Out in the wetlands just before sunrise, a Great Blue Heron was mirrored on the undisturbed surface of the lake:
It was a great morning to find a Roseate Spoonbill!
These magnificent birds rarely visit our local wetlands. I saw two at a great distance and the next day one of them showed up in a small pool of water which had been cut off from the lake as water levels receded. As the pool diminished in size it concentrated fish and other marine organisms, a protein-rich "soup" for waders. There was barely room for the foraging herons, ibises and a yellowlegs which joined the spoonbill.
The spoonbill surprised me as it emerged from behind some vegetation. A Greater Yellowlegs waded alongside it:
Like the spoonbill, the immature White Ibis next to it is also a tactile feeder, clamping down on any organism which touch its sensitive bill. The spoonbill sweeps the water in hopes of encountering its prey, while the ibis keeps its bill partially open as it walks along:
Two Snowy Egrets hunt next to the spoonbill. Sight feeders, the egrets probably benefit when the spoonbill and ibis stir up the fish and frighten them out into the open:
Roseate Spoonbills are a favorite subject. This one visited our birding patch in December, 2012:
A large flock was present at a Stormwater Treatment Area (STA-5) in Hendry County in February, 2015:
This was my first photo of a spoonbill, back in 2009, soon after I purchased my Canon 30D:
Several Wood Storks flew over, a welcome sight which meant that water levels are once again favorable for their feeding habits:
This stork had foraged in the same pool only days earlier:
The spoonbills' first visit to our neighborhood provided a nice opportunity to record their feeding habits in a video. (I thought I had lost my New Jersey accent after all these years!)
If the video fails to load, please click THIS LINK
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Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,
Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa).
Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James
Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display