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.
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 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.
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.
That little twig won’t do much for the nest but he took it to his waiting mate.
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.
His feeding style was more scooping along the water surface, and less plunging of his full head.
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.
The sun was almost down, creating a pink reflection in the receding Atlantic surf.
The Plover came a bit closer to me as I waited watched the sun go down.