Last fall the land managers let this old rice field dry out and some vegetation flourished, then died back over the winter, leaving tall stalks and weed trees. Sometime over the winter water was let back in, and now covers the field.
The wading birds are happy to poke around looking for food, including this small flock of Wood Storks.
I thought they were coming back toward me, but they quickly did another u-turn and moved to the back of the field.
Conditions shaped up nicely on Wednesday to head to Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island to observe Dolphins feeding. Timing was good, with low tide about 10:30am. Strand feeding, the method peculiar to this area of South Carolina’s coast where Dolphin drive fish to the shore, tends to happen two hours either side of the low tide.
For a couple of hours the light was good and I was pleased to get this sequence, which was much less vigorous than previous times I’ve witnessed this behavior. The Dolphin seemed to be lolling around in the shallow water, not zooming full speed ahead.
Other times I’ve seen this as a cooperative effort but this Dolphin was on her own.
My position and the shape of the sand bank cut off some of the action.
I got a little closer before the Dolphin flipped around and caught a fish.
Once again I was amazed the power of these animals which is evident in the splash of water and waves that rushed to shore.
It turns out that it was a good thing I went Wednesday. As of today all of the area beaches are closed due to Covid-19 concerns.
Blue-winged Teals often eat in circles, almost like a choreographed dance of vacuum cleaners. There was plenty of duckweed to go around on this day and the wind was keeping it concentrated in one side of the pond, keeping the ducks near the walking path.
The duck’s movements leaves trails in the duckweed, indistinguishable from a path made by an underwater Alligator.
These three female Teals stayed in a row for quite awhile, perhaps because there is safety in numbers.
When the light hits them just right the iridescence on the males’ heads is quite pretty.