Thursday, May 12, 2011

Smith Oaks Rookery 1

Saturday morning we met up with our friends Joy and Mark at Boy Scout Woods in High Island. As it was the last "official" day of migration there and the southerly winds were still carrying migrants further inland, there were few birders around and even fewer birds. So we drove up the road to see what was happening at Smith Oaks.

The rookery was packed with large wading birds, with those closest to the viewing platforms being mainly Great Egrets and Roseate Spoonbills. 

As usual, some birds were impressing everyone with their elegance as they posed on high branches or flew around and landed on tree tops. 


And some were looking a little less than elegant. 

The Great Egrets were attracting a lot of attention from the onlookers because they had easily visible chicks in their nests. 

Several were busy feeding their young.

With their striking plumage and rather absurd bills, the Spoonbills are always fun to watch. Several had eggs in their nests and one female was busy turning her eggs.

While the mother struggled to turn over each egg, the father watched closely, presumably to make sure his partner was handling the task correctly.


While most of the Spoonbills were at their nests, several were feeding in the water.

They seemed unconcerned by the alligators which were patrolling and looking for lunch.

Other alligators were lying basking on the shore. Presumably they had already snapped up an unwary wading bird or perhaps a chick that had fallen from its nest.


Of course, Great Egrets and Roseate Spoonbills were not the only species at the rookery and I will report tomorrow on some of the other birds we saw there. 

1 comment:

Kah-Wai Lin said...

Great capture! The spoonbills are beautiful!