I heard the crunching and knew from the Alligator’s raised head and tail position he was eating something.
American White Pelicans tend to feed in groups, probably gaining an advantage of any fish their neighbor stirs up. This fellow swam away from the group into a spot where the fall colors from the tree line reflected in the shallow water. I believe the rougher water beyond the bird is deeper and has some flow as it heads into a canal.
His feeding style was more scooping along the water surface, and less plunging of his full head.
He seemed to be successful.
In downtown Charleston, SC on the last day of November many of the gardens had blooming roses despite the recent overnight freezing temps.
One lone bee was industriously working this large blossom.
There are several more buds in waiting to occupy the bee if they and he survive this week’s chill.
The Merlin Bird ID App says this is most likely a Black-bellied Plover, or possibly an American Golden Plover. South Carolina is well within the winter migration range of both species and both sport a “black belly” during breeding season which happens in the arctic tundra.
The sun was almost down, creating a pink reflection in the receding Atlantic surf.
The Plover came a bit closer to me as I waited watched the sun go down.
These White Pelicans were taking a break after feeding, some resting, some grooming.
A Great Blue Heron in the background stood his ground, not paying much attention as the Pelicans swam back and forth.
A pair of Roseate Spoonbills approached the pond where I was watching the White Pelicans and dropped low for a landing.
I focused on the bird in the lead as he circled towards the back of the pond.
He kept right on going passed a Great Blue Heron.
The pair landed with a couple of White Ibis and immediately began feeding.
Donnelley Wildlife Management Area
November 28, 2019