Just One Bird. And Marvelous Light (3/2/21)

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zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 33,799
Just One Bird. And Marvelous Light (3/2/21)

Continuing my wildlife and birding post catch-up project, I have been sharing some shots of the beautiful Florida native roseate spoonbill, a bird only found in a handful of Gulf-coast states and spots (and which honestly should be Florida's state bird instead of the ridiculous mockingbird which seems to be EVERYONE'S state bird!)...and I mentioned I've got more spoonbill action to come.

Well, for this thread, I will wrap up December 13th where the last post left off by focusing on just a single species of bird.  At sunset, as duck approached, and I was getting ready to leave Green Cay Wetlands, I was passing some ibis feeding and bathing in the shallows when the lovely burst of pink flashed in the distance...and came right into the middle of the ibis to bathe, feed, and generally show off - then a second spoonbill joined the party - though the two kept distance from each other.  With the mix of sunset light, sun hiding behind the clouds, and dusk, the changing warm/cool light was fantastic to shoot such colorful birds, and I couldn't help but to keep rattling off shots.  I generally wouldn't just shoot and share a single species for 15 frames, but these beauties were worth it.

All shots taken with the A6600 and FE 200-600mm G OSS combo, and all are posted at 1800 pixels on the long side if you view them in original size:

The roseate spoonbill approaching in the overcast light as the sun was hiding behind western clouds

Coming in to land, right in front of me...it's as if he saw the photographer and wanted to show off his modeling skills

Not all the birds were immediately happy with the showoff arriving - there were some tussled feathers and raised wings from the ibises already in that spot

But as the sun peeked back out from the cloud bank, things settled and the spoonbill went about his business

Another spoonbill arrived, and stayed in its own space...he ibises seemed to ignore him after a while...pretending not to notice that flashy attire

As the sun dropped to the west, the very low angle of the sun started picking up the sky reflections in the water, and of course the birds too

The normally brown and mucky water looked like a blue-silver mirror in that late light and the spoonbill picked up a partner in his reflection

The spoonbills seemed to occasionally stand and 'vogue' for a minute or two, showing off for the camera

Back to feeding...and back to that lovely reflection

Spoonbills use that spoon to comb around in the muck on the bottom of the shallow water to sift through and find the tasty crawfish and other shellfish hiding down there

Sometimes they'll even pick up roots and plants on the bottom, and toss them aside, knowing the crawfish often like to hide underneath

The sun was starting to disappear behind the treeline - not quite fully setting, but enough that the light was starting to disappear from the wetlands - I love how the color of the bird and water change as the light changes

A few last warm rays of light were reaching through, as the cooler dusk light started to take over - this spoonbill was having a little one-legged rest as the ibis in the background were reflecting behind him

Once the sun had hidden behind the treeline for good, the other spoonbill decided it was time for a little more feeding

But the other decided to stick with the one-legged rest...and with the light gone, sunglasses off, I headed back to my car to wrap up that lovely December 13th day

Comments, questions, and critique welcomed as always.

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