Thursday, July 06, 2006

Royal Occasion

Geoff Rakers contributed this recent sighting and photos: While travelling along Shark Point Rd., I noticed a group of birds on the Northern riverbank, near the large inlet bridge to Orielton Lagoon. A Royal Spoonbill was preening itself, closely and apparently warily scrutinised by three White-faced Heron "attendants". Not long after, the Spoonbill entered the river and began sifting in the shallows. The herons mysteriously dispersed. I was able to photograph the feeding bird from the bridge and thought; "What a coincidence! Viewing a 'Royal' on the Queen's Birthday holiday.
[Ed. comment: The Royal Spoonbill is a rare species in Tasmania and this bird (I think) has been about the Orielton Lagoon/Sorell area for sometime. I've seen it on a number of occasions, but never able to find it in a photographable position. Thanks Geoff, I hope you'll become a regular contributor.]

4 comments:

John & Shirley Tongue said...

Good shots, Geoff.

We saw and photographed this bird near the Shark Point Swimming School last year, and, thinking we were very clever to have found a rarity in Tassie, immediately phoned Bill Wakefield to let him know. He gently informed us that this bird had been around for about 18 months prios to that! Still a great bird, though. And as Alan says, it's often not in a reasonable location for photography. Congratulations!

John Tongue said...

And another Post-script:

It looks like its' been feeding in muddy water, byt the stains on its neck in the upper shot. When we saw it last year (3/11/05) it had very prominent Nuptial Plumes, and yellow eyebrows.

John Tongue said...

PPS,
We have also seen it - presumably the same bird - down on the Carlton River on the road between Dodges Ferry and Primrose Sands on May 25th this year.

(hopefully, this is my last post-script)

Felix Wilson said...

Nice shots indeed, I have see it once, in a flooded field a bit further up the road from the bridge, but the light wasn't as nice, nor was it close enough.

Hope to see more of your shots on here Geoff...

Felix