I did not see the Needlefish when I was taking these shots. The glare from the afternoon sun and the splash from the strand feeding Dolphin were what I saw in the viewfinder while I was hoping the Dolphin’s head would emerge through the water.
The fish’s jumping skills outran the Dolphin’s efforts to corner him near shore.
In a matter of seconds the the Dolphin turned back into the deeper 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.
He’s in there somewhere. Amazingly fast and agile, Dolphins create a swirl in the water as they zoom by.
The splash was quite dramatic as he made a turn, sending an incredible amount of water airborne.
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.
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.
She was then content to turn this way, then that way.
The afternoon sun lit her and the post up.
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.
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.
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.
The Little Blue gave a ruffle after a mis-step off the log and went back to patrolling.
The Little Blue Heron and logs from another angle.
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.
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.
Do they have no suspicion that they might be lunch?
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.
The nature guide at Magnolia Garden identifies these turtles as Yellow-bellied Sliders.