The telephone rings in the middle of the afternoon. It is an unfamiliar name with a local number but I answer the phone (something I don’t normally do). On the other end is a lady (Miss Connie) whom I had never met but who read about my bird photography hobby in the local North Jax Monthly paper. She tells me there are about a thousand White Ibis in a field across from her property on Black Hammock Island and told me how to get there. My eyes begin to open wide as I wonder what that such a flock would look like. I am somewhat familiar with the area and grab my camera, check my batteries, and head in her direction.
It took me about 20 minutes to get to the spot she described. As I near the location I see small flocks of White Ibis in several fields. Miss Connie waves me down as I pull over to a field full of White Ibis. Unfortunately, the huge flock had already begun to disperse. There are still several hundred in the field but they are beginning to take wing and head on to wherever they were going. I grab my camera and begin to push the doohickey for all it was worth as I track one Ibis after another taking wing.
Miss Connie explains that we were not far from the river and they might be heading in that direction. After sharing a little time and meeting Mr. Tebow (one of her dachshunds), it is back in the truck and on to the river. As I approach a bend in the road, the marsh view ahead of me is full of Ibis. I have never seen so many birds in one spot. Getting out of the truck, I begin to pan around and shoot. After a short while they again begin to lift off and fly. I am in a winged wonderland with white Ibis everywhere. Though it only lasted a few minutes it seemed like an eternity. The photos do little to show what the experience was really like.
What prompts a stranger to pick up a phone and call someone they have never met to share a moment? The short answer is a story in our local North Jax Monthly paper. The real answer is Miss Connie is a sweet soul who the Good Lord used to show me more of the wonders of His creation. And now I am sharing it with you the best I can. Thanks so much Miss Connie. Ya’ll just thank her too and be blessed. Harry