Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Roseate Spoonbills and White Ibis

Having grown up in the Chihuahuan Desert, I find coastal water birds fascinating, especially the exotic-looking one like spoonbills and ibis. On this trip, our first glimpse of a spoonbill was on the observation tower at Aransas NWR, watching a pink bird feeding in the salt marsh a quarter mile away. For reference, when fully zoomed to 215mm, the framing is equivalent to a 750mm lens on an APS-C DSLR.

Canon SX50 HS - ISO-640, f/6.5, 1/320s, 215mm
The best flock we saw was in the marshes around the Cape Velero neighborhood in Rockport.  We parked well away from the homes and stayed on the road, so we were still not very close to the birds. The shots of the Roseate Spoonbill with wings extended show how strongly colored the underside is. It was very common to see small egrets, spoonbills and ibis grouped together. Possibly a commensal feeding arrangement?

Canon SX50 HS
Canon SX50 HS
Again, kayaking proved to be the way to observe more closely. Getting closer with an excitable Labrador on board is not very practical. Before getting the camera out of the dry bag, I always beach the kayak so there is no chance of the electronics going into the drink. I took this shot from the opposite shore of a small cut at about 100ft from the birds.

Canon SX50 HS - ISO-400, f/6.5, 1/400s

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