Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Rip's Rookery

Jefferson Island in New Iberia, LA is a beautiful place for birding, dining and boating. Outside the entrance is a large rookery with mostly Roseate Spoonbills, Cattle Egrets, White Ibises, and ALLIGATORS. The area is mowed to encourage hiking and photography around the rookery except for thick vegetation close to the water, home to insectivorous birds and nesting gators.

Walking along I suddenly heard a loud plunge which stopped me dead in my tracks. Gazing out over the water I spied a baby alligator. Oh no. Babies. That means mama is close. Using my tripod as a barrier I walked slowly and carefully noticing more and more babies in the water. What to do??? I needed to get closer to the Roseates...would I let this new discovery stop me? Double D finally caught up to me and after a brief discussion decided we would both walk the path to get nearer the roseates. I prayed out loud; I really did. I was truly spooked. We successfully birded the rookery without incident, thank God.

Here are just a few teasers. I have so many roseate spoonbill shots to share, it's unreal.
Baby gator or possibly an adolescent. Only his head was visible.


First time I've seen a roseate spoonbill sitting on the nest.

Cattle egrets


White Ibis

Cattle egret gathering sticks

One of several baby gators.

41 comments:

Carole M. said...

interesting to see the alligator but the Roseate Spoonbills are a favourite of mine

Andy said...

Exquisite photos of the roseate. Don't let your passion of photography overrule your safety.

Buttons said...

Oh Gail you freak me out and Oh I love it. Be careful OK those are incredible worth the danger shots:) Hug B

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love that picture of the spoonbill sitting on a nest! These are fantastic shots. And the gator shot is amazing. You can definitely tell it's younger because of how smooth and non-scaly the skin looks!

Roan said...

I fear i would have made a hasty retreat. Glad you made it through safely and with such amazing shots to show for it. They are gorgeous birds.

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm thinking I MUST visit Louisiana in the spring some year! I've only been there in summer when it was humid and hot. ;)

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

all great shots as usual...but I really liked the first one. What a great frame

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I have never EVER seen a roseate nest. This was awesome Gail.

Anvilcloud said...

How amazing to see them all in the trees like that. They want to keep their toes away from those nasty gators, eh?

Weekend-Windup said...

Enjoyed all your pictures!

TexWisGirl said...

how marvelous! and i'm glad neither of you lost a leg! :)

Jeanne said...

Oh Wow... I've never seen anything like that spoonbill. Your photos are exquisite!
I'm not too crazy about being within a few hundred miles of an Alligator.

nookworm said...

Awesome photos! WOW! You are an adventurer!

hootnonny said...

Wow! We are gifted with wonderful images with every shoot you venture on! The swamps are full of beauty in every shape and size!

Irma said...

Great photos and what great that pink pelican.
I've never seen this, just in the zoo.
The baby aligator is beautiful.
Greetings Irma

Karen said...

Lot's of lovelies Gail! The Roseate Spoonbills are fabulous.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

Good to remember Mama. What a beautiful bird, and you got some great shots too.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I love your gumption! (and your pictures!)

Jacquelineand.... said...

Oh, great nest shot Gail! Please remember that it's supposed to be alligator, and not Gail, tail on the menu... Just sayin'.

Raggedy Creations said...

gorgeous, gorgeous captures of the birds Gail. Not so much the gator...LOL, actually the pictures are great. I would have been spooked too. I also would have been looking for snakes, hate'em

Deanna said...

Oh that baby alligator would stop me in my tracks, however you sure managed to capture some delightful photos of the spoonbills, great shots!

June Caedmon said...

Seriously, Gail, you should be writing suspense novels, lol!!

These are amazing. The spoonbill on the nest and the egret gathering the sticks are my favorites, but these are all fabulous- nicely done!

mrbennettkent said...

A wonderful set, Gail! I have been fascinated by spoonbills since seeing a picture as a child. I was desperate to see the Roseates when I visited the Everglades from the UK in August 2012, but was too early by a couple of weeks :-( I did see an Australian Spoonbill when I visited there in October 2013, so finally achieved my childhood ambition at the ager of 47!!!

All great shots, but the 1st and 3rd Roseates stand out along with the Cattle Egret with the stick and the baby 'Gator. I trust you were using the 100-400 L ;-)

Evelyn S. said...

What beautiful birds! And of course, your photos are wonderful.

Pantherka said...

Gail, to je nádhera, krásné fotky.

Ida said...

Wow you were brave. Gorgeous shots of all the birds, that color is amazing. Also that last shot of the baby gator is cute.

DeniseinVA said...

All incredible photos Gail and I am glad you didn't come across Momma :) Those baby gators are kind of cute too.

Shug said...

Oh my.....outstanding photos!! Eye catching colors that these birds have... Would love to be close enough to those little gators to capture a great photo....Pretty sure that I'd be to skeered!!!!
Your work is simply Amazing!!

Brian King said...

Excellent photos! I really like the egrets in the tree!

Anita Johnson said...

I'm speechless....WOW!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Good for you to keep on walking. I would have been out of there in record time.If these pictures are a tease,then I say the walk was worth it.

Debbie said...

Nirvana!! Every image is amazing!!

A View From A Brown Dog said...

Ohhh I would have freaked out being that close to an alligator, at any size. I am glad you make it in and out of there safely and your photos.... Breathtakingly gorgeous! What an adventure.

Linda R said...

Oh my stars girlfriend. I would have been running for the hills.. But just look at the awesome shots you got. You Rock..

Hugs~

Wally Jones said...

A 'gator is just a belt with teeth. You're usually okay as long as you don't actually pick up a baby. Just move slowly. (That applies to backing away from one, too, if you get too close.)

Wonderful photographs of the rookery, Gail! The Spoonie on the nest is fantastic!

Helma said...

Ohhhhhhhh ..... I see pink spoonbills!! this is beautiful!
You also cattle egrets I find amazing!
A very big compliment.

Beate said...

That first picture of the adolescent gator is AWESOME! Wow, what an amazing picture. All of them are wonderful, but I would frame that first pic and hang it on the wall in my apartment :)

bailey-road.com said...

The Spoonbills are so cool but I love the Egret tree.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Breathtaking (even without the mama alligator). Loving the memories which you picture so much better than I ever could!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

The alligator not so fond of, but yes on the spoonbills with their amazong coloration and your wonderful captures, Gail.

Hilary said...

What a wonderful group of critters. I love those spoonbills and the gators are .. almost cute.