Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wood Storks Nesting

Ever since I saw my first Wood Stork I've wanted to observe, sketch and photograph them throughout their nesting cycle.

This year I got my wish :)

For the first time ever recorded, Wood Storks chose to nest on Spring Island! Yeah! They're relatively close by and I have access!

My first trip to check out the rookery was back in June. I saw a few hatchlings and some Storks were still sitting on eggs.

click to enlarge
I had just purchased a Platinum brush pen from JetPens and tried it out in my Aqua Bee sketchbook. I'm not used to sketching with such a bold stroke and felt a bit timid with my line work. I'm still playing with the pen... but that's for another post :)

Yesterday, Rob and I arrived at the rookery around 8:30 a.m. The day promised to be steamy. We walked past black vultures that were standing on the ground.  We were ho hums to them. That's what I love about Spring Island. Wildlife is revered there and everything/one lives in harmony. The rookery was teaming with activity. Snowy egrets, Black-crowned Night Herons, Great Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Anhinga and Wood Storks were in the trees. Most of the sounds, or should I say the loudest, came from the juvi Wood Storks. Music to my ears :)

During my June visit, I sat close to a sand trap and suffered many a red ant bite. This time I set up my chair and scope well away from from the sand. I dowsed my self in sunscreen proir to leaving the house and now bug spray. Yuck, but necessary.

Here are my on-location sketches. The ants found me anyway and they paid no attention to bug spray! I was so warm I kept fogging up the eyepiece of my scope. I managed to get a few good digi-scope images early on.
Not real sharp but good enough for my reference purposes. I used the begging juvi to fill a spot on the right side of the journal page.

If you look real close at the photo you will notice a juvi with it's beak
pointed straight up to the adult's head. The beak blends with the dead tree.