Todays birds are Spoonbills - these large water bird seen to be rather nervous and I have struggled to get images of them by 'stalking'. I think a hide may be needed for these birds - which seems like a good plan for the new year! (If anybody has any experience of using small portable hides I'd be interested to hear what you have to say).
We have two species of Spoonbill in Australia - The Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia) and The Yellow-Billed Spoonbill.
The Royal is the slightly smaller of the two species at about 80cm tall, while the Yellow Bill can be over 90 cm. But this difference is hard to see in the field - the key field marks are the colour of the bill and legs. The Royal has a black bill and legs, while the Yellow-Billed is (wait for it!) yellowish! However, in my experience the the bill of the Yellow-Billed often looks almost white, or even flesh coloured. Maybe its my eyes!
Another difference seems to be that the Royal is a little more proud of its plumage (befitting its station!) and tends to be spotlessly clean, while the Yellow-Billed can look a bit grubby at times!
|Yellow Billed Spoonbill|