Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in My Blog | 2 comments

Keeping One’s Eye on the Prize

For nearly three years now, I have been a seeker of the Roseate Spoonbill.  I admit that birders can be looked upon as a little weird by some, but among ourselves, we see ourselves as focused and patient.  Those two traits are absolute necessities a birders learns very quickly or the sport is just not for you.

Whenever I go birding in a new area, I research what birds one might see there so that I know what my targets are.  Mind you, the only birds I shoot are shot with my camera.  I have looked in SC low-country, Georgia coastal areas and in Florida for the big pink bird with the unusual bill…shaped like a big spoon, hence the name “spoonbill.”  But, in each location, I have searched and inquired and finished each day with pretty photos of gorgeous birds, yes, but the spoonbill, No!  Each time, I give thanks for the ones I did see as well as safety along my journeys.

I spent the Christmas holidays with my Florida family and after returning to NC, receive a photo message from my land-developing son-in-law showing me the picture HE captured of some spoonbills on a piece of land he is developing.  Wow!  What luck, I thought, as I grumbled a bit to myself.  I WILL find that bird!!

Well, my house sold more quickly than I thought it would so I had to get back down to FL to find my new home.  I planned to drive about half-way, spend the night in Jacksonville and then, do a little birding at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near Titusville, FL.  It was a beautiful day and I got great photos of a variety of birds, the ponds and the marshes.  Of course, I was seeking the Roseate Spoonbill, but I enjoyed all the diverse birds there.  There were many white American Pelicans, egrets, herons, all sorts of ducks, and white ibis.  

As I moved along the path, I saw flying above me a lovely and graceful Roseate Spoonbill.  No time to get the picture but I SAW THE BIRD!!  I was walking the path and another birder passed by and I whispered, “Did you by chance get a photo of that spoonbill in flight?”  He said, “No, but there’s a bunch of them feeding down that way.”

As I was shooting a large gathering of the pelicans, I zoomed out a little further and saw PINK!!!  There were two spoonbills foraging nearby.  Praising God the entire time, I snapped my camera as quickly as I could with some care.

Then, I quickly headed in the direction of where the man had come from and what a feast!!  ‘Twas a feast the 20+ spoonbills were enjoying and a feast for my eyes as well.  Perhaps it was so enjoyable because of the long search I had had to finally see them.  Perhaps it was simply because of my appreciation of God’s creativity, artistic design and His sense of humor in that spoon-shaped bill!  Whatever, it was a glorious bit of time as I snapped away.

Once I felt I had enough, I started the trek back to my car.  I must have passed 6 or 8 other birders walking toward me and EACH one slowed to whisper the same question, “Were there any roseate spoonbills down that way?”  This made me smile inside and out for I was imagining their oncoming gasps and ooos and ahs set ahead of them.

Love me some Roseate Spoonbills!!!  Thank you, Lord!

 

2 Comments

  1. 3-11-2013

    Another meaningful blog . . .thanks!

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