There are a number of Red-shouldered Hawks around the swamps I frequent. I often hear them call, and this day I finally spotted one on an open branch. I thought he was about to fly after displaying the rousing behavior.
Instead he settled in and called some more. I’ve observed Red-shouldered Hawks make a lot of noise like this before when they appear to be hunting, as contrary as it seems. All potential prey should be driven into hiding.
I moved to a vantage point on a perpendicular trail just in time to see him fly off.
These images were taken in a section of the wildlife management area that I don’t visit often. Until recently you had to climb over fallen trees to get there and the dike is lower, which puts the photographer closer to the water which is good and bad.
Getting a lower prospective and Alligator reflection is good. Being closer to unseen Alligators can scare the &#!% out of a photographer if they move!
Being lower also means less breeze, which much of the year means more mosquitoes. Last week was cooler so there wasn’t much insect activity.
This White Ibis was enjoying the sun and along came a Little Blue Heron.
The Little Blue Heron slowly encroached on the Ibis’ space.
This is a broader view of one of the places I found Roseate Spoonbills feeding in October. The tall marsh reeds are intact behind them, hiding that there is a narrow road on the dike there, and another pond beyond that. Even the tallest photographers I know can’t see over those reeds and in some spots they are two feet thick.
These Roseate Spoonbill images were taken from a dike that runs perpendicular to that main dike. I was standing where the reeds were less dense and some had been flattened by alligators climbing through them and wind and rain beating them down.
As these birds were feeding the flock was constantly changing with one or two coming or going looking for “greener grass”.
As I was maneuvering to a spot where I could view the wading bird feeding frenzy I spotted this small group of egrets off to the side. They seemed focused on something to my right; the big group was further back and to my left. The weren’t interested in joining in with the others. Perhaps they’d had their fill.
When the larger groups from the huge flock took off it was pretty noisy, mostly from the wing beats. During one of those lift offs this group decided it was time to move on.
From a distance this wasp nest looked like a dried flower head jammed into these branches. When I got close enough to see the insect movement I could tell that it was not a flower at all.
It’s interesting that the nest appeared to have a uniform depth and I couldn’t tell what was supporting the disk. The wasps were crawling around the outside of the nest, not coming and going as I would have expected.