Tag Archives: Black Skimmer

Skimming In The Surf

Previously I have seen Black Skimmers skimming on calm ponds. On this day I saw a few from this crowd doing it in the ocean.

Black Skimmers at Surf's Edge
Black Skimmers at Surf’s Edge

As you can see above the Atlantic Ocean surf was not particularly rough, but it sure is a different challenge for a Skimmer.

Black Skimmer Skimming past Tern
Black Skimmer Skimming past Tern

This one hugged the surf line, ignoring other birds along the way.

Black Skimmer Skimming in Ocean Surf
Black Skimmer Skimming in Ocean Surf, Sand Piper in Foreground

With the surf in constant motion he had to also alter his path. I did not see him catch anything, although they can gulp it down on the fly and keep on moving.

Black Skimmer Skimming in Ocean Surf
Black Skimmer Skimming in Ocean Surf

Black Skimmer

I love watching Black Skimmers doing what their name implies. Their flying skills are extraordinary, including not needing to watch where they are going when they plunge their heads into the water.

Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer

Very agile, a slight tip of the wings is all they need to change direction or speed.

Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer

I didn’t see a fish, but sometimes they pull up just a bit to swallow something they’ve caught before continuing to skim the water.

Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer

Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, SC, July 15, 2018.

Black Skimmer Through the Spoonies

Doing their own thing to get breakfast, a Black Skimmer and a flock of Roseate Spoonbills ignored each other.

Black Skimmer Passing Roseate Spoonbills
Black Skimmer Passing Roseate Spoonbills

I was focused on the Skimmer and didn’t expect him to pass that close to the Spoonbills.

Black Skimmer Passing Roseate Spoonbills
Black Skimmer Passing Roseate Spoonbills

The Skimmer made a second pass, probably realizing that the concentrated efforts of the other birds meant that they were on to something.

Black Skimmer Passing Roseate Spoonbills
Black Skimmer Passing Roseate Spoonbills

The Spoonbills continued sifting the water, not at all disturbed by the Skimmer.

Black Skimmer Passing Roseate Spoonbills
Black Skimmer Passing Roseate Spoonbills

Black Skimmer Skimming

This Black Skimmer gave me a good show with the early morning sun highlighting his black and orange beak, in contrast to last week’s pair that I photographed in poor light.

Black Skimmer in Flight
Black Skimmer in Flight, wings low to the water

I had a great view and was able to track his path as he crossed the pond with his lower jaw in the water.

Black Skimmer in Flight
Black Skimmer in Flight

He finally lifted, before making a big turn for another pass.

Black Skimmer in Flight
Black Skimmer in Flight

Click on any image for a closer view.

Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, SC, 7/1/2018.

Black Skimmer Pair

These Black Skimmers chose to do their skimming in the pond between me and the sun, rather than the prettier marsh on the other side of the dike where the light was beautiful.

Black Skimmer Pair
Black Skimmer Pair

The light here doesn’t do justice to their gorgeous orange beaks, but you can see how elegantly┬áSkimmers fly and hunt. When in pairs the almost always fly with their wing beats synchronized.

Black Skimmer Pair
Black Skimmer Pair with fish jumping

Swooping around a small island the pair pulled tight together before turning for another long run.

Black Skimmer Pair
Black Skimmer Pair

Then they disappeared down an inlet, not to return while I was in the area.

Black Skimmer Pair
Black Skimmer Pair

Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, SC, 6/27/2018.