Tag Archives: Birds in Flight

Brown Pelican Showing Off His Feet

Brown Pelicans are fascinating to watch in flight, so graceful yet so prehistoric looking.

Brown Pelican Fly By
Brown Pelican Fly By

I thought this one was going to land and try to catch a fish. He dropped his feet.

Brown Pelican Fly By
Brown Pelican Fly By

But then he tucked them in as he glided over a school of jumping fish.

Brown Pelican Fly By
Brown Pelican Fly By

Fooled me again.

Brown Pelicans eat by either diving into the water and scooping food into their beak/pouch or sometimes by bobbing on the water and snatching up a fish, not by picking it up with their feet–I’m not sure what he was up to here.

Brown Pelican Fly By
Brown Pelican Fly By

Then it was landing gear up and away he went down the river, no lunch.

Brown Pelican Fly By
Brown Pelican Fly By

Skimmers at the Beach

A flock of mostly Black Skimmers with a few terns, gulls and Oyster Catchers mixed in were occupying a sand bar at the edge of the ocean near where the Kiawah River runs into the Atlantic.

Black Skimmers Taking Off
Black Skimmers Taking Off

As I’ve seen before some signal is received by the birds and they all take off and relocate at once.

Black Skimmers Over Ocean Surf
Black Skimmers Over Ocean Surf

This was just past low tide and their real estate was shrinking quickly with the incoming tide. They settled down on the next available spot, dislocating a few pipers.

Black Skimmers Landing at Beach
Black Skimmers Landing at Beach

The terns were more inclined to stay put, not minding the surf lapping at their legs.

Black Skimmers Over Surf
Black Skimmers Over Surf

Beachwalker Park, Kiawah, SC 9/24/2019

American Oystercatcher Flying Over Surf

This American Oystercatcher had been standing in the surf. He got a running start then smoothly took off with one full beat of his wings.

American Oystercatcher in Flight
American Oystercatcher in Flight

It was just after dawn and he was flying directly into the sun, which I think must not affect birds’ eyes the way it does mine.

American Oystercatcher in Flight
American Oystercatcher in Flight

The incoming tide created a nice series of waves behind the bird.

American Oystercatcher in Flight
American Oystercatcher in Flight

He let out a  squawk for good measure before he disappeared down the beach.

American Oystercatcher in Flight
American Oystercatcher in Flight

Great Egret Not Going to Share Lunch

This Great Egret worked hard in the reeds to capture a Siren, a weird eel-like salamander that hangs out in the mud, and flew to a secluded corner of the pond to figure out how to eat it. He dropped and retrieved it several times.

Great Egret with Siren
Great Egret with Siren

A Great Blue Heron had been following along, slowly getting closer until the Great Egret decided to relocate, taking lunch with him.

Great Egret with Siren
Great Egret with Siren

Covered with mud, the Great Egret took this opportunity to dunk and rinse his catch.

Great Egret with Siren
Great Egret with Siren

He took off again as the Great Blue maneuvered closer.

Great Egret with Siren
Great Egret with Siren

The Great Blue Heron took off, too. They went out of my sight so I don’t know who got to eat.

Great Blue Heron Following Great Egret with Siren
Great Blue Heron Following Great Egret with Siren

American Oystercatchers Flying In

American Oystercatchers tend to announce themselves in flight with a high pitched call which is good for the photographer wanting to capture flying action.
American Oystercatchers in Flight
Pair of American Oystercatchers in Flight over ocean

Just after the sun came up on Sunday I heard these two coming and fortunately for me they were flying towards the sun.

American Oystercatchers in Flight
American Oystercatchers in Flight

They flew out over the ocean, past part of the dead tree “boneyard” before touching down in the surf.

American Oystercatchers in Flight
American Oystercatchers in Flight

Click on any image for a larger view.

Black Skimmers in Flight

Black Skimmers sometimes do a U-turn over the water and skim back the way the came. Other times they lift up and go back where they started or pick a new place to feed.

Black Skimmer in Flight
Black Skimmer in Flight

It seems reasonable that wind direction and food availability figure in their decisions.

Black Skimmer in Flight
Black Skimmer in Flight, Grass Caught in His Jaw

Whatever the cause they are as beautiful in full flight as they are when they are skimming.

Black Skimmer Pair in Flight
Black Skimmer Synchronized Pair in Flight