate Spoonbill flying closely overhead, Everglades Nat. Park, FL; 12/29/2012.|
So as you can see, between my distance pics from Mexico, and my blurry shot in the Everglades, I was getting frustrated with my lack of luck / ability to get a good photograph of one of our country's most beautiful birds.
On our way back to Fort Myers, to catch a flight to Phoenix, AZ, we had two more destinations. The first was to make a second stop at the Oasis Visitor's Center in the Big Cypress National Preserve, since we saw much wildlife there three days before. All along Hwy 41, we were spotting Aligators, Kingfishers and Herons and Egrets of all kinds. The Center did not disappoint as there were lots of widlife hanging out in the canal running along the highway, but no Spoonbills. As we were leaving the parking lot, I saw a flock of Roseate Spoonbills fly overhead, and it looked like one landed in a tree not far from the roadside. I pulled over, got out and saw the neck and head of a Spoonbill peaking over the treeline where it landed. I climbed onto the rental car to get a better look and sure enough within 100' or so, sat my opportunity. I hoped it would stay put until I could get my camera equipment ready, and it did - it stayed for the entire 5-10 minutes we stopped to get photographs and gave us nice full-body portraits (Top of page).
|Roseate Spoonbill sitting pink amidst a stand of White Ibis, Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve, FL; 12/30/2012.|
|Another of the three Roseate Spoonbills, Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve, FL; 12/30/2012.|
... I would consider the trip a birding success. These waders are primarily found in the southern third of Florida and also along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast.