A female Red-winged Blackbird performing an early morning check.
Doing their own thing to get breakfast, a Black Skimmer and a flock of Roseate Spoonbills ignored each other.
I was focused on the Skimmer and didn’t expect him to pass that close to the Spoonbills.
The Skimmer made a second pass, probably realizing that the concentrated efforts of the other birds meant that they were on to something.
The Spoonbills continued sifting the water, not at all disturbed by the Skimmer.
The hazy sunrise revealed a cloud line drawn across the sky.
It was unusual to see a Black-crowned Night-heron out in the open like this. They usually are in a tree or hidden by undergrowth, especially if they aren’t actively feeding.
He’s standing on the interior of a pond that just two days before was under water on a high point that made an island. The pond is being drained, likely to control the growth of this grass would eventually choke the pond.
When I passed by a second time it had started to sprinkle.
The heron didn’t seem interested in feeding or taking cover from the rain, and strolled along the edge,
A bird this size needs to catch an awful lot of little tiny fish like that to keep fed.
Gentle summer rain
Drips from the moss quietly
Short pause, it will pass
This is the biggest Alligator I have ever seen taking a walk.
Zoom in to see that the stuff hanging out of his mouth is vegetation of some kind. A juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron is standing at the Alligator’s tail.
Lodge Pond, Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, SC, 7/1/2018
This Black Skimmer gave me a good show with the early morning sun highlighting his black and orange beak, in contrast to last week’s pair that I photographed in poor light.
I had a great view and was able to track his path as he crossed the pond with his lower jaw in the water.
He finally lifted, before making a big turn for another pass.
Click on any image for a closer view.
Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, SC, 7/1/2018.
Roseate Spoonbills are fascinating to watch feed as they sift through the water with their beaks, their bodies in constant motion. There were about 30 Spoonbills scattered through this pond, sometimes together as a big group and then a few would go off on their own, following the food.
Getting a group photo is a challenge as they shift and turn, beaks in and out of the water. These were taken about an hour after daybreak as the sun finally made it up out of the clouds.
Bear Island WMA, SC, 7/1/2018.
A number of dragonflies were zipping back and forth along the tall reads at the edge of a canal bordering old rice fields. This one stood out from the others with a reddish-orange body and wings.
He stopped on a number of stalks quite near the trail I was walking on.
There was a good supply of smaller insects to keep him well fed, although I didn’t see him catch any.