Or, Roseate and Gray if you want to be fancy. Either way I’ve always liked the color combination even if it didn’t make a great background for these photographs. This was a gray day and the mud was gray in this inlet where the tide was just starting to come back in.
A group of fifteen Spoonbills was coming and going looking for the best feeding spots and seemed oblivious to the coating of mud on their legs.
With perfect form this one dropped in…
…for a nice clean landing.
Oops, an extra step as the mud brought him to a stop.
Roseate Spoonbills are still around in a couple Wildlife Management Areas we visit along the coast of South Carolina. The bird resources all indicate that they don’t belong here, especially not well into fall, but we have seen flocks of six to forty.
This one was taking advantage of a shallow pond to get cleaned up.
He went through this ritual five or six times that I watched. Too much water in the air becomes blown out in the sun and behind him was shaded so I didn’t get much scenery to go with the shower. This development of the photos adds to the action.
He moved an amazing volume of water flapping his wings up and down.
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.
This group of wading birds was moving down the impoundment as a pack, presumably following the fish.
Many of the Roseate Spoonbills broke off on their own, preferring to feed in smaller groups or maybe needing shallower water. This older Spoonbill, identifiable by the darker pink on his wings, gets points for the big “swoosh” of water.
Setting up for the landing with uneven feet is awkward, but he pulled it off,
A near miss, this elegant landing scores extra for not disturbing his neighbor and for carrying a blade of marsh grass on his beak through the flight.