Pretty in Pink

pink birdsUpon 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’.pretty in pink

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.

pretty in pinkIt’s pink feathers are absolutely gorgeous, but the face….I’ll call it unique.

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.pink feathered birdsUpon 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.roseate spoonbill

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.roseate spoonbill

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.pretty in pink
Birding Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend: More than 75 Prime Birding Sites (Birding Series)

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76 thoughts on “Pretty in Pink

  1. Pingback: Rubbing Elbows with the Mega-Wealthy and a Darling of an Island | Paint Your Landscape

  2. Pingback: Beach Scenes – Bonita Springs, FL | The Lowe's RV adventures

  3. Your Spoonbill pictures are spectacular! We have traveled to Flamingo in the Everglades twice in search of Roseate Spoonbills and saw a quite a lot there but they were never close enough to get really good photos. Thanks for sharing.

  4. You’ve been finding awesome-looking birds, eh. Seems like the birder in you is coming out. Watch out Mona Lisa. Ahihihihi. Excellent, excellent shots!!!

  5. I LOVE your study in pink! It is really an odd looking bird, homely almost, but covered with the most exquisite pink feathers…..mother nature has an interesting sense of humor! Thanks for showing it to us up close and personal.

    Sue

    • I like that “mother nature has an interesting sense of humor”. Very well put. Oh and those pink feathers are indeed exquisite….pretty beyond words. As our time here comes to an end, I was thrilled to capture this beauty before our wheels start to roll 🙂

    • Haven’t made it out on a boat just yet. Between the weather, head colds, and commitments we haven’t been able to schedule. Guess there’s next year, but hey at least I managed to capture one Roseate from land and she is a beauty 🙂

  6. What brilliant captures… our spoonbill is actually quite unassuming in comparison to your Rosetta… also they are not nearly as cooperative as this one seemed to be… what brilliant captures… creep closer and forget the trespassing signs.. I found most of these people understand birders… we are a funny lot… keep up the fantastic work…

    • Aren’t they something? She was very accommodating as if she was saying, “I know I’m beautiful”. Trespassing….That’s what I told hubby…..when one has a camera in hand, most folks don’t mind. I won’t be listening to him next time, as if I ever do LOL.

  7. Awesome, awesome, awesome photos of the spoonbill. My absolute favorites are the second, fifth and sixth spoonbill photos above. Wow! I love the sixth photo with the feathers standing up on its back and the second photo for the unique view of the spoonbill. Thanks for the lovely post!

    • Thanks Susan. I made it over to Port Aransas and wanted to check out those two birding places you blogged about. Long story short, we’re here with friends who don’t share similar interests in photography….sigh. Hubby and I are already talking about returning next winter and I have my list compiled. Our 30 days as flown by 😦

  8. What a great find! I especially like that last photo.

    Thanks for the link to the festival. I’ve been eyeing it, but a friend who comes down to PA a lot said crane sightings could be disappointing as the crowds disturb the birds. I guess, I’ll decide closer to the date what I am going to do. In the meantime, here’s a boating tour my friend recommended out of Rockport to see the whooping cranes … in case you’re interested … http://www.whoopingcranetours.com/

    • Thank you and thanks for the link. Yesterday I managed to get pretty close to the cranes by mere accident on my walk. Rather exciting. I would like to do one of those boat tours though and see more spoonbills, etc. Perhaps a return to the area next winter should be on the schedule 🙂

  9. I may have to stop looking at your posts, I’m that green with envy. Need Scotty to beam me over I think. Not sure I could take that long drive.

    • You and I both know Texas is it’s own country and goes on forever. So I totally understand you not wanting to do the long drive….gosh, I don’t want to do the long drive back to Phoenix LOL. The birds have been so much fun to observe and photograph….more fun than I ever expected.

      • Yet another one gets sucked into bird watching… it’s such great fun even when you don’t have the top of the heap available (like you do at the moment). I can’t help pointing my lens at even the tiny ones, except they truly take much skill and patience since they move so fast.

        • You are so right about that…..they don’t seem to hold still. I’m finally setting my camera on ‘burst’ and have captured some better shots in that mode. Delete has become my new BF as well as patience 🙂

  10. Now this is one for the books! I am so jealous you got near this guy. We saw it yesterday at Ding Darling preserve but was way way too far away. Glad you got this excellent shots for us to enjoy. You’ve done it you are now a wildlife photographer. That is a great capture!

    • That’s exactly what happened to me at the Aransas Wildlife Refuge….the roseate spoonbills were so far in the distance I didn’t even notice them until I downloaded the photos in the computer. I went on a regular quest to hunt this little beauty down…..in search of pink. Now it’s your turn 🙂

  11. The spoonbill has been on my “to see” list for awhile….looks like I’ll have to come to Rockport in my future travels! Just beautiful, Ingrid!

    • Thanks. They aren’t easy to find. Took some persistence on my part. I wish I had stayed in that spot longer to maybe catch her fly off. Oh well, next time 🙂

  12. You did it…fabulous shots Ingrid! And I think I said in a previous post that when you captured images of a roseate spoonbill, I was hopping in the truck and heading your way. Guess I’ve got some explaining to do with hubby lol! 🙂 Seriously, awesome photos! 😀

  13. Boy, Ingrid, you hit the jackpot with this guy! What a beautiful bird, and I am not a birder! But you have to love that beautiful pink body and that unique spoonbill. Such terrific photos! Well, worth the possibility of arrest to capture this for your readers!!!

    • Yes, I do have a job to do….all in the name of the blogosphere….yes, officer that’s my story LOL. I’m in love with that pink. I have one more week to try and capture one with her wings spread or I’ll have to come back next winter. Tough job, but I’m up for the challenge 🙂

  14. Aren’t they just the most beautiful of birds?? I actually go nuts and embarrass myself when I see one..I got some pretty good photos the last time we were there..Nobody up in Illinois can believe the color of those birds! Happy bird hunting!

    • You sound like me…..I get very excited when I see these pink beauties. That color is stunning. Hope you’re staying toasty warm in the fiver. I’m just glad the winds aren’t as bad as they were last night. I had fears of an oak tree toppling on the RV. The whoopers came close to the fence yesterday afternoon across the street from the ‘big tree’. Pretty awesome day of birding. Didn’t eat lunch till 3.

  15. Beautiful portraits of the roseate spoonbill! Like you I couldn’t get close enough to them at a wildlife reserve and my photos are kind of boring. Boo. Your pics are gorgeous. Is National Geographic calling yet?

    • Thankfully only the dogs that’ll lick ya to death were present. I pretended like I belonged there but hubby was rushing me. The no trespassing sign had him concerned. After seeing the photos, he realizes the error of his ways. He says he won’t hurry me along next time…..yeah, right 😉

  16. this is such a beautiful post. i have never seen this bird- looks as though it’s had a pink dip hair treatment at the salon 😉 Have added that texas destination to my long list!

    • It was in one of those small ponds off Fulton Beach Road. I shot her from the road but then ventured onto a private pier for better lighting. She was probably 20-25′ away. That pink against the blue water stands out. I saw a bunch up at the refuge but they were really far away. I use a point and shoot camera with a 24X optical zoom so not exactly conducive for bird photography but she turned out pretty clear.

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