Tag Archives: Feeding

Wood Storks Feeding

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.

Wood Storks Feeding
Wood Storks Feeding

The wading birds are happy to poke around looking for food, including this small flock of Wood Storks.

Wood Storks Feeding
Wood Storks Feeding

I thought they were coming back toward me, but they quickly did another u-turn and moved to the back of the field.

Wood Storks Feeding
Wood Storks Feeding

Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Thistle

The four or five Swallowtails flitting around these thistle plants flew off when I drove by. I had room to stop, walked back and waited.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

After a few minutes one returned and continued probing the thistle.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

These butterflies were competing with some other flying insects, the tail end of one can be seen here sticking up out of the flower.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Black Swallowtail Butterfly

White Ibis in Swamp

This section of swamp is newly flooded this year. A small flock of Ibis has added it to their route, poking their way around it looking for food.

White Ibis in Swamp
White Ibis in Swamp

Ibis are never concerned about swamp junk getting stuck to them or how deep the water might be.

White Ibis in Swamp
White Ibis in Swamp

Here I come…

White Ibis in Swamp
White Ibis in Swamp

surely there is something to eat under this log.

White Ibis in Swamp
White Ibis in Swamp

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens announced today that they are now closed until further notice. I will miss my peaceful walks in the woods and keeping up with the birds.

A Bird’s Gotta Eat

This Great Egret spent considerable time picking out this stick for his nest and finally took off.

Great Egret with Stick
Great Egret with Stick

He didn’t get far… I see something better!

Great Egret Stopping for Snack
Great Egret Stopping for Snack

Or a snack.

Great Egret Stopping for Snack
Great Egret Stopping for Snack

Snack swallowed and the stick hunting process starts again.

Great Egret Stopping for Snack
Great Egret Stopping for Snack

After picking up and discarding several options, he chose this modest stick to present to his mate.

Great Egret with Stick
Great Egret with Stick

March 18, 2020

Dolphin Strand Feeding

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.

Dolphin Strand Feeding
Dolphin Strand Feeding

Other times I’ve seen this as a cooperative effort but this Dolphin was on her own.

Dolphin Strand Feeding
Dolphin Strand Feeding

My position and the shape of the sand bank cut off some of the action.

Dolphin Strand Feeding
Dolphin Strand Feeding

I got a little closer before the Dolphin flipped around and caught a fish.

Dolphin Strand Feeding
Dolphin Strand Feeding

Once again I was amazed the power of these animals which is evident in the splash of water and waves that rushed to shore.

Dolphin Strand Feeding
Dolphin Strand Feeding

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.

Red-shouldered Hawk Hunting

I was hoping to find Wood Ducks in this pond but instead found a Red-shouldered Hawk looking for a meal.

Red-shouldered Hawk in Tree
Red-shouldered Hawk in Tree

He snatched a snack coated with vegetation out of the water.

Red-shouldered Hawk Hunting in Pond
Red-shouldered Hawk Hunting in Pond

Then got his balance.

Red-shouldered Hawk Hunting in Pond
Red-shouldered Hawk Hunting in Pond

Then flew to this Wood Duck box with something that might have been a crawfish.

Red-shouldered Hawk Eating His Catch
Red-shouldered Hawk Eating His Catch

White Ibis Snacking

Poking and prodding anything that they can is how White Ibis feed. Most of the food is small and gets sucked in without a casual passer by seeing it.

White Ibis in Swamp
White Ibis in Swamp

This Ibis was moving in a meticulous pattern, back and forth around these tree trunks.

White Ibis in Swamp
White Ibis in Swamp

Yes, it is amazing they stay so clean looking while rooting around in the mud.

White Ibis in Swamp
White Ibis in Swamp – Who’s the Fairest?

The water is higher than usual after recent rain, but it was no deterrent  to an Ibis looking for lunch. They have no fear of what might be lurking in the depths.

White Ibis in Swamp
White Ibis in Swamp

American Avocets

I had to peek between the tall reeds around the pond  to get a limited view but it was still fun to watch these American Avocets feed.

American Avocets
American Avocets

Most of what they eat is very small so they have to spend a lot of time at it, methodically working back and forth.

American Avocets
American Avocets

These two made a striking sight across the pond, just standing around in the grass stubble.

American Avocets
American Avocets

Blue-winged Teal Vacuums

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.

Blue Winged Teals Feeding on Duckweed
Blue Winged Teals Feeding on Duckweed

The duck’s movements leaves trails in the duckweed, indistinguishable from a path made by an underwater Alligator.

Blue Winged Teal
Male Blue Winged Teal

These three female Teals stayed in a row for quite awhile, perhaps because there is safety in numbers.

Blue Winged Teals Feeding on Duckweed
Blue Winged Teals Feeding on Duckweed

When the light hits them just right the iridescence on the males’ heads is quite pretty.

Blue Winged Teals Feeding on Duckweed
Blue Winged Teals Feeding on Duckweed