Upon check in at our RV Park here in Rockport, Texas, I asked the gal checking us in about things to see and do in the area. She very quickly responded, “Driving up and down Fulton Beach Road is a favorite pastime with many”. I found this response to be a little strange and somewhat unexpected. That sounds more like something bored teenagers would do; cruising the streets in their souped up cars.
However, curiosity got the better of me. The first thing the next morning I hop in the truck and go cruising up and down Fulton Beach Road. The little fishing town of Fulton, Texas, is a harbor town with a population hovering around 1,600. There’s no long beach to walk but there is plenty to see. First time through I’ll admit I didn’t ‘get it’.
I had to really slow down and look. I even parked the truck and walked here and there. That’s when I noticed the hidden ponds with unique birds, the wind-swept oak trees, the beautiful houses, and the fact everyone waves at one another. This is a place to take things slow, enjoy the surroundings, and just be.
During one sunny, beautiful morning while driving slowly down Fulton Beach Road on my way to the fish market, I spotted something pink in one of the ponds. I quickly pulled over, grabbed the camera, and jumped out of the truck. I knew this wasn’t a pink flamingo. This unusual bird was feeding in the shallow water swishing it’s spoon-shaped bill back and forth. I saw some of these guys at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge but they were so far away all I was really able to grasp was their brilliant pink color.
I was busy snapping away when a lady on her morning walk stopped and said, “Oh, you found a roseate spoonbill. This one is a little early. They usually don’t show up until about 10:00”. I make a mental note of that tidbit.
I try and get a little closer. I spend a good fifteen minutes watching this interesting bird before I drag myself away. Oh, did I forget to mention, I had ventured onto private property in an attempt to get closer and thus did not wish to over stay my welcome. Had it not been for the ‘no trespassing’ sign clearly I would have stayed for the next hour in hopes of capturing those pink wings spread in flight.Upon my return to the RV the first task at hand is to Google roseate spoonbill. Roseate spoonbills grow to a height of 32 inches (81 cm) with an average wingspan of 50 inches (127 cm). They eat primarily small fish and crustaceans and are found throughout the Gulf of Mexico coastline. Roseate spoonbills are silent and often solitary when they feed. That could explain why this one was alone.
Like many other bird species with beautiful plumage they were nearly hunted to extinction during the 1800’s. Their striking pink feathers were popular adornments on women’s hats and fans. Today’s threats come as a result of habitat loss.
I was so excited to capture a few shots of this pink beauty….. I love that pink body. Some say the pink is a result of all the shrimp it digests, others disagree. Regardless of the reason, the roseate spoonbill is one pretty in pink bird.
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