Category Archives: Wildlife

Dolphins Moving Water

The bank of the river is very steep here which not only helps the Dolphin corral fish to feed on but it creates a funnel wave up the shore. I could hear the water coming and didn’t want to miss the Dolphin, but I think the funnel may have been a more interesting photograph. I’ll need to see this a few more times to get placed properly for the best shot.

Dolphin Feeding
Dolphin Feeding

He’s in there somewhere. Amazingly fast and agile, Dolphins create a swirl in the water as they zoom by.

Dolphin Feeding
Dolphin Feeding

The splash was quite dramatic as he made a turn, sending an incredible amount of water airborne.

Dolphin Feeding
Dolphin Feeding

There is at least 1000 feet of river shoreline where the Dolphins were feeding this day, and with their speed it was tough to choose a place to stand.

Dolphin Feeding
Dolphin Feeding

Belted Kingfisher

I’ve posted photos of a Belted Kingfisher at this location before, posing on the beams of the re-purposed bridge. This visit did not disappoint as I spotted this female posing on a rotting piling, first squawking at a passing Snowy Egret.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

She was then content to turn this way, then that way.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

The afternoon sun lit her and the post up.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

Then she was done. The tide was going out so we hoped that she was fishing and would return with a snack as we have seen her do. We waited for about five minutes and presumed she moved on to another of her favorite spots.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

The Nest Tree

You’ve seen this tree before, its a nesting spot for Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets. I’ve photographed nest building, chicks growing up and territorial spats here.

Late yesterday afternoon a King Fisher used the center trunk between dives.

King Fisher
King Fisher

When the King Fisher was gone an Ibis and juvenile Little Blue Heron used it for a resting spot, mutually ignoring each other.

Ibis and Little Blue Heron
Ibis and Little Blue Heron

The top nest area was surprisingly intact after our recent storms. The lower area where the Great Egrets nested suffered some damage, but come spring they may fix it up.

Ibis and Little Blue Heron
Ibis and Little Blue Heron

Perfect Landing

Circling at low altitude, the Wood Stork loops several times looking for the perfect spot to drop down.

Wood Stork Landing
Wood Stork Landing

Found it! In this marsh of reeds and canals it was nice of him to pick a spot where I could see the ground.

Wood Stork Landing
Wood Stork Landing

Pay no attention to others in the landing zone.

Wood Stork Landing
Wood Stork Landing, using his tail for balance

Nailed it! A little ruffle and show off of the green wing tips and he was down.

Wood Stork Landing
Wood Stork Landing

The Snowy Egret never turned his head.

Click on photos for larger view.

A Duck Tale

Mother Wood Duck and seven ducklings climbed onto the Alligator ramp for some grooming and rest.

Wood Duck with Ducklings
Wood Duck with Ducklings – click on photo for larger view

Drowsy, without a care in the world, after a bit everyone settled down and Mom stood watch. I thought these ducks were taking a risk: they don’t call it an Alligator platform for nothing!

Wood Duck with Ducklings
Wood Duck with Ducklings – click on photo for larger view

Dad patrolled the waters.

Look carefully to the left of the Drake and you will see an Alligator body part is sticking out of the water just a smidge. I didn’t see this until I was developing these photos.

Wood Duck with Alligator Lurking
Wood Duck with Alligator Lurking – click on photo for larger view

I did suspect that something was about to happen because the Drake let out a squawk, reversed course and paddled away.

Wood Duck with Ducklings
Wood Duck with Ducklings – click on photo for larger view

Mama also sensed something was wrong.

Wood Duck with Ducklings
Wood Duck with Ducklings – click on photo for larger view

I missed them exit from the platform but those ducklings were just about running on the water to get out of there.

Wood Duck Ducklings
Wood Duck Ducklings – click on photo for larger view

When I glanced back the platform had a new occupant.

Alligator
Alligator – click on photo for larger view

The ducklings and mom disappeared towards the other side of the pond, with a tale of survival, this time.

 

Wood Duck Ducklings
Wood Duck Ducklings – click on photo for larger view

Going, Going, Gone

There was no sun were this young Alligator waited at the side of a pond so he readily slid into the water when some humans came his way.

Alligator at Edge of Pond

Zip, down the bank he went…

Alligator at Edge of Pond

plowing over the top of whatever was in front of him. I wonder how their eyes work?

Alligator at Edge of Pond
Alligator at Edge of Pond

Alligators don’t give a moment’s thought to what might be below the duck weed, they just go.

Danger Everywhere

With an occasional eye to the sky as Hawks and Vultures passed over head, this Little Blue Heron worked back and forth on a log, poking in the duck weed.

Little Blue Heron with eye to the sky, click photo for larger view.

He seemed not to notice the Alligator floating just behind him, his head just to the left of the birds in the photo above. From where I  stood peeking through underbrush, I wasn’t sure the log wasn’t alive, either.

Little Blue Heron with Alligator over his shoulder, click photo for larger view.

The Little Blue gave a ruffle after a mis-step off the log and went back to patrolling.

Ruffled Little Blue Heron, click photo for larger view.

The Little Blue Heron and logs from another angle.

Little Blue Heron working down a log, click photo for larger view.

Turtles Extreme Posing

On Sunday I posted photos of turtles posing on an Alligator ramp and logs to sun themselves out of the water. Yesterday in the same spot an Alligator was using a turtle as a head rest and more turtles were clambering to join the group.

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Further along in a different pond a similar activity was taking place with a much larger Alligator, only this time the turtles were on top.

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Do they have no suspicion that they might be lunch?

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We returned by this spot about an hour and a half later to find the Alligator had changed position but at least one free-loader was still in place.

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The nature guide at Magnolia Garden identifies these turtles as Yellow-bellied Sliders.

Click on photo for larger view.

Turtles Posing

Singly or in groups, the turtles around the swamp like to climb onto about anything that protrudes out of the water on nice days.

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This one came up through the duckweed leaving a shiny green coat.

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They seem oblivious to the activity going on in the water around them, be it another turtle or an alligator.

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This alligator platform was fair game for the turtles while it was in the shade. As the sun comes around they will likely get pushed off.

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Click on any photo for larger view.

Audubon Swamp, January 2017.