Bird Weekly Challenge #14: Flocks

For this week’s Bird Weekly Challenge Lisa has asked us to show flocks of birds. The above image is of a flock of Roseate Spoonbills on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Flock of Great Egrets with two Spoonbills in Everglades National Park
Flock of Brown Pelicans in Coastal Georgia
Flocks of nesting Egrets and Wood Storks at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia

Thanks you Lisa. for this challenge. Her original post is Bird Weekly Challenge #14 – Flocks

Bird Weekly Challenge #11: Rare Bird for your Area

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.

Roseate Spoonbill in Georgia Tidal Creek
Roseate Spoonbill with 2 young juvenile little blue herons in Georgia

There was another Roseate Spoonbill in the creek for a few days the next year. Sadly, they haven’t been back since then.

Roseate Spoonbill in Georgia Creek

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?

Snowy Owl, Tybee Island, Georgia

Thanks you Lisa. for this challenge. Her original post is Bird Weekly Challenge #10 – Rare bird for your area

Throwback Thursday #13 – December 5, 2009

We’re not traveling as much in our fifth wheel anymore so I thought it would be fun to relive some of our most memorable days from previous RV trips.

On this day ten years ago, December 5, 2009, we were camped in the Flamingo Campground in Everglades National Park. We spent the day exploring the national park around Flamingo.

After entering Everglades National Park, the drive to the Flamingo Campground is another 38 miles through the park. Flamingo is the southernmost place in the mainland of the U.S. (The southernmost point in the U.S. is farther south in Key West.)

I wandered from our campsite in the morning to nearby Eco Pond where many wading birds were gathered.

20091205Flamingo-(46)
Egrets and Spoonbill at Eco Pond

20091205Flamingo-(7)
Wood Stork

20091205Flamingo-(13)
Roseate Spoonbill

Later in the day we went for a boat ride on a big pontoon boat in Florida Bay. There were some White Pelicans on a sandbar close to the boat. There were also hundreds of White Pelicans on a sand bar too far away to take pictures. As we headed back to the dock the rain started coming down.

20091205Flamingo-(75)
White Pelicans in Florida Bay

20091205Flamingo-(79)
Florida Bay on a rainy day

The Flamingo area of Everglades National Park is far from civilization and a wonderful place for bird watching and seeing other wildlife. In addition to the birds visitors can observe alligators and crocodiles in the wild. During certain times of year there may even be manatees in the water.

We enjoyed our stay so much we returned in 2012.

Saint Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery

The next stop on our winter RV journey was Saint Augustine, Florida. We had a beautiful campsite in Anastasia State Park to call home for a few days. The weather was lousy most of the time but we picked a perfect sunny day to do some sightseeing.

At the top of my to do list was visit the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm Wading Bird Rookery. During nesting season wading birds come to nest in the trees in the Native Swamp at the Alligator Farm. The birds who nest here are wild and can come and go as they please. Although it was a little early in the nesting season there were a lot of great egrets and roseate spoonbills wearing their breeding plumage and some pairs were starting to build their nests.

The trees surround a swamp area filled with alligators. A boardwalk winds around the swamp giving visitors close up views of the alligators in the water and the birds in the trees.

The Great Egrets showed off their breeding plumage and pairs worked on their nests.

20190211-Alligator-Farm-(39)
Great Egret with breeding plumage at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery

20190211-Alligator-Farm-(45)
Pair of egrets working on their nest

20190211-Alligator-Farm-(103)
Pair of great egrets at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery

20190211-Alligator-Farm-(137)
Egrets at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery

20190211-Alligator-Farm-(121)
You can take my picture now

20190211-Alligator-Farm-(162)
Great Egret Breeding Plumage

The Roseate Spoonbills were my favorite.

20190211-Alligator-Farm-(174)
Roseate Spoonbill at Alligator Farm

20190211-Alligator-Farm-(220)
Roseate Spoonbill at Alligator Farm Rookery

20190211-Alligator-Farm-(241)
Roseate Spoonbill at Alligator Farm Rookery

20190211-Alligator-Farm-(250)
Roseate Spoonbill at Alligator Farm Rookery

20190211-Alligator-Farm-(320)
Roseate Spoonbill at Alligator Farm Rookery

20190211-Alligator-Farm-(417)
Roseate Spoonbill at Alligator Farm Rookery

20190211-Alligator-Farm-(431)
Roseate Spoonbill at Alligator Farm Rookery

20190211-Alligator-Farm-(432)
Roseate Spoonbill at Alligator Farm Rookery

Coming up next, more about our St. Augustine adventure including other critters at the Alligator Farm.