Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Roseate Spoonbills

After a walking tour through Rip Van Winkle Gardens in Jefferson Island, Louisiana, I was sure to visit Rip's Rookery.  The five man-made islands and four ponds that comprise the rookery is a magnet for breeding Roseate Spoonbills, Egrets, White Ibises and Herons.  Thousands of these birds make the rookery their home from spring into fall.

During the time of my visit, the Roseate Spoonbills were the most plentiful birds seen.  Scores of them were either roosting in treetops, preening or wading in shallow areas of the pond.  A narrow path runs alongside the water's edge, but since the rookery is surrounded by water, distance was a factor in getting close-up images of the birds.  

Roseate Spoonbills feed in shallow waters, walking forward slowly while they swing their heads from side to side, sifting the muck with their wide flat bills.  Diet is mostly small fish such as minnows; also shrimp, crayfish, crabs, aquatic insects (especially beetles), mollusks and slugs. They also consume some plant material, including roots and stems of sedges.

These birds nest in colonies. At the beginning of breeding season, the entire flock may suddenly fly up, for no apparent reason, and circle the area. In courtship, male and female first interact aggressively and later perch close together, present sticks to each other and cross and clasp bills. In the U.S., they are most often seen in coastal Florida, Texas, and southwest Louisiana.  

I hope you enjoyed the photos and information on the Roseate Spoonbills.   Hopefully, I'll have the opportunity to return to the area in a few weeks and capture some photos of their nestlings.  Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Linked with Stewart at Paying Ready Attention for Wild Bird Wednesday

Monday, March 28, 2016

Time for a Nap

Sometimes all you need is a nap..

"Oh goodness, is it bedtime yet?"
"I could really use an energy bar right now".
"Just a quick little nap and I'll be fine"

This little birdie was so tired.   Bless it's heart.
Sometimes nothing else will do.
I can relate, can't you?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Rosedown Plantation

It's been quite a while since I've posted in Good Fences.  I had the good fortune of visiting Rosedown Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana last weekend and captured some photos worthy of sharing. The plantation encompasses 374 acres and is one of the most intact, documented examples of a domestic plantation complex in the South.  

The entrance road to the visitors center is lined with a white fence and live oaks
Live oaks also line the drive to the plantation house
A truly classic southern plantation
I love the beautiful gate that decorates the old entrance to the property
A grand centerpiece
Trails wind through serene, shady gardens.
The azaleas were in full bloom in shades of pink and purple
The Spring Pilgrimage attracted lots of visitors to the area that weekend
This area is the summer garden and will be exploding with colorful blooms soon
Spring blossoms are scattered throughout the plantation grounds
Aren't these yellow blooms pretty?
I particularly loved the color variations of these blooms
A variety of old, worn statues stand along the entrance path to the plantation home 

I hope you enjoyed these photos from the Rosedown Plantation.  It's a lovely place to visit if you're ever in the St. Francisville, LA area.  Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!

Linking with Tex at the Run-Around-Ranch for Good Fences

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Chickadees Gather Nesting Materials

I observed a chickadee pair while they gathered green moss from the ground in my back yard then carried it to the wren box nearby.  I had planned to secure the box on a pole soon but now I don't know if I should move it.   Unlikely as it may seem, the wren box has been through several storms with high winds and has remained intact.  I didn't intend for it to be used quite this early in the season but the chickadees were a step ahead of me.   Should I move it now or wait until their family is gone- what would you do?

Not the best lighting conditions for photos, but I had to take a few shots of these cute little birds as they worked on their nest.  

Have a great Wednesday!
Linked with Stewart for Wild Bird Wednesday

Paul B. Johnson State Park

My youngest daughter and I rode out to Paul B. Johnson State Park in rural Hattiesburg, Mississippi on March 15th.  It had been years and years since I've been there.  My parents occasionally rented a cabin on the lake during summer vacation when I was much younger.  

We walked along the nature trail for a few minutes but didn't see any creatures stirring about. The trail itself is nice and has wooden benches here and there for those who want to sit and rest or watch for wildlife.  

The water level in Lake Geiger was higher than normal due to flooding rains in the area. Water was still overflowing onto the bridge days after the heavy flooding.  

A small group of Canadian Geese were busy foraging in the grass near the water's edge.  

We saw just a few other creatures stirring that morning, including a squirrel and a red-bellied woodpecker.

A whole bunch of turtles were warming up in the sun.  I counted 26 of them to begin with- about half of them scrambled into the water as I approached (guess they were camera-shy).  

That's a crowd!

Thanks for dropping in.  Have a great week!