Category Archives: Nature

Nature’s Camoflage

Spotting wildlife is often about subtle contrasts and shapes. The subject’s movement sometimes helps. This Sapsucker flew onto the tree then froze in place.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Looking for the unexpected can help.

Tree Frog
Tree Frog

Some creatures hardly move, like the Tree Frog, and others, like this warbler, are in perpetual motion so it’s helpful to anticipate their next direction.

Black-and-white Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler

Man, Raptor, Dolphin Using the River

There was a lot of activity to be seen on a late afternoon boat ride into the Harbor River from Russ Point on Hunting Island, SC even as the day came to an end.

From the beach near the dock a fisherman was casting into the river.

Fly Fisherman
Fly Fisherman

A Bald Eagle watched over the river and surrounding marsh from a dead tree.

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

A pod of Dolphins was all around us as we set out, probably fishing for the last meal of the day.

Dolphin Tale
Dolphin Tale

Off in the distance it was raining.

Sun Rain Clouds
Sun Rain Clouds

The Harbor River is at the southern end of the Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto (ACE) Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve.

The Reserve’s 99,308 acres of pine and hardwood upland, oyster reef, forested wetland, barrier islands, cypress swamp, and tidal marsh combine to make this one of the largest undeveloped estuaries on the East Coast and home to many endangered species.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly

This Black Swallowtail Butterfly flitted along on the outside of the plants lining the walkway as I went along the edge of the pond, obscuring my view. Finally he landed in a fern and seemed to peak through the fronds.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Fern

He then moved to a more open area and spent some time on this statice type plant.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

The plant was down an embankment putting me even with the Butterfly for part of his feeding.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

The area just beyond these plants has recently been flooded as part of a plan to make an additional pond near the heron rookery. Next year the vegetation will likely be very different here.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

A year ago I captured similar images of butterfly and plant at a different pond about 25 miles (40 Kilometers) from this spot and thought the plant to be Brazilian Vervain (Verbena brasiliensis).  Black Swallowtail Butterfly is the post if you’d like to compare.

Chickadee All In

A few days after seeing a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker investigate a tree cavity I saw a Chickadee do it.

Chickadee
Chickadee

It wasn’t as nice a day with a grey sky for a background, but the bird’s behavior was interesting.

Chickadee
Chickadee

The Chickadee went back and forth between this tree, which is dead, and an overhanging branch across the path. I’m not sure if he was looking for food or a potential nest site.

Chickadee
Chickadee

After the Chickadee flew off I went around the tree to see the cavity. I’ll be watching this spot when I pass by as spring progresses.

Tree Cavity
Tree Cavity

 

White Ibis in a Nesting Tree

If they follow last year’s pattern this tree will soon be occupied by nesting Great Blue Heron and Great Egret couples. Until then White Ibis have taken over the tree for sunning.

White Ibis resting in Tree
White Ibis resting in Tree

Doing the one-legged doze the Ibis stood right here for a couple of hours at least.

White Ibis resting in Tree
White Ibis resting in Tree

There is not a bit of material left from last year’s nests. Any Great Blues or Great Egrets that stake this out to start a family will be starting nest building from zero.

White Ibis resting in Tree
White Ibis resting in Tree

Taken as fall is coming to an end, 12/18/2018.

Eastern Phoebe

The Eastern Phoebes around the rice field canals often eat by alternating flying out over the canal to gather insects and landing on a perch that overhangs the water.

Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe

The marsh reeds appeared golden at the end of the afternoon on this day and I was able to get a bit better background as I got closer to this Phoebe.

Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe

Not surprisingly, many of their chosen perches are obstructed from view by branches and reeds. And they don’t hold still very long.

Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe