Yellow Billed Spoonbills and the birth of a birder

Yellow Billed Spoonbill

Yellow Billed Spoonbill

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.

The photo above was not taken at the time. It was taken last year in the Cleland Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills.

For more information about Yellow Billed Spoonbills, including a distribution map, click here. 


5 Responses to “Yellow Billed Spoonbills and the birth of a birder”

  1. […] I wrote about my love of Yellow Billed Spoonbills. They are truly wonderful birds and certainly have a special place in my birding […]

  2. Snail says:

    They really are very special birds! Since seeing the lone royal spoonbill the other day, I’ve spotted the occasional bird flying over the freeway on my way to work. I wonder if they’re moving around a bit? I’ll have to get the binos out and head to the coastal wetlands.

    Your trip to the Flinders Ranges must have been a delight. I haven’t quite got there yet.

  3. Snail says:

    Spoonbills really are special birds! I’ve seen a few flying around recently. I must try to work out where they’re hanging around.

    (I tried to post this last night but the internet ate my comment!)

  4. Trevor says:

    You are right Snail – I think they are great birds.

    You must make the effort to visit the Flinders Ranges – it is a wonderful part of SA. I taught for many years with the ranges in view from my classroom.

    Not sure what happened to your comment – you will notice that BOTH came through eventually. It happens.

  5. […] Royal Spoonbills are found throughout much of Australia where there is suitable habitat. They are absent from the drier inland areas and are rare in southern Western Australia. They are sometimes seen in the company of our other species of spoonbill, the Yellow-billed Spoonbill. […]

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