I saw this Red-shouldered Hawk standing on the ground at the side of a pond and approached slowly. Other times I’ve seen them do this the bird was squeezing his next meal, but I didn’t see any food here.
Afterwards, when I zoomed in on what I thought was a tree root or Cypress knee, it turned out to be a turtle standing on its end.
Who knew a Red-shouldered Hawk could lift so much?He didn’t struggle at all and disappeared into the woods with his catch
I don’t know what made the hawk take off; I was standing still and the only human in view.
These were taken with the Sony Alpha 6500 which uses an electronic viewfinder, not the best arrangement for images of birds in flight due to the lag time.
I was taking a short-cut from the rice field back to the swamp and almost walked by him, perched on a branch just off the path. Throughout December I have been hearing the Red-shouldered Hawks calling around the swamp but this is the first one of seen in awhile.
2018 has been a wonderful year of observing and photographing the wonders of nature, mostly birds in the low country of South Carolina. Thank you for following along. I appreciate all of your comments and observations.
I end the year with a Snowy Egret fishing in a rice field canal, taken on one of the few sunny days we’ve had lately.
A White Ibis dropped in amazing close to the Egret considering all the unoccupied space nearby.
I’ve watched several Forster’s Terns the last few times I’ve been to the rice field impoundment. They are incredibly acrobatic in flight, twisting and turning, then swooping down to the water to go after small fish.
They are quite striking birds, even in non-breeding plumage. When they’ve make the turn and loop back for another run at the pond is the best opportunity to photograph them.
And did I mention they are fast? This is the best I got this day for a dive.
If they pick up a small fish with their feet they quickly pass it to their mouth and down the hatch it goes.
Small and chunky, the Pied-billed Grebe always looks like a baby-faced juvenile to me.
Last week several of them were swimming in the rice field canal. Saltbrush seeds from shrubs that lined the bank were drifting over the water.
The lowering late afternoon light and growth on the opposite bank changed the look of the water as I proceeded down the canal.
Further along the Saltbrush seeds looked like sparkly feathers floating on the water. Saltbrush, Baccharis halimifolia, is a woody shrub or small tree in the Asteraceaefamily, and is also known as Groundsel.