Juvenile Common Yellowthroat

I saw movement but it took my eyes a few minutes to spot this little songbird staring back at me.

Juvenile Common Yellowthroat
Juvenile Common Yellowthroat

The Merlin Bird ID app tells me this is a Common Yellowthroat, to my eye looking a whole lot like many other young or female warblers.

Juvenile Common Yellowthroat
Juvenile Common Yellowthroat

He was on the hunt, jumping from branch to branch, checking behind these waxy leaves for bugs or worms.

Juvenile Common Yellowthroat
Juvenile Common Yellowthroat

I got a quick full body peek while he contemplated his next move, which was to zoom into the heights of this tree.

Juvenile Common Yellowthroat
Juvenile Common Yellowthroat

Gulf Fritillary on Statice

This was the first Gulf Fritillary I’ve seen this summer, one of just a few total butterflies I’ve noticed.

Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Fritillary

The wild purple statice, a non-native that grows along roadsides, in disturbed areas and old fields, seems to be thriving everywhere.

Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Fritillary

This stand of statice was along the side of a pond and the butterfly worked the tops, the road and pond side, and down into the depths of the plant which in some places was over my head.

Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Fritillary

June 26, 2020
Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, SC

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks

These two Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks looks like they are in a field but this is actually a grass-choked pond / swamp so they were walking on a spongy surface.

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

They were alert to my presence and another nearby pair ducked down into the grass out of my sight.

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

These two kept bobbing up and down.

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

And kept an eye on the sky.

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

Wood Ducks

These two Wood Ducks were sunning on the end of an Alligator platform until I passed by.

Wood Duck Duo on Alligator Platform
Wood Duck Duo on Alligator Platform

Actually, there had been three; one had dropped into the water as I rounded the bend.

Wood Duck Duo on Alligator Platform
Wood Duck Duo on Alligator Platform

The other two seemed to be communicating…

Wood Duck Duo on Alligator Platform
Wood Duck Duo on Alligator Platform

… stay, or go?

Wood Duck Duo on Alligator Platform
Wood Duck Duo on Alligator Platform

The female made up her mind and jumped feet first into the pond.

Wood Duck Duo, One Jumps
Wood Duck Duo, One Jumps

The male made a showier exit…

Wood Duck Duo, Second Jumps
Wood Duck Duo, Second Jumps

and a delicate splash down.

Wood Duck Duo, Splash
Wood Duck Duo, Splash

Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron On Boardwalk

The two Black-crowned Night-heron nests I spotted at the beginning of May apparently failed as they disappeared shortly thereafter. There must have been at least one other nest in that little island as I almost literally bumped into this juvenile on Thursday standing on the nearby boardwalk.

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

He practiced rousing…

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

… and showed me his beautiful wings.

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

A little unsure of himself, he hopped along before taking off back to the island.

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

Further down the path I had a view of him perched on a dead branch hanging over the water.

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

White-eyed Vireo with Worm

White-eyed Vireos are a fast, elusive song bird.

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo

This one was intent on food. He picked a worm off a leaf and flew down to an open branch to eat it.

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo

But first he beat it a few times.

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo

I’ve seen song birds gather a stack of worms or insects  in their beak and thought he might be rendering this one ready for a flight to a nest.

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo

No, this one was for him.

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo

One gulp and it was gone.

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo

Anole on Trumpet Vine Pod

I seem to be seeing Green Anoles everywhere lately, and climbing on all sorts of things.

Green Anole
Green Anole

This dried pod is from last year’s Trumpet Vine which surprisingly hasn’t popped open.

Green Anole
Green Anole

The Anole was showing off his Dewlap, also known as a throat fan. They do this to attract mates and to establish their territory, alerting an intruding male that he’s gone to far.

Green Anole
Green Anole

Dragonfly, Back Yard

I’m not sure why dragonflies bother with these hard shelled insects, not sure just what they are.

Dragonfly With Snack
Dragonfly With Snack

They are pretty small and I think the dragonfly was having a hard time getting it down, chewing and chewing.

Dragonfly
Dragonfly

Our back yard has hosted a variety of dragonflies this summer.  They take advantage of a few fallen branches I’ve left in the corner.

Dragonfly
Dragonfly

Will These Sticks Make a Nest? Yes!

In mid February I posed a question “Will These Sticks Make a Nest?”  with doubts about the whole thing staying put.

This is one of my images from that post showing the scrawny nest and poor housing support.

Great Blue Heron on Nest
Great Blue Heron on Nest – February

I’ve been back a couple times since then and seen the parents had built the nest up quite a bit and two chicks had hatched.

Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Juvenile Great Blue Heron in nest

I finally got some decent images this week.

Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Juvenile Great Blue Heron

There was just the one chick. Most of the other GBH chicks in nearby nests have fledged. Sometimes the young will return to the nest even after they are feeding themselves, probably for familiarity.

Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Juvenile Great Blue Heron

If this one hasn’t flown he will soon as the parents stop bringing food at some point and he’ll have no choice.

Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Juvenile Great Blue Heron