Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world. I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist.
Focussing mainly on Western Australia and Australia, I am seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Sunday 9 June 2024

Finding the Spoonbills along the Leschenault Estuary, Western Australia

 Hi everyone, I hope you and yours are doing well. We have had a quick, windy and wet start to winter after 6-7 months with no rain. So I am definitely not complaining. However in the city near to us there has been a lot of damage to houses and trees from a couple of wild storms and a tornado. We luckily have been safe. 

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you a walk along the Collie River near where we live. You can click on the link if you missed it. The Collie River flows into the Leschenault Estuary beyond which lies the Indian Ocean. Last week we took a drive to the other side of the Estuary and went for a walk. It was an overcast but calm day. 

We were amazed to see a flock of Yellow-billed Spoonbills - Platalea flavipes - in some dead trees on the edge of the water. 

We had never seen them before like this, and we lucky to be able to get close enough to take some photos. I don't have a long birding lens, so I was very happy with the pics I was able to get. 

You could almost imagine the conversations these spoonbills were having with each other. 

Yackity yak - I really love this shot. The bird on the left looks like he is being nagged by the bird on the right! I wonder if they are a pair? LOL 

The Yellow-billed Spoonbill is nomadic and is found across Australia in suitable habitat, particularly in the north and well-watered inland areas, but is less common in coastal regions. The Yellow-billed Spoonbill is found in the shallows of freshwater wetlands, dams, lagoons and swamps, and sometimes in dry pastures, but rarely uses saltwater wetlands. It can use much smaller areas of water than the Royal Spoonbill.

The Yellow-billed Spoonbill feeds on aquatic insects and their larvae, using its bill to sweep shallow waters for prey. The spatulate bill has many vibration detectors, called papillae, on the inside of the spoon, which means the bird can feel for prey items even in murky water and can feed by day or night. Once food is caught, it lifts its bill up and lets the items slide down its throat.     Yellow-billed Spoonbill - from Birds in Backyards

The spoonbills have a global distribution, being found on every continent except Antarctica. The genus name Platalea derives from Ancient Greek and means "broad", referring to the distinctive shape of the bill. Six species are recognised, which although usually placed in a single genus have sometimes been split into three genera.   Wikipedia-Spoonbill

Below is a photo of a Royal Spoonbill taken by my husband, which we saw at a waterway near Winton in Queensland last year. Its black face, bill and legs all distinguish the Royal Spoonbill from the slightly larger Yellow-billed Spoonbill, which has a yellow bill and legs.    Royal Spoonbill - Platalea regia - Birds in Backyards

We also saw Black Swans - Cygnus atratus - foraging in the reeds and grasses.

Black Swans are found throughout Australia with the exception of Cape York Peninsula, and are more common in the south. Black Swans prefer larger salt, brackish or fresh waterways and permanent wetlands, requiring 40 m or more of clear water to take off. Outside the breeding season, Black Swans travel quite large distances. Birds fly at night and rest during the day with other swans. The Black Swan is a vegetarian. Food consists of algae and weeds, which the bird obtains by plunging its long neck into water up to 1 m deep. Occasionally birds will graze on land, but they are clumsy walkers.- Black swans - from Birds in Back Yards

We also saw Cormorants - possibly the Pied Cormorant -Phalacrocorax varius  In Western Australian they are commonly called shags. Not the best photo, they were a bit far away, and no they weren't standing on the water - in the photos further below which I took several years ago, you can see the posts from the old jetty they were standing on. 

The Pied Cormorant is found throughout mainland Australia. It is more common in the south and along the coast of south-western Australia and is not found in the driest parts of the interior. It is also found in New Zealand. The Pied Cormorant is found in marine habitats (almost exclusively so in Western Australia), including estuaries, harbours and bays. It is also found in mangroves and on large inland wetlands in eastern Australia.    Phalacrocorax-varius from Birds in Backyards

We also saw kangaroos - these would be the Western Grey Kangaroos. I think the one on the left is the daddy. The little one is having a good scratch. They were obviously quite used to people. 

There is a 1.8km loop trail at Belvidere. When we first came to Bunbury 50 years ago there was a humpy camp here. And of course it was a camping place for indigenous people for thousands of years before that. Now you can camp with your tent, caravan or camper trailer in the marked areas. However the mosquitoes are very friendly - so make sure you bring repellent. There are 4-wheel-drive tracks over to the beach. 

For more information on Australian birds - Birds in Backyards.net and Birdlife Australia.org

Or search in All About Birds.org

Thank you so much for stopping by. Do you like photographing birds. I would do more if I had a better longer camera lens. 

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 
I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!


  1. Hello Jill,

    I loved this post and all your bird photos. I would enjoy seeing all of these birds, especially the Spoonbills. The Pied Cormorants are cute and the Black Swans are lovely. The Kangaroos are cute, great photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great week. PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

  2. What a joy to see the Spoon Bill and the Kangaroo in your post. I hope someday I see a Kangaroo in person (in the wild).
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photograph(s) with the rest of the world. Be well!!

  3. I realise all these birds come in large herd. So gorgeous to see them in nature.

  4. You capture such beautiful scenery and nature!

  5. As you can guess we have nothing like that here, though we do have the odd wallaby living in the wild

  6. ...it's easy to see how the Spoon Bills got their name. The Black Swans look so exotic to me. Have a wonderful week, Jill.

  7. My camera I'd not good enough to get decent shots if birds so I am in full admiration of your shots. The spoonfuls make me laugh but the black swam looks so regal. Have a good week.

  8. Wow, spoonbills! Love the pics, especially the chatty ones. Beautiful black swans and kangaroos too.

  9. Wow - amazing shots!
    Thank you for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2024/06/play-ball.html

  10. Wonderful shots of the birds and kangaroos!

  11. Yes, I agree with the comments before, dear Jill there are wonderful captures of Spoon Bills. Here we don't know this birds. Therefore I'm glad to read about, to find this scenes... and they are funny indeed, to speak with each other.

    Thank you for sharing at MosaicMonday. Have a good week and stay safe. A Tornado was in 2015 in our town, I never forget this.
    Hugs by Heidrun

  12. Amazing spoonbills, as the rest of your shots, unable to decide on a favorite. Well done.
    I visited you via image-in-ing. My entries this week are numbered #32+33.
    Please join and share your posts with us https://esmesalon.com/tag/wordlesswednesday/

  13. Beautiful area to visit. I can see why you revisit it. Thank you for the interesting information on the Yellow Spoonbills and the photos. The area seems rich with birds. I would love to see a black swan. Swans are such majestic birds.

  14. Hello Jill, I'm really happy that you linked these great photos for Nature Thursday. I only know these magnificent birds from the zoo. I have just written that it is always strange to have contact with people for whom it is now winter while summer is beginning for us. It's hard to imagine, even though our weather is anything but summery at the moment.
    I also really enjoy photographing birds and everything in nature. And yes, I too am always limited by my camera equipment. That is unfortunately the case. But I can live with it. There are so many beautiful things that I can still photograph.
    Kind regards - Elke

  15. Your photos are perfection. The spoonbills are lovely and unique, but I like the swans the most. Thank you for linking up.


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.