Alligator In The Knees

…and showing off his teeth.

Alligator
Young Alligator, about 4 feet long ( 1.25 Meters)

Alligators will crawl out of the water and just plop down about anywhere, seemingly without a plan, even wound around some cypress knees.

Alligator
Alligator – working on temperature regulation with his mouth open

Don’t believe anyone who tells you that Alligators aren’t active in the winter. It was a warm day, feeling like spring but still the middle of winter.

He just laid there as I was watching this pile of Yellow-bellied Sliders.

Yellow-bellied Sliders
Yellow-bellied Sliders

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC
February 1, 2023

Tree Fungus

A giant fungus, perhaps Chicken of the Woods, surprised me as I stepped around the back of a very large tree.

Fungus on Tree
Fungus on Tree

Close up…

Fungus on Tree
Fungus on Tree

The tree does not look healthy, perhaps the result of or contributor to, the fungus that often thrive on rotting vegetation.

Fungus on Tree
Fungus on Tree

Or maybe both.

Fungus on Tree
Fungus on Tree

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC
January 31, 2023

Great Blue Heron Repurposing The Skinny Tree Nest

It seems that the Great Blue Heron couple have abandoned nesting at the Skinny Tree sometime in the last week.

Great Blue Heron at Skinny Tree
Great Blue Heron at Skinny Tree

Another enterprising GBH spent a couple hours on Tuesday removing material from what had appeared to be a robust nest.

Great Blue Heron at Skinny Tree, Stealing Sticks
Great Blue Heron at Skinny Tree, Stealing Sticks

This heron’s nest is just at the other end of the pond, in the big island.

Great Blue Heron at Skinny Tree, Stealing Sticks
Great Blue Heron at Skinny Tree, Stealing Sticks

He made lots of trips mostly with small branches while I was watching.

Great Blue Heron Leaving Skinny Tree with Stolen Stick
Great Blue Heron Leaving Skinny Tree with Stolen Stick

Of course it is not theft to them, it is taking advantage of easy pickings.

Great Blue Heron Leaving Skinny Tree with Stolen Stick
Great Blue Heron Leaving Skinny Tree with Stolen Stick

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC
January 31, 2023

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, More Sedate

Just a short distance from the Black-bellied Whistling Duck Kerfuffle that I posted last week a few small groups were calmly hanging out.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Black-bellied Whistling Duck

This floating mat of vegetation was solid enough to hold up the ducks but there was water around their feet.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

This fellow was doing his own thing, sort of hiding in some taller grass.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

In this group, one duck was on high alert, one was sort of alert and the rest were snoozing.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

Orlando Wetlands, Christmas, FL
January 18, 2023

Orlando Wetlands Park is 1650 acres of man-made wetland designed to provide advanced treatment for reclaimed water from the City of Orlando and other local cities.

Ring-billed Gull At The Beach

There was a drop-off in the sand from where this Ring-billed Gull was perched to the ocean.

Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull

He and a few pals were getting some end of day sun.

Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull

Typical of gulls, they were flapping around a bit while the waves were roiling around behind them.

Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull

I don’t remember if this is the same bird as the first picture, but it was nice he supplied me with another head profile shot.

Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull

St. Augustine Beach, FL
January 20, 2023

Skimmer Among Gulls

After sunrise didn’t make much of a show  I walked the beach and this group of gulls was gathered at the tide line ahead of me.

Gulls At the Beach Gulls At the Beach

I suspected they would all fly as I wasn’t the only person on the beach, and some were jogging and others had dogs.

Skimmer With Gulls At the Beach Skimmer With Gulls At the Beach

The gulls actually didn’t fly and the Black Skimmer made him self comfy in the crowd.

Skimmer With Gulls At the Beach Skimmer With Gulls At the Beach

I got one pretty good look at the Skimmer as he stepped away from the group working on their morning grooming. I glanced away for a second and when I turned back he was gone.

Skimmer At the Beach Skimmer At the Beach

St. Augustine Beach, FL
January 21, 2023