It can be disconcerting when a flock of wading birds lands in a tree over your head. Thoughts of getting pooped on come to mind, and as much as I’d hate to be the recipient of that I’d hate it to land on my camera even more.
This flock of six or eight White Ibis didn’t seem to be concerned about the few photographers standing below and provided some nice poses.
After awhile they took off one by one, and because they were so close to the trees there was no option for in flight photographs.
These were taken in the middle of February and just a few buds were starting to show on the trees.
Now that I’ve gotten more comfortable with the Sony Alpha 6500 for landscape images I’m spending some time working with the 55-200 mm lens for bird photos. Making adjustments is less intuitive than the Canon gear I’ve become accustomed to, but these Ibis were just hanging around which gave me some time to think about what I was doing.
In addition to the poser above, several Ibis were pecking at the edge of the pond. Their blue eyes are one of these birds’ claim to fame.
I don’t usually do this but in this last image I did edit out the poop on his back side. The White Ibis are so white that it just bothered me.
I’m making progress but more practice is definitely in order!
Even if you can’t see that identifying beak an Ibis is easy to distinguish because of their behavior. Walk and probe, walk and probe. They have none of the patient hunting of a heron or egret.
That blue eye is a giveaway, too, when you get closer.
Ibis are wading birds that prefer areas of standing water but I often see them in wooded areas or out of the water poking in the grass around a pond. It was nice of the one above to stand on a branch while pondering his next move.
In the White Ibis below you can just see the black of his wingtips in the line running down his back.
This pair of White Ibis were sitting quietly in a tree when I came upon them at the pond last week, beaks tucked in and one blue eye showing. A pair of Great Blue Herons are making a nest just above this limb and I was surprised the Ibis weren’t driven away in a territory dispute.
One was a little more alert, perhaps the lookout or maybe ready to move on. It was a gray day showing off the colors of the mossy tree.
I walked passed the tree and the Ibis pair put some space between them. From this angle around the corner you can see how close the Great Blue Heron from the tier above was to the Ibis.
Ibis always make me smile. They chatter, a lot, in an “unmusical” way according to All About Birds. There is no mistaking them for something else, by sound or sight with that big beak. A small group took off as we rounded the corner of the rice field and this one landed in a tree hanging over the path, nicely framed by the turning leaves.
He didn’t stay in the tree long, spotting some of the others who had landed in some open water at the edge of the marsh.
He touched down gently on the other side of the path showing off his black wing tips.
It was a glorious morning. A flock of Spoonbills was feeding in one of the wildlife management area ponds led by one bird along the edge of a sandbar. A gathering of Ibis, Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets were partially hidden in the grass behind them.
All of the birds worked their way towards the other side of the pond, some a few at a time, others in groups. Below, Spoonbills and Ibis lifted off together.
This was one of the first cool (60 degrees F) mornings we’ve had this fall. That along with a stiff breeze kept the mosquitoes away adding to the morning’s pleasure.