Pond with Water Lowered

These images were taken 4/5/2019 as the water was dropping in this pond. Repairs were being done to the pond out-flow and adjacent road that required the water to be lowered.

It was fascinating to see what had been under the two to three feet (up to one meter) of water. This first image is an alligator ramp that is the same one seen in Wood Stork King of the Ramp.

Pond with water lowered
Pond with water lowered

The reddish material is Mosquito Fern. Next is another Alligator ramp that had just barely been sticking out of the water on the high end.

Pond with water lowered
Pond with water lowered

Lastly, this is a view of a bridge that connects a couple of the pond’s islands as part of the path around the pond. Great Blue Herons can easily walk under the bridge.

Pond with water lowered
Pond with water lowered

As of last week management is adding some water to this pond. Unless we have a big rain I expect it will be weeks and maybe more before the water is back to the previous level.

Great Egret Lift Off

I’ve commented before on birds’ desire to occupy the highest point. This applies even if it is just a clump of sticks in the pond. We’ve had a lot of wind lately and small branches and other debris is getting pushed around in the ponds. This Great Egret found an attractive twig collection to drop in on.

Great Egret
Great Egret

Then it started to sink and he took off, straight up into the air.

Great Egret Lift Off
Great Egret Lift Off

One flap of the wings and he was off.

Great Egret Lift Off
Great Egret Lift Off

Banking smoothly left he decided to try another spot.

Great Egret Lift Off
Great Egret Lift Off

GBH Chick Wingercizing

After checking that the danger had passed from the intruding Great Egret the Great Blue Heron chick fluffed his feathers back down to regular size.

Great Blue Heron Chick Wingercizing
Great Blue Heron Chick Wingercizing

Then he took the opportunity to wingercize, flapping his wings in preparation for learning to fly.

Great Blue Heron Chick Wingercizing
Great Blue Heron Chick Wingercizing

He didn’t lift off this time, but did do some single wing stretches to complete his work out.

Great Blue Heron Chick Wingercizing
Great Blue Heron Chick Wingercizing

Barred Owlet Camoflaged

It would be easy to walk right underneath this Barred Owl Owlet without even knowing he was there. I probably have more than a few times!

Barred Owl Owlet
Barred Owl Owlet, Toenails showing

The adult that was with him for his Eating Lesson had flown off to sit over the pond, leaving the little fellow on his own.

Barred Owl Owlet
Barred Owl Owlet

He was somewhat covered by the pine boughs and his coloration seen from a predator above would blend in with his surroundings. When I was leaving I saw the other parent a few trees away keeping his eye on the area.

Barred Owl Owlet
Barred Owl Owlet

Scram, Great Egret, 2

Either by instinct or from learning from a parent, this Great Blue Heron chick was defending himself from a Great Egret Intruder. This is the same nest in the Skinny Tree featured in Scram, Great Egret where the GBH adult was protecting his nest.

Great Blue Heron Chick Defending Himself
Great Blue Heron Chick Defending Himself

The chick made himself really big.

Great Blue Heron Chick Defending Himself
Great Blue Heron Chick Defending Himself

I suspect they’ve done this before and shortly the Great Egret went back to poking at sticks on the outer branches of the tree.

Great Blue Heron Chick Defending Himself
Great Blue Heron Chick Defending Himself

Barred Owl Owlet Eating Lesson

It turns out that the Barred Owls I’ve been watching have a chick. The first time I spotted him he was getting a feeding lesson from one of his parents. The adult demonstrated then passed the item, which I could not identify, to the owlet.

Barred Owl Owlet Learning to Eat
Barred Owl Owlet Learning to Eat

They were very high off the ground and many branches prevented a good view. These owls are very accustomed to people passing by. With hundreds of acres available to nest they chose a spot near a popular walking path through Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.

Barred Owl Owlet Learning to Eat
Barred Owl Owlet Learning to Eat