Seagulls are common here on the Georgia coast. Whether I’m at the beach, riding in the boat, or sitting on my back deck I am likely to see some seagulls. They are so common I hardly even notice them and rarely photograph them. The gull at the top of the page is a ring-billed gull I spotted on the beach one winter.
Several years ago, Henry and I were sitting on our back deck when a big pink bird flew over the marsh and landed in the creek. Like any good bird photographer I grabbed my camera and went out to investigate.
There were two Roseate Spoonbills searching for food in the creek bed. Until that sighting I had never seen one of these magnificent birds in our area.
There was another Roseate Spoonbill in the creek for a few days the next year. Sadly, they haven’t been back since then.
One winter a few years ago a Snowy Owl was spotted on top of one of the condominium buildings at the beach. Of course I grabbed my camera and went in search of this bird rarely seen in coastal Georgia. I set up my tripod with other excited birders and snapped away. He was pretty far off but I managed to get this shot. Can you see his yellow eyes?
For this week’s challenge I chose a few images of my favorite orange legged bird, the American White Pelican. With a wing span of up to 9 feet, they are one of largest birds in North America.
My first sighting of them was in Cedar Key, Florida. I have also seen huge flocks in Everglades National Park, on the Texas Gulf Coast, and have even seen a flock on Lake Chicot in Arkansas.
I fell in love with these birds when I first saw them several years ago while on a nature cruise in the waters around Cedar Key. Our captain took us by several flocks standing on sandbars and some flew right beside the boat.
At Goose Island State Park on the Texas Gulf Coast there were White Pelicans hanging around the docks every day hoping for an easy meal.
I was surprised to see a huge flock of big white birds on Lake Chicot in Arkansas. It wasn’t until I got out the binoculars that I could see they were White Pelicans. They were too far away to get a good photo but I was able to capture this one flying on the other side of lake while a Great Blue Heron stood in the shallow water by the shoreline.
Of all the birds of prey I’ve seen in the wild, the Bald Eagle is by far my favorite. These magnificent birds mate for life and return to the same nest year after year. Alaska is a Bald Eagle lovers paradise.
There are Bald Eagles on some of the Georgia barrier islands near our home but it isn’t every day that one decides to perch on top of our neighbor’s dock house. I was able to get a photo of this Bald Eagle on a foggy December afternoon.
Sometimes I can hear the owls in the trees in our neighborhood but they are hard to see. One morning this juvenile horned owl perched on our dock for a while.
Hawks are birds of prey I’ve often seen in Georgia and Florida.
An occasional hawk will fly over our back yard in search of a tasty morsel. One day one stopped for a break on a fence post.
I often see ospreys soaring overhead as they search for food. I have managed to capture some on their nests.