A mud flat is created when the SC Department of Natural Resources lets the water out of a section of the old rice fields at Bear Island Wildlife Management Area. The little shore “peeps” of all varieties gather for feeding.
The Least Sandpiper is one of the smallest of the little “peeps” that wade through the mud, foraging for food.
It’s fascinating to see the flocks take off in one motion and fly as a group to a new location.
Some afternoons in the spring our backyard is a highway for small birds traveling along the edge of the woods. They generally don’t stop long, but this bird was probably a juvenile and appeared to be waiting on some parental guidance.
The Merlin Bird ID app identified this as either an Ash-throated Flycatcher or Great Crested Flycatcher from the two photos below. The Great Crested is most likely to be found in South Carolina.
Also, the “lemon-yellow belly” description of the Great Crested was what first made me notice him as it flashed in the sun.
I heard them way before I got to the swamp: they were squawking the way they do when a parent has brought food. Instead of feeding, the scene when I got there was more like a human telling his sibling what’s what.
You could practically hear “You’re not the boss of me!”
I’m not sure if this was backing down or just requisitioning.
And as is often the case with humans, it was all over a couple minutes later, apparently with no harm done.
A lone adult, perhaps from this nest, stood with a tired look at the edge of the pond. The adults all around the rookery are starting to look like they have had enough.
With a six and one half foot (two meter) wing span the Eurasian Eagle Owl is the largest owl in the world. Orange eyes and luxurious feathers make them quite distinctive, not to mention those big ear tufts.
Found throughout Europe and Asia, they can weigh up to six pounds (2.75 KG).
The stare was quite intense!
Eurasian Eagle-owl, Bubo bubo
The Center for Birds of Prey offers photographers an opportunity to take close-up photographs of owls and other birds of prey a few times a year.
The Center for Birds of Prey, Photography Day, April 22, 2018, Awanda, SC.
The cygnets were learning how to feed, sticking their heads in the water imitating their parents who were pulling vegetation up from the pond floor. The were each in constant motion, turning and dunking, making a family portrait a real challenge.
The three cygnets mostly stayed together.
This fellow started off on his own but quickly turned back to the group.
Owned and operated by the City of Sumter, SC, Swan Lake Iris Gardens is home to all eight known species of swan.
The Prothonotary Warblers won’t be in our area long so I spent some time around the edges of the swamp looking for them earlier this week. They are fast in flight, like tree tops, and don’t stay in one place for long, making them a challenge to track and to photograph.
This one must have liked the sun or the view because he stayed in this lichen covered branch for several minutes.
In the inner branches is usually where that flash of yellow streaks by.