Green Heron, Times Three

I walked a remote trail this morning along an old rice field canal and was happy to see a number of Green Herons. They were pretty skittish and I most were rear end views.

Green Heron in Limbs
Green Heron in Limbs

The majority of them were down closer to the water but this one was interested in something happening in another tree.

Green Heron
Green Heron

This is the same Heron as above, taken from the other side of the tree.

Green Heron
Green Heron

Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Thistle

The four or five Swallowtails flitting around these thistle plants flew off when I drove by. I had room to stop, walked back and waited.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

After a few minutes one returned and continued probing the thistle.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

These butterflies were competing with some other flying insects, the tail end of one can be seen here sticking up out of the flower.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Young Dolphin and Bonaparte’s Gull

Or Follow The Food

Dolphin can be hard to spot from shore until they break the surface but this Bonaparte’s Gull served as a great marker for me. You can just make out the young Dolphin below and to the left of the bird.

Bonaparte's Gull Fishing Around Dolphin
Bonaparte’s Gull Hovering Over Dolphin

With an idea where the animal is there is some chance of capturing an image of him above the water, like this:

Bonaparte's Gull Fishing Around Dolphin
Bonaparte’s Gull Fishing Around Dolphin

I had the pleasure of speaking with Lauren Rust, founder of The Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network (www.lmmn.org), while I was watching the Dolphins in the Kiawah River on March 18. She spends a lot of time monitoring the local Dolphin and shared with me that this behavior goes on regularly and she has wondered if it is the same few Gulls who have figured this out. The Dolphin is a two year old who still stays pretty close to its mother, who was feeding nearby.

Bonaparte's Gull Floating With Dolphin
Bonaparte’s Gull Floating With Dolphin

These two had developed an understanding. and if you zoom in on the next image you’ll see the Gull got a fish just as the Dolphin ducked under the water.

Bonaparte's Gull Fishing Around Dolphin
Bonaparte’s Gull Fishing Around Dolphin

It appeared that the Bonaparte’s Gull was following the Dolphin, which presumably was following fish.

Bonaparte's Gull Floating With Dolphin
Bonaparte’s Gull Floating With Dolphin

Lastly, a wider view of the unlikely pair, taken on the Kiawah side of the river, looking towards Seabrook Island.

Bonaparte's Gull Fishing Around Dolphin
Bonaparte’s Gull Fishing Around Dolphin

White Ibis in Swamp

This section of swamp is newly flooded this year. A small flock of Ibis has added it to their route, poking their way around it looking for food.

White Ibis in Swamp
White Ibis in Swamp

Ibis are never concerned about swamp junk getting stuck to them or how deep the water might be.

White Ibis in Swamp
White Ibis in Swamp

Here I come…

White Ibis in Swamp
White Ibis in Swamp

surely there is something to eat under this log.

White Ibis in Swamp
White Ibis in Swamp

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens announced today that they are now closed until further notice. I will miss my peaceful walks in the woods and keeping up with the birds.