Dolphins Moving 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.

Dolphin Feeding
Dolphin Feeding

He’s in there somewhere. Amazingly fast and agile, Dolphins create a swirl in the water as they zoom by.

Dolphin Feeding
Dolphin Feeding

The splash was quite dramatic as he made a turn, sending an incredible amount of water airborne.

Dolphin Feeding
Dolphin Feeding

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.

Dolphin Feeding
Dolphin Feeding

Belted Kingfisher

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.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

She was then content to turn this way, then that way.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

The afternoon sun lit her and the post up.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

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.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

Gathered Around

The Cormorants were content drying their wings on the Alligator ramp as a murky sun warmed the afternoon. A Great Blue Heron came along and disrupted their peace.

Gathering Spot
Great Blue Heron coming in, Cormorants holding their territory

The Cormorants did not surrender their ground despite some posturing from the Great Blue.

Gathering Spot
Great Blue Heron puffed up

An Alligator popped up to see what was happening as I continued along my walk.

Gathering Spot
Great Blue Heron, Cormorants, and Alligator

Tricolored Herons

A number of Tricolored Herons were hanging out around the dike surrounding the old rice fields this afternoon.

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron perched above the water

The one below is probably older.

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron and his reflection

The small herons are territorial and this one was making his presence known to an approaching Snowy Egret. The reeds on my side of the water kept me from photographing the egret.

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron defending his spot

The egret kept on coming and pretty soon they both took off, squawking and flapping. They settled down in a new spot out in the reeds.

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron in flight

Click on any photo for larger view.

Dolphins

I have frequently seen Dolphins in the ocean, rivers and creeks while out photographing in the greater Charleston area. Except for one frenzied experience in May I had only seen glimpses and teases of the promise of getting a Dolphin photo that included more than a fin.

Dolphins playing in the river
Dolphins playing in the river

Yesterday that changed when we watched six or eight Dolphins interacting in the mouth of a river. This group rose and dove around each other, with the juvenile often nudging up against one of the adults.

Dolphins playing in the river
Dolphins playing in the river

Following their swimming pattern helps to be looking in the right place for their next appearance but they are quick to change direction.  Occasionally did something totally different!

Dolphins showing off in the river
Dolphins showing off in the river

Several of the adults stayed in the periphery of the group and also took some time for feeding along the river edge, which will be another post.

Dolphins playing in the river
Dolphins playing in the river

After about a half hour the group moved further from us then disappeared around a corner.

Black Skimmers Coming In

Black Skimmers by the hundreds flew down the beach and landed on a sand bar exposed by the low tide.

Black Skimmer Flock
Black Skimmer Flock – a few Gulls and Terns joined in

There were so many birds it was hard to chose where to photograph.

Black Skimmer Flock
Black Skimmer Flock

As the tide covered their original landing place they lifted off in groups and circled around to another appealing spot.

Black Skimmer Flock
Black Skimmer Flock Coming at me.

We had the good fortune to watch this for over an hour until we were driven out by the incoming tide.

Black Skimmer Flock
Black Skimmer Flock Going away from me