Landing in the Blue

This is one of the two birds from yesterday’s post, Shore Birds Wading, as he landed in the marsh inlet. About an hour after sunrise, the sky was completely blue making a nice water color which made up for the dull mud.

Shore Bird Landing
Shore Bird Landing

It was disappointing that the water stream in front of the bird wasn’t wide enough to get his entire reflection as he touched down.

Shore Bird Landing
Shore Bird Landing

Pond Sunrise

It had been our intention to be at a different pond when the sun came up but between getting out the door a few minutes late and a truck ahead of us that was indecisive that didn’t happen. I don’t think our original destination could have been any prettier than this. Unless there was a bird, or two, in the water.

Sunrise Over Marsh Pond
Sunrise Over Marsh Pond

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, SC
Taken 10/14/2018

Shore Birds Wading

This pair of shore birds, probably Lesser Yellowlegs, worked their way up a marsh inlet as the tide was going out, probing for breakfast.

Wading Shore Birds
Wading Shore Birds

Other Yellowlegs that I have seen actually have obvious yellow legs. I’m not sure if this pair is just too muddy to tell for sure or if it’s their age.

Wading Shore Birds
Wading Shore Birds

Or they are a different bird. The Merlin identification app also suggested they might be Long-billed Dowitchers.

Wading Shore Birds
Wading Shore Birds

They didn’t find much sustenance when I was watching, but they were pretty in the morning sun.

Wading Shore Birds
Wading Shore Birds

Black-crowned Night-heron Over the Pond

Disrupted from his hunting spot this Black-crowned Night-heron took a flight out over the pond.

Black-crowned Night-heron
Black-crowned Night-heron

This was about a half hour after sunrise, with a golden glow on the heron and the pond.

Black-crowned Night-heron
Black-crowned Night-heron

He opted to land in the “spoonie” tree, so named by photographers because the Roseate Spoonbills like to congregate there.

Black-crowned Night-heron
Black-crowned Night-heron

On this morning a single Anhinga was defending his spot.

Black-crowned Night-heron
Black-crowned Night-heron

Cardinal: A Classic

Despite seeing Northern Cardinals pretty regularly, I found it a challenge to get a good image of one. This one surprised me landing over my head as I was watching warblers at ground level. He had a lot going for him: classic pose with his crest up, aligned to the sun for the catch light in his eye, his feathers tidy and uniformly colored and oh, yes, that red.

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal

Most of the leaves had fallen off the tree where he perched giving me a clear view. Cardinals in our area tend to be quite skittish; this one didn’t seem to care that I was watching him.

Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal

Palm Warbler

I had been watching some small birds flit in and out of the underbrush at the side of the road. The sun had just come up and they were hunting for breakfast in the lowest, darkest parts of the vegetation. This Palm Warbler finally took a break in the sun on a reed frond.

Palm Warbler
Palm Warbler

I was able to get a few steps closer and get a few images at a different angle before he went back to foraging.

Palm Warbler
Palm Warbler

Gulf Fritillary – October

At the end of the second week of October there were many Gulf Fritillary Butterflies still around.

Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Fritillary

Our temperatures have remained in the mid to high 80s during the day (27 plus C) which is above average for October. Only in the last few days have the nights gone down to 60 F (15 C).

Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Fritillary

Fortunately this favorite wildflower of the Fritillary is still blooming. Some lovely purple flowers just a few feet away had no attraction to this fellow.

Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Fritillary

Taken 10/09/2018, Charleston, SC.