I’ve often spotted a Green Heron in this patch of reeds; a walking path winds along the edge of a pond providing an interesting, if dark, view of their hunting behavior.
These herons don’t have any problem snagging a snack from this duckweed covered water.
I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know what’s lurking around below the surface.
Here’s a wider view of this Green Heron’s hunting territory. Beyond these reeds the water opens up into a pond.
I first saw this Black and Yellow Garden Spider on August 16th. I actually noticed the zig-zag stabilimentum first.
His web was hanging out over a pond, suspended between some shrubs and grass.
I passed the same spot about 45 minutes after the first image; it had clouded over changing the look of the water but the spider hadn’t moved.
On September 6th the spider in the same spot, and this time with a dragonfly for lunch.
The last time I visited this location, September 13, the spider was still there. His web was showing some signs of wear, and he had something wrapped up in a sack.
These Wood Storks had been just standing around, then a group of Roseate Spoonbills flew in. All of a sudden they started to feed.
Everyone went left.
Then everyone went right.
A stalk of tiny purple flowers attracted this House Finch.
The delicate looking plant was easy pickings for the finch’s stout beak.
He had a nice snack before moving on.
Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston SC
August 7, 2020
Gulls and terns were snagging lunch out of the pond and flying off to eat it on a recent gorgeous blue-skyed day.
The gulls will try to steal another bird’s catch so a successful hunter will quickly move on to a safer spot to eat.
Most of the catching was on the other side of the pond, swooping away from me.
This tern opted to fly low with his catch.
While a gull took off higher before disappearing over the marsh.
August 4, 2020
I became aware of the water’s surface moving as I watched a Green Heron fly away.
Then, wham a school of fish exploded out of the water.
Fortunately for me they repeated this frenzy multiple times.
One or two much larger fish seemed to be pursuing the smaller ones.
The smaller ones must have been getting their own lunch, because they kept coming back when they very easily could have swam back down the creek.
The brick and stone work supports a culvert under a dike that controls water flow into the main pond at Magnolia Cemetery.
This creek is tidal, about 1/2 mile (0.8 KM) as the crow flies to the Cooper River, just west of Charleston’s Ravenel Bridge.
We’ve been seeing a few Swallow-tailed Kites around, including one flying over our house last week, so I wasn’t surprised to spot a group of 10 or 15 circling over one of the marshes this morning.
These raptors feed by snatching insects, often dragonflies, out of the air or off their perch on a tree or reed.
Their flight skills are just amazing and they make full use of their tail and wings to swoop and dive.
A mix of Swallow-tailed Kites, Mississippi Kites, and few terns were working this area.
This Barred Owl sat quietly with his catch, a Five-lined Skink, a common lizard in South Carolina.
After squeezing it with his beak for a bit he transferred it to his talon. You can see the tail dangling below the branch in this next image.
I didn’t see any sign of life in the lizard, but the owl kept a firm hold for six or seven minutes before flying off with it.
White-eyed Vireos are a fast, elusive song bird.
This one was intent on food. He picked a worm off a leaf and flew down to an open branch to eat it.
But first he beat it a few times.
I’ve seen song birds gather a stack of worms or insects in their beak and thought he might be rendering this one ready for a flight to a nest.
No, this one was for him.
One gulp and it was gone.
I’m not sure why dragonflies bother with these hard shelled insects, not sure just what they are.
They are pretty small and I think the dragonfly was having a hard time getting it down, chewing and chewing.
Our back yard has hosted a variety of dragonflies this summer. They take advantage of a few fallen branches I’ve left in the corner.