This morning (Saturday) I made my way to Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco, Texas. Having heard that there were plenty of spoonbills at the park, I joined a few photographer friends and thought I’d try my luck at these very colorful birds. Interestingly, they get their color by eating shrimp, krill, crayfish, and other crustaceans that have fed on algae.
We found about 20 spoonbills at the North side of Dowitcher pond, which is very long and narrow. When we approached, they flew to the center of the pond, of course! The East side of Dowitcher is completely lined in cattails that have grown so tall that it makes photography a futile attempt, though in the morning it would be preferable to photograph from there as the subjects would be frontlit. As it was, I opted for side light and stayed at the North edge of the pond as others in the group walked along the east perimeter in hopes of driving the spoonbills back to the North. It paid off handsomely as the spoonbills did indeed take flight, often circling North and finding another landing spot on the pond. I was fortunate enough to be in the right spot and get a few nice images.