The tide was almost low and the shallow inlet water was attracting a number of shore birds looking for a meal, including a few Black Skimmers. My view wasn’t great and some tall grass partially obstructed the action, but watching these gorgeous birds skim for food is fascinating.
The flying gull and wading Tricolored Heron paid no head to the speeding Skimmer.
The Skimmer made a practiced move of a quick look underneath and behind.
The Tricolored Heron was not giving up his spot.
Gracefully the Skimmer banked, skirted the heron and headed across the inlet.
A mud flat is created when the SC Department of Natural Resources lets the water out of a section of the old rice fields at Bear Island Wildlife Management Area. The little shore “peeps” of all varieties gather for feeding.
The Least Sandpiper is one of the smallest of the little “peeps” that wade through the mud, foraging for food.
It’s fascinating to see the flocks take off in one motion and fly as a group to a new location.
I got another opportunity to photograph Black Skimmers last week when a small group along with some Terns visited the same sand bar where I saw them two weeks ago. This Royal Tern had a few things to say.
When I first spotted them there were some Pelicans in the mix but they didn’t hang around. The tide was nearly out and this group of smaller birds seemed content to let the water lap around their legs. I didn’t see any of them feeding.
After the tide turned they shifted as a group a few times, going into the air, doing a few loops and settling just a couple dozen feet from where they started. It was only when a couple of bicyclists and a family with a baby carriage came along that they left.