Category Archives: Nature

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

Following A Yellow-rumped Warbler

The sky was gloriously blue and this Yellow-rumped Warbler flitted in and out of the trees along the rice field dike.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Anyone who follows birds, especially the small ones, knows the advantage of fall and leafless trees.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

The other edge of the dike is lined with various evergreen trees making it easy for these little fellows to disappear in a flash.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Red-shouldered Hawk

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.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

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.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

I moved to a vantage point on a perpendicular trail just in time to see him fly off.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

He didn’t go far and continued his calling.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

Newly Opened Dike

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!

Alligator and Reflection
Alligator and Reflection

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.

White Ibis
White Ibis

This White Ibis was enjoying the sun and along came a Little Blue Heron.

Little Blue Heron and White Ibis
Little Blue Heron and White Ibis

The Little Blue Heron slowly encroached on the Ibis’  space.

Little Blue Heron and White Ibis
Little Blue Heron and White Ibis

Roseate Spoonbills

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.

Roseate Spoonbills
Roseate Spoonbills

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.

Roseate Spoonbills
Roseate Spoonbills

As these birds were feeding the flock was constantly changing with one or two coming or going looking for “greener grass”.

Roseate Spoonbills
Roseate Spoonbills