Tag Archives: Birds in Flight

Osprey Catch Of The Day, Part 1

I was idly watching some mallards swim across the big pond at Magnolia Cemetery when I heard the splash. By the time I had him sighted he was out of the water.

Osprey With Fish
Osprey With Fish

Osprey often go completely under when they dive. I’m not sure this pond is deep enough for that but he still had to work very hard to get airborne with his catch.

Osprey With Fish
Osprey With Fish

Finally up in the air, the Osprey hung on to the fish with both feet.

Osprey With Fish
Osprey Flying With Fish

A branch hanging over the water provided a perfect lunch spot with a view.

Osprey With Fish
Osprey with fish ready to eat

Click on any photo for a larger view.

 

Swallow Pandemonium

It had been pretty quiet on the marsh ponds: we arrived just before sunrise and hadn’t seen much activity even an hour later. The Swallows started to come in small groups, flying over our heads from the tidal side of the trail into the grass on the far side of this pond.

Swallows on the Pond
Swallows on the Pond

As if on a signal they started stirring up the water, flapping and swooping. It was too far to tell if they were bathing or trying to catch insects, or maybe both.

Swallows on the Pond
Swallows on the Pond

This went on for at least a half hour with more birds joining in and others leaving.

Swallows on the Pond
Swallows on the Pond

I didn’t see where they went, but when it was over the pond became still again, with a couple of Great Egrets dropping in to check the far shore.

Early Morning Pond
Early Morning Pond

Click any photo for larger view.

Great Blue Heron In Flight

A Great Blue Heron looped around me twice, going in and out of the early morning sun across a variety of marsh backgrounds. He started to touch down then decided that wasn’t the spot.

Great Blue Heron in Flight
Great Blue Heron in Flight

He was on a leisurely flight, surveying the area and looking for a spot to have to himself.

Great Blue Heron in Flight
Great Blue Heron in Flight

Elegant in flight the heron glided across the trail I was on with little effort, finally banking sharply and landing out of sight in the next pond.

Great Blue Heron in Flight
Great Blue Heron in Flight

White Pelicans in Flight

I’ve tried to stop taking  bird in flight shots unless they are really close as I just end up disappointed and deleting them.

However, when this flock was coming, I took the shot. Lots of them actually.

White Pelican Flock
White Pelican Flock

We had seen a large number of these Pelicans as the sun was coming up. This was about an hour later and hundreds more passed over us in a few waves over several minutes.

White Pelican Flock
White Pelican Flock

In the next photo you can pick out a couple of Cormorants in the mix. I’m not sure if they were flying with the Pelicans or if the Pelicans passed them.

White Pelican Flock
White Pelican Flock

We were hoping the flock might land in a nearby pond, but they kept on moving at a pretty brisk pace.

White Pelican Flock
White Pelican Flock

Click on any photo for a larger view. 

American Avocets in Flight

A flock of American Avocets flew above us at the edge of a marsh. Their long upturned bill provides an easy identification.

American Avocet
American Avocet

They seemed undecided about choosing a landing spot or just moving on.

American Avocet
American Avocet

They started to drop down into an open area in the marsh…

American Avocet
American Avocet

…then changed their minds.

American Avocet
American Avocet

One more turn around and then they headed out of sight.

American Avocet
American Avocet

Click on any photo for larger view. 

Follow Me: Great Egrets

The first Great Egret came down the canal at the edge of the old rice field and the second one joined in as he passed by.

Great Egrets Flying Low
Great Egrets Flying Low

The first Egret gave a squawk and on they went together, continuing along the edge of the pond.

Great Egrets Flying Low
Great Egrets Flying Low

They lifted a little over a group of Wood Storks then settled out of sight over the next causeway.

Great Egrets Flying Low
Great Egrets Flying Low

Duck Sky

There we were enjoying the view of Spoonbills, Egrets and Herons and then the sky exploded with a flock of Blue-winged Teals. I didn’t even know what they were at first and was surprised to see the flock move like a unit once they got above the tree line.

Blue-winged Teals
Blue-winged Teals

Some of the wading birds joined in – click photos for larger view. Regrettably, we couldn’t get closer to where they landed for a view of them in the water.

Blue-winged Teals
Blue-winged Teals

10/01/2017

Follow The Leader

It was a glorious morning. A flock of Spoonbills was feeding in one of the wildlife management area ponds led by one bird along the edge of a sandbar. A gathering of Ibis, Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets were partially hidden in the grass behind them.

Roseate Spoonbills
Roseate Spoonbills – click photo for larger view

All of the birds worked their way towards the other side of the pond, some a few at a time, others in groups. Below, Spoonbills and Ibis lifted off together.

Roseate Spoonbills and Ibis
Roseate Spoonbills and Ibis  – click photo for larger view

This was one of the first cool (60 degrees F) mornings we’ve had this fall. That along with a stiff breeze kept the mosquitoes away adding to the morning’s pleasure.

Taken 10/01/2017.

Clear the Way for Great Blue Heron

The Wood Ducks were just hanging around in a quiet group until the incoming Great Blue Heron startled them into action.

Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks
Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks

The male Wood Duck was the first to go, quietly with just his wing flapping making noise.

Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks
Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks

The lower end of the ramp cleared.

Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks
Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks

The female Wood Duck at the highest point seemed like she was going to stay, but then thought better of it.

Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks
Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks and Turtle

The turtle was less motivated and held his ground.

Great Blue Heron Landing over Wood Ducks
Great Blue Heron Landing over Turtle

Click on any photo for larger view.