David Alaniz Photography

Natures turn…….

Tag Archives: Spoonbill


I visited the Smith Oaks Rookery in High Island early February of this year but never had a chance to get back.  I missed out on seeing a lot of the babies as they grew and vide for attention.  Well, this past weekend I had a chance to make a quick run out there.  With the front entrance gate now locked I had to enter from a side entrance.  It was hot as in Hot as I made my way on a long walk.  As I walked up on the levy it wasn’t the usual chatter of birds.  Most had all ready raised their young and were gone.  I made my way along the levy stopping at different locations to grab a few pictures.  Even though it was hot it was still pretty nice being all alone with all the remaining birds as all the usual crowds were now gone.  Even with fewer nesting birds it still offered a number of opportunities.  These twin Roseate Spoonbills had just been feed as their parent had flown off.  The parents quickly feed the young and then fly off.  They wouldn’t hang around because the young ones wouldn’t give them any piece just a constant picking, nudging wanting more.  Probably within a few days these will have to leave the nest for the lesson in finding food.  Sooner or later everyone grows up.  Or, that’s the way it’s suppose to be.

Nikon D4, 500mm, f/4, 1/8000, ISO 400  (made adjustment afterwards to bring the shutter down)

Three Point Landing

The twig must have looked a lot larger as the spoonbill was coming in for a landing.  Getting closer it must have realized the perch wasn’t going to work and made a last second adjustment to miss the twig.  Unfortunately within a second the twig was pushed down with one leg and then released.  It snapped back giving the spoonbill a quick pop on the belly.  Not all landings go as planned.

Nikon D4, 500mm, f/7.1, 1/3200’s, ISO 200, manual exposure


Skip To My Lou

Growing up I remember singing childhood songsWatching the spoonbills fly into their nest reminded me of one of these special songs.  As they come in low and through the bushes they work their legs as if they are singing “Skip To My Lou”.

Nikon D4, 500mm, 1/3200’s, f/6.3, ISO 200, Ev -2.0


Spoonbill – Tucked Wings

This Roseate Spoonbill was making a low pass as it approached it’s nest.  After reviewing the pictures, next spring I’ll want to make more than this years three trips to High Island’s Smith Oaks Rookery.  You will leave smiling along with many good pictures.

Nikon D4, 500mm, f/7.1, 1/3200 ISO 500


Roseate Spoonbill

Made a quick trip to High Island last Thursday afternoon.  Wanted one more chance at the rookery and evening light.  The usual road in was now locked as of May 15th.  Hmm, drove around to the other entrance and the skeeters were waiting for me.  After spraying down I started out on a trail I haven’t been on.  It was going to be a long walk through the woods with multiple trails leading in several different directions.  Ahh, iPhone to the rescue.  The GPS gave me a sense of direction which helped me pick the trail.  Finally made it to the opening that I reconized so the rest of the way was no problem.  I was just hot and tired asking myself if I should be doing this….the answer came back, yes.  I could tell there wasn’t anymore upkeep and the vegetation was taking over the paths.

Rabbits everywhere on the trail and in the brush.  I stopped to rest and took a few pictures since they posed as if to say “take my picture.”  Finally, on the levy walking to my desired location.  Sure enough, the vegetation is growing on the path and the skeeters are chasing me.  Looking around I was disappointed as I set the tripod down.  I was hoping for more but I knew better, it was too late in the season and most have left the nest.  But, there were still some late bloomers.  Not the best for taking shots but I’d give it a go.  Most of the opportunities were flight shots.  After practicing with different settings I headed back out.  These two are  Roseate Spoonbill’sI’ll post more at a later time.

Nikon D4, 500mm, f/7.1, 1/8000, EV -1.67, ISO 500


Nikon D4, 500mm, f/7.1, 1/5000, EV -1.67, ISO 500


Roseate Spoonbill

For sure, they are beautiful colored birds.  The first time I got close all I could hear was their croaking and clucking sounds.  It just didn’t fit but made me smile.  Both taken at High Island, Texas Rookery.

D300s, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO 200, EV-0.67High-Island-Rookery_20120331_0756web

D300s, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 200, EV -0.67  Taken late afternoon.