This morning, with a list of small and large projects staring me in the face, I decided that a trip to Otter Slough was in order . . . before heading to Lowe's to pick up the needed supplies for aforementioned projects. Heck, the store didn't open until 9 a.m. anyway, and I was up and awake at 5:30. Seemed reasonable.
I made it to O.S. just as the first shots of Dove hunting season rang out over the landscape. I watched over Cypress Lake for nearly a half an hour and witnessed about 13 Forster's Terns taking "turns" diving into the water. I worked my way toward the headquarters building. I figured that I would watch for warblers and was not disappointed; although all would be considered summer residents.
I then sat for nearly an hour on the observation deck behind the headquarters bldg. It was here that I spotted the Roseate Spoonbill. Nearing 8 a.m., I happened to look to the South through the break in the trees over Otter Lake and spotted a large bird flying about about 100+ feet in the air. It was one of those moments when you might catch yourself saying aloud, "That's odd!?" I did anyway. My mind's wheels were already in motion studying the bird - long wings and slow wingbeats, long outstretched neck in front and legs outstretched behind, long bill with a large bulb at the end, PINK coloration.
I grabbed my camera which was hanging on my scope at the ready; althought the scope was not focused for such a distance. Once I found the spoonbill in focus, the rapid flying Spoonbill was soon behind Tupelo and Cypress treetops.
The Spoonbill was flying due West . . . with purpose! I guess what with all the gunfire, it wasn't going to lollygag around. I unsuccessfully searched for it west of Otter Slough, but based on the speed and height with which it was flying when I observed it, it appeared to have no intention of doubling back or dropping down for a rest.
At about 8:30 a.m., the steady parade of hunter traffic to the headquarters bldg. let me that I would probably be okay venturing out to check the pools/fields for shorebirds and ducks. I was about 1/2 down 870 Express when movement in the semi-flooded field stopped my progress. As I scanned the field (still in the truck) I saw a shorebird literally feeding circles around N. Shovelers. A closer look revealed a male Wilson's Phalarope. Pool #24; http://mdc.mo.gov/documents/area_brochures/5004map.pdf
Not a bad morning. I'm not sure I would have had the flyby Spoonbill had there not been gunfire. Just goes to show, you never know!
Talk to your Yahoo! Friends via Windows Live Messenger. Find Out How
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
To unsubscribe or change subscription options: