Tag Archives: Birds in Flight

Brown Pelicans in Flight

Watching Brown Pelicans fly can be mesmorizing. They often glide in small groups along the shore line, gracefully and with what looks like little effort.

Brown Pelicans in Flight
Brown Pelicans in Flight

And with some secret signal they turn in unison.

Brown Pelicans in Flight
Brown Pelicans in Flight

These were taken at the end of the day and there wasn’t much light. This last Pelican was by himself and went right over my head, and yes I wear a hat.

Brown Pelicans in Flight
Brown Pelicans in Flight

Great Egret Lift Off

I’ve commented before on birds’ desire to occupy the highest point. This applies even if it is just a clump of sticks in the pond. We’ve had a lot of wind lately and small branches and other debris is getting pushed around in the ponds. This Great Egret found an attractive twig collection to drop in on.

Great Egret
Great Egret

Then it started to sink and he took off, straight up into the air.

Great Egret Lift Off
Great Egret Lift Off

One flap of the wings and he was off.

Great Egret Lift Off
Great Egret Lift Off

Banking smoothly left he decided to try another spot.

Great Egret Lift Off
Great Egret Lift Off

Forster’s Tern

After watching the relatively sedate Bonaparte’s Gulls Feeding at the beach a Forster’s Tern came along and showed off some different flying skills.

Forster's Tern Fishing
Forster’s Tern Fishing

It was all about speed.

Forster's Tern Fishing
Forster’s Tern Fishing

Hover, dive and repeat.

Forster's Tern Fishing
Forster’s Tern Fishing

With the rolling waves and lack of contrast I didn’t get a full splash down image.

Forster's Tern Fishing
Forster’s Tern Fishing

Yes, they are fast!

Forster's Tern Fishing
Forster’s Tern Fishing

In between stronger gusts of wind the tern hovered higher over the water as he looked for food.

Forster's Tern Fishing
Forster’s Tern Fishing

Bonaparte’s Gulls Feeding

There is not much contrast in these images of a pair of Bonaparte’s Gulls feeding in the ocean surf. The day was dull and the birds coloration mostly matches the water, with only their black wing-tips and orange feet standing out.

Bonaparte's Gull Pair Feeding
Bonaparte’s Gull Pair Feeding

However, they were fun to watch and gulls are great practice for in-flight bird photography due to their relatively slow speed and predictability.

Bonaparte's Gull Pair Feeding
Bonaparte’s Gull Pair Feeding

It was also windy and this pair was expending a tremendous amount of energy for what was small food. Whatever they were catching they quickly swallowed without me seeing it.

Bonaparte's Gull Pair Feeding
Bonaparte’s Gull Pair Feeding

They dropped in and lifted out of the water with ease and flew in tandem as they moved up the beach.

Bonaparte's Gull Pair Feeding
Bonaparte’s Gull Pair Feeding

Myrtle Beach State Park, SC,  3/17/2019

American Avocets

I watched a group of American Avocets milling around in a shallow pond, some wading and some flying in small hops following whatever they were feeding on.

American Avocets American Avocets

Two did fly by fairly close to me and I hoped they would land for a close up shot, but they kept right on going to the other side of the pond.

American Avocets in Flight American Avocets in Flight

Another group landed a bit closer, then waded out of view.

American Avocets in Flight American Avocets in Flight

Taken 2/25/2019

Great Egret Returns with Stick

With a gracefully balanced stick a Great Egret flies to the nest he is building with his mate.

Great Egret Flying to Nest with Stick
Great Egret Flying to Nest with Stick

Wings out, feet ready for touch down, he glides into the tree.

Great Egret Flying to Nest with Stick
Great Egret Flying to Nest with Stick

Unfortunately for me, the nest is on the far side of the tree, but with no leaves out yet there is a view of the welcome home squawk.

Great Egret Flying to Nest with Stick
Great Egret Flying to Nest with Stick

Somehow these big birds manage to maneuver to a landing and not get tangled up with their building materials.

Great Egret Flying to Nest with Stick
Great Egret Flying to Nest with Stick

2/28/2019

Great Blue Heron Stick Gathering

This Great Blue Heron opted to choose some nest building materials from the tree line where I was standing.

Great Blue Heron Flying Into Tree
Great Blue Heron Flying Into Tree

After a tricky landing he walked along a good sized branch while poking for loose material.

Great Blue Heron Selecting Stick
Great Blue Heron Selecting Stick

After discarding a few options he pulled an acceptable branch free and flew back to the nest.

Great Blue Heron Flying With Stick
Great Blue Heron Flying With Stick