I saw the dive but I didn’t see the Osprey go into the pond to catch this fish as my view was blocked by a tree. Osprey can completely submerge and work really hard to break free of the water, harder if they caught something. Other times I have witnessed this the Osprey would then make a bee-line for a tree or other secure spot to eat.
Back in my line of sight he shook several times, lightening his load of the excess water while hanging firmly onto lunch. Then he circled around the pond several times with his catch, undecided about where to go.
What he probably knew that I didn’t until a couple minutes later was he was about to be chased by a pair of Bald Eagles hoping to lighten his load. Suddenly he decided to head for the trees and the last I saw of them the Osprey was in the lead.
White Ibis usually travel in groups but this one was by himself searching the edges of a small pond. There is a full tree canopy over the pond so not much direct light gets to the water, and the reflected light appears in lots of colors.
Back and forth he went with an occasional sweep of the water with his beak, hunting for food.
Reflections of some Cyprus Knees and a few dapples of sunlight changed the look of the water as the Ibis moved along.
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.
A Great Blue Heron had been following along, slowly getting closer until the Great Egret decided to relocate, taking lunch with him.
Covered with mud, the Great Egret took this opportunity to dunk and rinse his catch.
He took off again as the Great Blue maneuvered closer.
The Great Blue Heron took off, too. They went out of my sight so I don’t know who got to eat.
I was watching a flock of Blue Jays and had followed one through my view finder into a tree. Wait! Those are not Blue Jays.
Much more interesting were these two Mississippi Kites consuming a meal. I had never witnessed this behavior so I continued to photograph even though my vantage point wasn’t great. Interestingly, the Kites weren’t concerned about the Blue Jay, who soon flew off.
You can see how large the Kites are compared to a Blue Jay in the first image.
Taking photographs up into a dense tree poses many challenges: leaves and twigs blocking the view, over exposed sky in the leaf gaps, and too much shade on the subject, to name a few.
I tried a couple of angles, working my way around some shrubbery on the ground.
I did determine from one image not shared here that the food was a small bird.
Up to now I had only seen Kites eat insects, snatched from the sky with their feet. In this last image one of the Kites was grooming and gave me a decent view of one foot.
One of the challenges in wildlife photography is choosing where to stand. Should I stay put or go to the next opening for a better view? Will the bird stay on the same path or veer to the left? Are there any Alligators nearby?
I saw this pair of Black Skimmers coming towards me along the edge of the pond. My view was obstructed of their approach by the reeds.
I got lucky and they stayed together and moved into the center of the open water. I stayed put and got an aerial show.
I love to watch these birds fly and wonder when they are in pairs how they stay synchronized.
Their fishing is done by touch and when the Skimmer feels a fish in the water their heads snap down as they lift the prey.