Masked Stranger…my introduction to the Wood Stork


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Welcome to Daytona Beach, Florida!

What a sunrise huh?  While here on business and a short vacation, I am taking advantage of every opportunity to snap photos of the wonderful wildlife and scenery here.  We lived here “once upon a time” and miss it a lot.  This visit we are very fortunate to be staying on the beach. I caught this beautiful sunrise and was awed with the seagulls lined along the shore, greeting the new day.

In just two short days, I have had the joy of photographing several new birds that I have not previously seen; and I want to share those photos with you here.  This one was one of the most unusual for me and definitely a first in that I never even knew of this bird prior to yesterday; but it definitely ranks in the regal category for me.  Meet the Wood Stork.

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We first spotted them when entering a little mobile home village in Port Orange where they were gathered behind a little Asian restaurant, presumably awaiting tidbits from the cooks in the kitchen who could be seen through the open door, busily cooking.

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There were actually around a dozen, which I assume qualifies them as a “flock” but they were sort of spread out.  As I stepped outside my vehicle and began to approach them, most of the birds quietly dispersed while one began to approach me with a decidedly aggressive air.  I felt a small tinge of apprehension as I began taking photos, but it merely came within a a few feet, curious about my interest.  It did seem to be protective of the others; and as long as I stayed on my side of the walkway it did not become any more aggressive.

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It was another lovely moment for me with some amazing birds, where I could feel their own curiosity, tolerance and even a sense of appreciation for what I was doing.  I feel they understand that my quest is to simply show the world their beauty, their grace, and amazing personalities.

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So, behold the Wood Stork, a bird I previously was unaware of; and a big thank you to my friends at the Bird Photography group for helping me to identity it, especially Susan Wilkinson and Bill Coulter.

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Stay tuned….I will be posting photos of the other lovely birds I encountered on our trip.  Happy Monday!

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