One Door Closes..

     It has been beautiful weather this past week. I have been spending most of the week preparing for a presentation on Reflections to be given to the local chapter of the Mayflower Descendants Society. Things are still very quiet on the Broward. “George” and the night herons are still around, a Great Egret, a few mallards, a few Snowy Egrets, and, the Tri Colored Heron, but that is about all the bird traffic. Few feathered friends and far between seems the norm lately. It appears “Fuzzy and Wuzzy” fully fledged (are able to fly), and the Barred Owl family “flew the coop”.  Not a hoot has been heard nor a feather seen of the owls since last week. I was really hoping to catch them doing flight training. But I have some good news also.

       A refreshing cool spring breeze is blowing up the channel as I sit and catch the sunset. George, the Yellow Crowned Night Heron just caught another crab and is enjoying a little feast. Out of the corner of my eye a Clapper Rail emerges for a second, spots me, and dashes back to cover. A few days ago after looking for the owls (in vain) I went to my dock. It was low tide and I had low spirits. There at my feet are two Clapper Rails on the bank below my feet busily hunting through the muddy streams. They seem aware but unconcerned at my appearance and just slowly work their way across the lagoon to more secure and safe surroundings. That is the first close encounter I have had with them since about a year ago when I spotted my first Clapper Rail on the other side of the dock. It is the Golden hour during sunset and I get a few great photographs. Their little tail feathers stick straight up and the feathers gleam in the golden light. It is clear how they get the nickname Mud Hens. The Tricolored Heron that is often seen is also still around but is now in full breeding colors. It lands on the dock and I slowly approach it to see if I can get a few photos. It puts its best foot forward, ruffles its feathers up, shakes them like crazy and then it flies off again to show off its new look probably to some prospective lady bird friend.  A Snowy Egret drops in for a quick bite in the low tide. Another one apparently does not like this one using his favorite fishing spot and drives it away. They sound like Donald Duck as they squawk angrily at each other and take off down the Broward, one in hot pursuit of the other. I look across the river to see an Osprey fly by. Most of the birds are remaining on the other side out of range of my lens this evening. Then I see a flash of Pink! The Spoonbills are back! One lands near the pier on the opposite bank and begins to sweep that spatulate bill back and forth. The Roseatte Spoonbill is soon joined by another. Later I catch them in the distance flying up the river. Hopefully they will swing by this side of the river soon. Spring and the Spoonbills have arrived.

   When one door closes another opens! I was feeling down about the owls being gone and the fact there are so few birds around. That flash of pink of the “spoonies” has lifted my spirits and hope again. The spring floods are beginning and tornado season is getting in full swing. Things look real gloomy in the middle east.  But the SPOONIES ARE BACK! Recently got the Editor a T-Shirt that says “Roseatte Spoonbill Whisperer”.  Just in time too! Be Blessed. Harry

My last photo of Fuzzy and Wuzzy, they have fully fledged and flew off to other adventures hopefully.

A pair of Clapper Rails make a rare appearance!

Mud Hens seems an appropriate name.

Safe and Sound back on the other side!

The Tri Colored Heron in Breeding plumes puts its best foot forward.

It puffs up!

Does the Snowy Pokey Shake!

It nearly shakes its head off it seems!

Ready for a night on the Marsh!

The Tri takes wing to show off its fine feathers.

A snowy egret drops in!

A Black Skimmer swoops by.

A flash of pink fills the sky!

The Roseatte Spoonbills are back! Now it is officially Spring on the Broward!


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