Yellow Billed Spoonbills and the birth of a birder
I must admit that the spoonbills are amongst my favourite birds. Every time I see a spoonbill it gives me great pleasure. In fact, this species was in part responsible for me becoming a birder in the first place.
Back in October 1977 I took my family camping to Chambers Gorge in the Flinders Ranges in outback South Australia. This spectacular gorge through the rugged, dry mountains was a delightful place to spend a few days camping with the family. We went for several walks through the gorge. This gorge usually has a few waterholes but the creek only flows for a few hours after heavy rain.
I was amazed at the bird life around the waterholes. I had no idea at the time that many species of water birds inhabit such normally dry areas. Two Yellow Billed Spoonbills were present and they provided us with much interest over the days we spent there. It was the first time I really took a great deal of notice of the bird life of an area. Fortunately I had taken my binoculars with me, and I think I must have also had with me a simple, abridged paperback version of Cayley’s “What Bird is That?” It was the first of many field guides I have bought over the years since.
For more information about Yellow Billed Spoonbills, including a distribution map, click here.Ã‚Â