Category Archives: Wildlife

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.

Too Many to Count

One Roseate Spoonbill perched in a tree above a pond full of Alligators. I stopped counting at 60 and I’m sure there were more hidden in the reeds and along the banks.

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From a distance the alligators looked like logs bobbing in the pond. Most of them didn’t move much but make no mistake they were alive.

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Don’t fall in!

Donnelly Wildlife Management Area, Colleton County, South Carolina, 11/25/2016.

American White Pelican and Friends

This group of four American White Pelicans swam round and round for over a half hour, occasionally using their bills to scoop food.

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They seemed oblivious to the alligators floating nearby, but did mostly stay in a tight group, perhaps for safety. The reptiles were not moving much and were clustered near shore. It was hard to see how deep the water might have been and how that might have affected both the birds’ and the alligators’ movements.

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I was hoping the Pelicans would display their flight skills, but they just continued round and round, eventually disappearing beyond the bend in the pond.

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Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, 11/25/2016.