The Bird That Got Away

You may recall my misadventures in Florida trying to get the Roseate Spoonbill on camera. First sighting was in a marsh on paddleboards with no camera. Then Jackie and I went back to hike along that marsh, finally spotting the bird and clicking away with the camera, only to find out a glitch with the camera did not record the shots. I resigned myself to enjoying the first-hand experience of spotting the bird in the wild and not worry about getting the shot.

Yesterday, my nephew Adam gave me a good laugh while pointing out his superior tour guide skills. You see he is a kayak tour guide in coastal South Carolina this summer and spends a good deal of time guiding kayaking tourists around the marshes and waterways in search of wildlife. He sent me a couple of pictures with the statement that he has been seeing quite a few of the spoonbills lately on tours. Arghh – I mean, good for him. “You should sign up for a tour,” he said. He did mention their unofficial motto is “tip the guide, not the boat,” and that sort of wildlife spotting would definitely be worth a tip.

spoonbill flight

Adam got the shot!

spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill, courtesy of kayak guide Adam.

This friendly one-upmanship seems to run in our family. While visiting the area just a week ago, I spotted what I thought could have been a Mississippi Kite over the pond at my parent’s house. While at the pool with family I asked Vickie (Adam’s mom) if she thought that was possible and she said “Oh yeah, we see one around here all the time, in fact it’s circling overhead just over there.” Duh. So I posted the shot of the kite I took earlier flying away from me (getting good at those flying-away-from-me shots).

We pause for a moment to point out that as I am writing this, I notice the twin fawns and mom are walking across my driveway, munching their way across the front lawn.

And not so long ago my daughter Karina said she would be getting a great shot of a bald eagle before I would – yeah, right. She did indeed get the shot before me, printed, framed and presented to me as proof. Of course she had to go to Kodiak Island, Alaska to get it, along with gorgeous scenery and Kodiak bears. She is some stiff competition for photos.

My chance at meeting the challenge came earlier this year when a Bald Eagle perched on a branch at my parent’s pond, swooped down to catch a fish, then flew to the bank to re-grip it. I scrambled to get the shot only to find a dead battery – no shot once again. But I did get the “live shot” of witnessing wildlife up close and personal. Maybe that is the best kind.

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