Category Archives: Animals

Dolphins Out in the River

These are from my last trip to watch the Dolphins strand feed two weeks ago. There is a lot of time when nothing much happens, you see movement and push the shutter button hoping to catch some action. Following is a collection of a few of the better moments.

This tail-up image was unusual because a few Dolphins were almost down to the mouth of the river and out in the middle. They may have been feeding or just having fun.

Dolphin Tail
Dolphin Tail

Next is a picture of the calf with his head out of the water with his mother trailing behind. They often swim so close together it’s hard to tell what part belongs to what animal.

Dolphin Calf
Dolphin Calf

This one was passing close to shore checking on the humans but not feeding.

Dolphin
Dolphin

Last, what I think is the same calf as above,  circling with his mother.

Dolphin Calf
Dolphin Calf with Mother

Click on any image for a larger view. 

Dolphins Strand Feeding, Junior Watching

This trio of Dolphins charged the beach head on instead of from the side as I’ve usually seen.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

The Dolphin on the left was hanging on tight to his catch.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

As they continued to chase the fish herded to the water’s edge the Dolphin in the middle got a fish.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

I didn’t notice it at the time, but a juvenile Dolphin was watching from a safe distance. I wonder if the Dolphin on the left was holding this catch to feed the youngster or if he/she was just too busy getting back in the water.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

Later that morning I did see the mother and juvenile working the shore in what looked like teaching of the water swirling methods.

11/06/2018

Dolphins Strand Feeding: Big Catch

The fish were easy to see as they flew through the air, tossed about by the powerful water surges created by the Dolphins.

Dolphins Strand Feeding, Fish in the Air
Dolphins Strand Feeding, Fish in the Air

Most of the fish manage to flop back into the water but this one was about to be lunch.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

The fish appears to be dead or knocked out.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

But a moment later he leapt into the air…

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

and ended up in a Dolphin’s mouth.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

The images in a slideshow, if you prefer; click an image to get started:

Cashmere Goat

Cashmere Goats are one of the heritage breeds that Middleton Place houses in its barnyard, devoted to animals that were known to be on the farm at some point during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Cashmere Goat
Cashmere Goat

Over numerous trips here this is the closest I’ve come to an “action” shot of one of the goats.

Cashmere Goat
Cashmere Goat

This is closer to what I usually see:

Cashmere Goat
Cashmere Goat

From the Middleton Place website:

In the 1850s, Williams Middleton imported and raised cashmere goats, sending their treasured hair to France where it was processed into cloth. The goats need minimal shelter due to their dual coats. Each year, starting in March, the goats’ hair can be harvested by combing out their winter coat.

https://www.middletonplace.org/

Wild Pig Destruction

I have read about the damage wild pigs perform across South Carolina to crops, gardens, yards, anything they can root up, but this was the first time I had seen them in action.

Wild Pigs
Wild Pigs

This was a group of about a dozen, appearing to be a boar, two sows and two groups of youngsters, at slightly different sizes.

Wild Pigs
Wild Pigs

All of them except the boar were so busy feeding they didn’t even notice us when we stopped in the road.

We had driven by this small field a few days before and the grass the Wildlife Management Area staff had planted earlier in the summer was up about eight or ten inches (20 – 25 cm) and fully covered this plot.

Wild Pig Boar
Wild Pig Boar

The WMA maintains a number of areas along the roads through the property that attract and support different kinds of wildlife. I don’t think this was the outcome they wanted: complete destruction. I suppose the good news is a little fertilizer left behind and freshly turned earth to accept new seed if they decide to replant.

Wild Pig Family
Wild Pig Family

The boar had his eye on us and started encouraging his family to move along with some grunting and posturing. Off they went to destroy something else.

Wild Pigs Disappearing into Woods
Wild Pigs Disappearing into Woods

Dolphins Strand Feeding: Pelican Audience

These Dolphins were strand feeding on the opposite side of the river, at least 300 feet (90 Meters) from where I was standing. The photos don’t have nearly the detail as my Dolphins Strand Feeding: Success post, but I thought it was quite interesting to see the process from a different angle.

Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans
Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans

Not to mention the Pelicans that were keen on seeing if they could nab a fish from all the action.

Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans
Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans

The Pelicans were following the Dolphins as they swam up and down the river. I didn’t see any fish this time but the Pelican on the left made a quick exit as if he had something he didn’t want to share.

Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans
Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans

Dolphins Strand Feeding: Success

After the fishless stranding of my last post, I was fortunate to witness another strand feeding with the fish jumping wildly.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

Three Dolphins had driven the fish to shore and the fish did their best not to become lunch.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

The next photo is heavily cropped, but I wanted to show a closeup of the Dolphin – fish encounter. I’m not certain the Dolphin got this one, but it seems likely.

Dolphin with Fish

The frenzy only lasts a few seconds, then the Dolphins roll/flop back into the water, continuing to splash with their tails.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

Dolphins Strand Feeding

A number of Dolphin pods in South Carolina catch fish by a process known as strand feeding. Singly or in groups, they drive fish to the shore, aka strand, usually at a steep bank, then nab the fish.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

To stay at a distance that is safe for the Dolphins doesn’t always result in the best images, but it sure is interesting to watch. I didn’t see any fish during this stranding.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding