Roseate Spoonbills on Siesta Key

On weekends we go to the beach before lunch.  Gary and the boys swim while I take a walk.  This morning I was so amazed by the birds.  There are always lots of birds near the lagoon but today I’m thankful I had my camera and binoculars.  There in front of me were 4 unbelievably beautiful Roseate Spoonbills.  I watched as they waded northward sweeping their bills through the water.  When they do this their spoon-shaped bills sift through shallow water for insects and small fish.  They walked the edge of the lagoon and returned to their starting spot.  Then I watched as they preened themselves before settled in for a nap.

 The first time I saw a Roseate Spoonbill, I was in Texas.  There was a former rice field near the house we were renting last summer.  I had pulled out of my street and straight ahead was a small flock of pink things sweeping their heads in the shallow puddles (it rained a lot in Houston last summer so puddles were plentiful).  I was so amazed because I had only heard of them and figured I’d never see one.  They hung out for a couple weeks in the same area so I took advantage of the spotting and visited them often.  Apparently they nest in colonies mixed with Herons and they are related to the Ibis.  

The other birds I saw this morning by the lagoon included Great Egrets, a Reddish Egret, several types of plovers, somes Willets, a Ruddy Turnstone, a smorgasbord of terns and gulls including my favorite the Royal Tern and 4 black skimmers.