Red-shouldered Hawk

There are a number of Red-shouldered Hawks around the swamps I frequent.  I often hear them call, and this day I finally spotted one on an open branch. I thought he was about to fly after displaying the rousing behavior.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

Instead he settled in and called some more. I’ve observed Red-shouldered Hawks make a lot of noise like this before when they appear to be hunting, as contrary as it seems. All potential prey should be driven into hiding.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

I moved to a vantage point on a perpendicular trail just in time to see him fly off.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

He didn’t go far and continued his calling.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

Flower Color

Today I’m sharing a few random flower images taken over the last month around the swamp. These Swamp Sunflowers are growing on a floating clump on one of the ponds.

Swamp Sunflowers
Swamp Sunflowers

We have not yet had a hard freeze and a few late lilies are still blooming, if a little bedraggled.

Spider Lily
Spider Lily

I don’t know what this one looked like in bloom, but I liked the wispy fluff around the drying stalk.

Gone to Seed
Gone to Seed

Skimming In The Surf

Previously I have seen Black Skimmers skimming on calm ponds. On this day I saw a few from this crowd doing it in the ocean.

Black Skimmers at Surf's Edge
Black Skimmers at Surf’s Edge

As you can see above the Atlantic Ocean surf was not particularly rough, but it sure is a different challenge for a Skimmer.

Black Skimmer Skimming past Tern
Black Skimmer Skimming past Tern

This one hugged the surf line, ignoring other birds along the way.

Black Skimmer Skimming in Ocean Surf
Black Skimmer Skimming in Ocean Surf, Sand Piper in Foreground

With the surf in constant motion he had to also alter his path. I did not see him catch anything, although they can gulp it down on the fly and keep on moving.

Black Skimmer Skimming in Ocean Surf
Black Skimmer Skimming in Ocean Surf

Beach Sunset

I joined some photographer friends at Folly Beach yesterday afternoon to watch the sunset. Fall sunsets there can be very dramatic with pink often playing a big part. This one didn’t live up to “spectacular” but it was pretty and we had fun during the waiting.

The water in the foreground of this image is a tidal pool left by recent very high tides.

Sun Setting Behind Kiawah Island
Sun Setting Behind Kiawah Island

This couple was peddling away from the sunset.

Bicycle Built for Two
Bicycle Built for Two

This dog clearly can’t read. His owner, a few steps to the right of my frame ignored this and the “Dogs on Leash at All Times” sign he had just passed.

Actually there is no more than average danger and no one “Keeps Off” this cement walkway that leads from the parking lot to the beach. In fact you can’t see this warning if you are on the walkway. The water is the end of the tidal pool seen above.

Loose dogs are another matter.

Danger Keep Off
Danger Keep Off

Eagle Fishing in Canal

The rice field impoundments and canals were busy last Saturday morning including a Bald Eagle that was scooping up fish. There had been a die-off over night, likely due to a sudden temperature drop to near freezing.

Bald Eagle Fishing in Rice Field Canal
Bald Eagle Fishing in Rice Field Canal

The Great Egrets went about their business without any fuss.

Bald Eagle Fishing in Rice Field Canal
Bald Eagle Fishing in Rice Field Canal

I was quite a distance from the action but it was cool to see a few Eagles swooping over the Great Egrets and Alligators.

Bald Eagle Fishing in Rice Field Canal
Bald Eagle Fishing in Rice Field Canal

Newly Opened Dike

These images were taken in a section of the wildlife management area that I don’t visit often. Until recently you had to climb over fallen trees to get there and the dike is lower, which puts the photographer closer to the water which is good and bad.

Getting a lower prospective and Alligator reflection is good. Being closer to unseen Alligators can scare the &#!% out of a photographer if they move!

Alligator and Reflection
Alligator and Reflection

Being lower also means less breeze, which much of the year means more mosquitoes. Last week was cooler so there wasn’t much insect activity.

White Ibis
White Ibis

This White Ibis was enjoying the sun and along came a Little Blue Heron.

Little Blue Heron and White Ibis
Little Blue Heron and White Ibis

The Little Blue Heron slowly encroached on the Ibis’  space.

Little Blue Heron and White Ibis
Little Blue Heron and White Ibis

Female Bufflehead

Small, compact and swimming at a steady pace, I thought this was a Grebe at first when I caught a glimpse through the reeds.

Female Bufflehead
Female Bufflehead

I was able to get to a gap in the reeds for a better view and discovered it was a female Bufflehead. I listened and looked on both sides of the marsh dike where I was walking and didn’t see any others.

Female Bufflehead
Female Bufflehead