Trees around the pond are leafing out and the green is a welcome sight after the grey and brown of winter.
The sky was filled with fluffy white clouds and the water was still, making beautiful reflections.
Both images were taken from the more manicured short side of this rectangular man-made pond, looking towards the far end. The corner where I took the first one widens a bit into an overflow outlet where I was standing.
The second image was taken from the other end of that short side. The trees standing in the water and small island are home to many of the wading bird nests I photograph.
April 5, 2019
While many of the Great Egrets and other wading birds are pairing off, making nests and mating some prefer to be off on their own.
He didn’t move much between my taking this image and the one in my April 6th Barred Owl post, with just his facial disc angled slightly more. They were both so nice I developed a B&W version of this one.
He waited, I waited.
A Barred Owl passed over me and I just saw his wing. A few moments later another one zipped through the tree canopy. After walking along slowly and listening as the two owls “talked” to each other and several Crows made a ruckus overhead I spotted one high in a tree.
He then flew towards a pond where I have seen an Owl before. I slowly walked in that direction, standing and waiting and I finally spotted him. This tree stands in the middle of that small pond. He was a little closer to the ground, maybe twenty feet (six meters) up.
I inched around the side of the pond and got a side view.
And a few more feet along and more waiting, the sun popped out for a minute.
These were taken with my Sony Alpha 6500 with Sony 55-210 MM lens, which I rarely use for wildlife. However, my Canon is off having the media slot fixed and I was pleased how these came out.
I heard two Barred Owls talking to each other with that low cooing sound they use when they are on the hunt. After perching in a few spots in the tree canopy one of them settled for a bit above a small pond.
I check this spot regularly, knowing that at least a pair of Barred Owls hunt here. Looking through past posts, June of 2018 was the last time my passing here was rewarded.
Sony Alpha 6500, Sony 55-210 mm
I saw this Red-shouldered Hawk standing on the ground at the side of a pond and approached slowly. Other times I’ve seen them do this the bird was squeezing his next meal, but I didn’t see any food here.
Afterwards, when I zoomed in on what I thought was a tree root or Cypress knee, it turned out to be a turtle standing on its end.
Who knew a Red-shouldered Hawk could lift so much?He didn’t struggle at all and disappeared into the woods with his catch
I don’t know what made the hawk take off; I was standing still and the only human in view.
These were taken with the Sony Alpha 6500 which uses an electronic viewfinder, not the best arrangement for images of birds in flight due to the lag time.
Sony Alpha 6500, Sony 55-210 mm, at 210 mm.
This was late in the afternoon and it was mostly quiet on the pond. You can just make out the half moon hanging. The water was still, creating a nice reflection except where the duck weed gathered.
About 2 hours later the second image was taken from the side of the pond, about half way down. White Ibis were gathering in one of the far trees for the night and the light was disappearing fast.
I was on my way out and by the time I got back to where the first image was taken there were at least 100 Ibis in that tree. It was cool to watch but not enough light to photograph.
This is the same garden pond taken the same day as yesterday’s Sepia Pond post. Taken from different angles towards the water and a quarter way round the pond, the reflections were much different.
Crossing over the white bridge leads to a path that runs along the side of the rice field canal and eventually all the way around the impoundment.
It had been our intention to be at a different pond when the sun came up but between getting out the door a few minutes late and a truck ahead of us that was indecisive that didn’t happen. I don’t think our original destination could have been any prettier than this. Unless there was a bird, or two, in the water.
Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, SC