The Skinny Tree, Down The Pond

Just as it was starting to rain and we were heading out  a Great Blue Heron landed in the Skinny Tree. It was a long, soft shot, but I do like all the colors around the edge of the pond.

Great Blue Heron in Skinny Tree
Great Blue Heron in Skinny Tree, Few Ducks in the Water

If you zoom in you’ll see that all of last year’s nesting material is gone from the tree. The GBH nest was where the Heron is standing; Great Egrets built three nests lower down, one on top of the Wood Duck box. I expect a Great Blue Heron pair will start building it up soon as this has been one of the prime nesting sites on this pond for many years.

Great Blue Herons: Nesting Season Has Begun

Great Blue Herons have started working on nests around the pond. The best spots go early, and there were some remnants left of last season’s nest where this GBH had staked a claim.

Great Blue Heron Stick Gathering
Great Blue Heron Stick Gathering

This fellow’s “nestoration” skills are a bit rusty and he spent considerable time trying to pull live branches off the tree. The ground around the pond is littered with twigs of all sizes and shapes that would have been easier to gather.

Great Blue Heron Stick Gathering
Great Blue Heron Stick Gathering

Success!

Great Blue Heron Stick Gathering
Great Blue Heron Stick Gathering

That little twig won’t do much for the nest but he took it to his waiting mate.

Great Blue Heron Stick Gathering
Great Blue Heron Stick Gathering

Single White Pelican

American White Pelicans tend to feed in groups, probably gaining an advantage of any fish their neighbor stirs up. This fellow swam away from the group into a spot where the fall colors from the tree line reflected in the shallow water. I believe the rougher water beyond the bird is deeper and has some flow as it heads into a canal.

Fishing White Pelican
Fishing White Pelican

His feeding style was more scooping along the water surface, and less plunging of his full head.

Fishing White Pelican
Fishing White Pelican

He seemed to be successful.

Fishing White Pelican
Fishing White Pelican

Plover at Sunset

The Merlin Bird ID App says this is most likely a Black-bellied Plover, or possibly an American Golden Plover. South Carolina is well within the winter migration range of both species and both sport a “black belly”  during breeding season which happens in the arctic tundra.

Plover in the Surf
Plover at the Surf’s Edge

The sun was almost down, creating a pink reflection in the receding Atlantic surf.

Plover in the Surf
Plover in the Surf

The Plover came a bit closer to me as I waited watched the sun go down.

Plover
Plover