Home Away from Home - Winter 2020 travel blog

ibis and friends

lone blue heron

got it!

berm walk

viewing platform

roseate spoonbill

 

wide angle

heron?

 

 


We are still looking to recapture that perfect day when we drove on the Black Point nature trail and it was loaded with water birds. I checked the date on this blog when we had had that memorable experience and saw that it was just about this time in February so we decided to make another visit. As we drove on the narrow berm that separates the ponds from one another, we could see birds in the distance, but opportunities for photographs were slim. In the middle of the drive you can park and take a number of paths to overlooks and platforms. Which way to go? We picked well today and came close to a favorite - roseate spoonbills. Finally a bird hat I am sure I can identify. Not only are their bright pink feathers eye catching, but their spoonbill shaped beaks are unique in this part of the world. The way they eat is also distinctive. They look like they are vacuuming the mud flats as they pass their heads through the shallow water and suck in tiny fish. Many of the birds we saw today fish in gangs and mingle readily. That could mean that the fish are prolific in that spot or that there is strength in numbers when predators are nearby. The herons that we often see where we stay, like to fish in clearly defined territories about one hundred yards apart from either other. Although I believe that all these birds can fly, many prefer strolling or taking a short hop up into a bush. The coots are especially fun to watch since they start by galloping across the water. iI takes them a while to get up to speed to be able to take off.

Even with the Merlin bird app on my phone I struggle to identify much of what we see, but some are beginning to feel like old friends. Sometimes their names make no sense: "The reddish egret comes in two colors: white or grayish blue." Why is it called reddish?

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