Tag Archives: Dolphin

Dolphin Splash, Take 2

I thought the Dolphin from yesterday’s post, Dolphin Splash, would move on when the first big splash was done. I stood still, watching and was surprise he circled again in the same spot.

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

This time even more water went into the air…

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

… making a cool fountain shape.

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

I got a couple glimpses of the Dolphin’s fin, but again did not see if he got anything to eat.

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

Then he really did move on and this was the last I saw of him.

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin moving down the creek

Dolphin Splash

The volume of water a Dolphin can move when they are hunting always amazes me. This one was after fish in a tidal creek that started off with a small splash…

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

…that built up …

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

… to a swoosh of water.

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

I was not close enough to see if the Dolphin caught any fish.

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

The water rained back down about 10 seconds after the first image.

Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek
Dolphin Splashing Water in Creek

The far bank is an oyster bed, covered with sharp shells, so the Dolphin cannot Strand Feed  here. Instead, they swim rapidly in a circle to herd and confuse the fish.

Dolphins Out in the River

These are from my last trip to watch the Dolphins strand feed two weeks ago. There is a lot of time when nothing much happens, you see movement and push the shutter button hoping to catch some action. Following is a collection of a few of the better moments.

This tail-up image was unusual because a few Dolphins were almost down to the mouth of the river and out in the middle. They may have been feeding or just having fun.

Dolphin Tail
Dolphin Tail

Next is a picture of the calf with his head out of the water with his mother trailing behind. They often swim so close together it’s hard to tell what part belongs to what animal.

Dolphin Calf
Dolphin Calf

This one was passing close to shore checking on the humans but not feeding.

Dolphin
Dolphin

Last, what I think is the same calf as above,  circling with his mother.

Dolphin Calf
Dolphin Calf with Mother

Click on any image for a larger view. 

Dolphins Strand Feeding, Junior Watching

This trio of Dolphins charged the beach head on instead of from the side as I’ve usually seen.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

The Dolphin on the left was hanging on tight to his catch.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

As they continued to chase the fish herded to the water’s edge the Dolphin in the middle got a fish.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

I didn’t notice it at the time, but a juvenile Dolphin was watching from a safe distance. I wonder if the Dolphin on the left was holding this catch to feed the youngster or if he/she was just too busy getting back in the water.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

Later that morning I did see the mother and juvenile working the shore in what looked like teaching of the water swirling methods.

11/06/2018

Dolphins Strand Feeding: Big Catch

The fish were easy to see as they flew through the air, tossed about by the powerful water surges created by the Dolphins.

Dolphins Strand Feeding, Fish in the Air
Dolphins Strand Feeding, Fish in the Air

Most of the fish manage to flop back into the water but this one was about to be lunch.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

The fish appears to be dead or knocked out.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

But a moment later he leapt into the air…

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

and ended up in a Dolphin’s mouth.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

The images in a slideshow, if you prefer; click an image to get started:

Dolphins Strand Feeding: Pelican Audience

These Dolphins were strand feeding on the opposite side of the river, at least 300 feet (90 Meters) from where I was standing. The photos don’t have nearly the detail as my Dolphins Strand Feeding: Success post, but I thought it was quite interesting to see the process from a different angle.

Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans
Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans

Not to mention the Pelicans that were keen on seeing if they could nab a fish from all the action.

Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans
Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans

The Pelicans were following the Dolphins as they swam up and down the river. I didn’t see any fish this time but the Pelican on the left made a quick exit as if he had something he didn’t want to share.

Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans
Dolphins Strand Feeding with Pelicans

Dolphins Strand Feeding: Success

After the fishless stranding of my last post, I was fortunate to witness another strand feeding with the fish jumping wildly.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

Three Dolphins had driven the fish to shore and the fish did their best not to become lunch.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

The next photo is heavily cropped, but I wanted to show a closeup of the Dolphin – fish encounter. I’m not certain the Dolphin got this one, but it seems likely.

Dolphin with Fish

The frenzy only lasts a few seconds, then the Dolphins roll/flop back into the water, continuing to splash with their tails.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

Dolphins Strand Feeding

A number of Dolphin pods in South Carolina catch fish by a process known as strand feeding. Singly or in groups, they drive fish to the shore, aka strand, usually at a steep bank, then nab the fish.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

To stay at a distance that is safe for the Dolphins doesn’t always result in the best images, but it sure is interesting to watch. I didn’t see any fish during this stranding.

Dolphins Strand Feeding
Dolphins Strand Feeding

One Got Away

I did not see the Needlefish when I was taking these shots. The glare from the afternoon sun and the splash from the strand feeding Dolphin were what I saw in the viewfinder while I was hoping the Dolphin’s head would emerge through the water.

Fish Got Away
Fish Got Away

The fish’s jumping skills outran the Dolphin’s efforts to corner him near shore.

Fish Got Away
Fish Got Away

In a matter of seconds the the Dolphin turned back into the deeper water.

Dolphin Returning to Water
Dolphin Returning to Water