A Belted Kingfisher paused briefly on this dead limb over a view of a pond before swooping away.
Acutally, he flew almost into me as I was watching a Great Blue Heron standing at a water trunk. We both jumped and he made a speedy exit to this tree top down the trail.
I inched my way along the trail towards the tree, the Kingfisher zipped back to the spot he originally wanted on the trunk. This gave him a close view of the Ashley River just beyond the trunk and the rice field pond that now was between us.
A Peacock was showing off his finery, turning round and bowing on a small patch of grass, never quite stepping out into the sun.
Pelicans don’t look that agile, but you can see by the landing trail in the water that this fellow executed a 90 degree turn as he was hitting the water. I suspect he saw something for lunch!
We are on day two without internet service but I can log into WP admin with our spotty cell phone data service. I found this post in my drafts from February 2018. I have no idea what my plan for it had been but this seems like a good time to finish the post. I’m still amazed at the way Pelicans can fly and dive.
The Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are industrious and fun to watch when feeding in plain view.
This one was in the drinking phase of his routine, from holes previously made in the bark.
Holding still on a short break I got a nice profile view showing off that sturdy beak and beautiful color pattern.
They tend to circle the tree, moving up and down, enough to make the photographer dizzy guessing where they will reappear.
I didn’t have a great view when I first spotted this pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers. I was pretty sure the one on the right zipped into that hole while I maneuvered around the tree between us.
I watched for him to come out before turning my attention to the other one as he was pecking on the tree. Then I could hear the second one calling.
The question then was to keep watching the first subject or risk missing some action there and look for the second. I succumbed to looking and he eventually popped up behind this branch. Or was there the whole time and I just didn’t notice.
He quickly flew off. Meanwhile the first one had moved a little higher, paused a moment, then also flew off.
I heard a number of woodpeckers as I wandered along the boardwalk though the Bald Cypress forest at Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.
The only one I spotted for more than a second was this Pileated Woodpecker who was in view for less then a minute.
I do love that flash of red.
Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
January 2, 2020
Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers feed at sapwells, shallow holes they have drilled in tree’s bark.
Like other woodpeckers, Sapsuckers are industrious, and usually their work is in tidy rows.
Check out his sharp beak and the spread of his foot!
As the sapsucker worked around the tree additional sapwells came into view.
Click on any photo for a larger view.
A very entertaining group including American White Pelicans, Great Blue Herons, Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Storks, a Great Egret and an Anhinga.
And an Alligator.
Tormentor of this photographer, that is. I often see them at my favorite wildlife management area, but somehow they are always a few wing beats ahead.
I get closer, and just as the the camera is halfway up, zoom…
And sometimes they aren’t Kingfishers at all.