Tag Archives: Spoonie Tree

The Spoonie Tree, Slowly It Tilts, Update

I last posted about this slow collapse at the beginning of November, 2021.

Here’s a repeat of the last image from that post.

The Spoonie Tree, October 17
The Spoonie Tree, October 17, 2021, An Alligator visible at the base of the grass

I’m hoping the tree will stay around even after it collapses  to serve as a perch for the wading and water birds.

The Spoonie Tree
The Spoonie Tree, November 14, 2021, Several Alligators visible at the base

This spring the pond was allowed to dry as part of a vegetation management protocol.

The Spoonie Tree, May 9, 2022
The Spoonie Tree, May 9, 2022, A Turkey Vulture and two Black Vultures

A wider view–I believe those logs are palm tree trunks. They have been laying there, usually submerged, for at least the five  years I’ve been going to Donnelley.

The Spoonie Tree, May 9, 2022
The Spoonie Tree, May 9, 2022

Then with the water back in a few weeks later.

The Spoonie Tree, May 26, 2022
The Spoonie Tree, May 26, 2022

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, SC

Roseate Spoonbill With a Stick

This Roseate Spoonbill really wanted to sit in the Spoony Tree with his stick. I didn’t see him arrive, but think he just flew up from underneath the tree.

Roseate Spoonbill With Stick
Roseate Spoonbill With Stick In the Spoonie Tree

Who knows why, it’s not breeding season yet and he doesn’t look like he’s of breeding age based on still having pin feathers on his head.

Roseate Spoonbill Flying With Stick
Roseate Spoonbill Flying With Stick

He took off when the Cormorants started squawking at him.

Roseate Spoonbill Flying With Stick
Roseate Spoonbill Flying With Stick

The Anhinga was not impressed when he came right back.

Roseate Spoonbill Flying With Stick
Roseate Spoonbill Flying With Stick

He headed across the dike, where he promptly landed in the mudflats and abandoned the stick for some fishing.

Roseate Spoonbill Flying With Stick
Roseate Spoonbill Flying With Stick

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, SC
December 25, 2021

Audience Unmoved

They’ve seen it before…so have I but I still like to photograph it.

3

Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron Landing
Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron Landing

2

Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron Landing
Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron Landing

1

Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron Landing
Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron Landing

Touchdown!

Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron Landing
Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron Landing

Two adults looking on, ho-hum.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron with Audience
Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron with Audience

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area
November 27, 2021

Cormorant Supervising

Double-crested Cormorants were calmly sunning on the Spoonie Tree when a Great Egret dropped in.

Great Egret Landing In Tree with Cormorants
Great Egret Landing In Tree with Cormorants

Then a Black-crowned Night-heron joined the gathering.

Black-crowned Night-heron Landing In Tree
Black-crowned Night-heron Landing In Tree

It was close to a crash landing, but the Night-heron made it, perhaps to the surprise of the Cormorant.

Black-crowned Night-heron Landing In Tree
Black-crowned Night-heron Landing In Tree

Then the Night-heron lost points for not sticking the landing. Not that anyone is keeping score.

Black-crowned Night-heron Landing In Tree
Black-crowned Night-heron Landing In Tree

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, SC
November 27, 2021

Great Egret, Fall Colors

I wonder if the limbs of the Spoonie Tree creek as a Great Egret works his way along them.

Great Egret in the Spoonie Tree
Great Egret in the Spoonie Tree

Knowing you can fly if needed probably gives some confidence, even if your perch is on its last legs.

Great Egret in the Spoonie Tree
Great Egret in the Spoonie Tree

The Great Egret found a satisfactory spot…

Great Egret in the Spoonie Tree
Great Egret in the Spoonie Tree

a little breeze ruffled his feathers as I dropped to a better angle for the background.

Great Egret, Fall Colors in Background
Great Egret, Fall Colors in Background

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area
November 14, 2021

Fall Colors, Donnelley Pond

Pine trees dominate the South Carolina low country landscape, including most of the wildlife areas I frequent so I don’t see a lot of autumn color change.

One Great Egret and Four American White Pelicans feeding
One Great Egret and Four American White Pelicans feeding

The back edge of the big pond at Donnelley WMA  is an exception, and more this year than I remember.

Alligators Floating on a Chilly Day
Alligators Floating on a Chilly Day

I didn’t expect to see so many Alligators out as it was only about 50 F (10 C).

Alligators Floating on a Chilly Day
Alligators Floating on a Chilly Day, Spoonie Tree to the Right

If you zoom in on the next photo you’ll see Alligators gathered under the Spoonie Tree, which I recently featured in a post: The Spoonie Tree, Slowly It Tilts.

Spoonie Tree Visible to the Left, Beautiful Fall Colors
Spoonie Tree Visible to the Left, Beautiful Fall Colors

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area
November 14, 2021

The Spoonie Tree, Slowly It Tilts

How low can it go before it falls?

Roseate Spoonbill Landing in the Spoonie Tree
How the Spoonie Tree Got Its Name (October 2020)

First, a throw back to two years ago… changing water levels in the pond worked to carve out the earth under the roots. Alligator action might have played a role, too.

The Spoonie Tree
The Spoonie Tree June 2019

The smaller branches long gone, some kind of vegetation hid the base over this past summer.

The Spoonie Tree, September 19
The Spoonie Tree, September 19, 2021

At the beginning of October:

The Spoonie Tree, October 3
The Spoonie Tree, October 3, 2021, Roseate Spoonbill up top, Alligator below the tree, right

A couple of weeks later that cavity beneath the tree had collapsed.

The Spoonie Tree, October 17
The Spoonie Tree, October 17, 2021, An Alligator visible at the base of the grass

I’m hoping the tree will stay around even after it collapses  to serve as a perch for the wading and water birds.

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, SC

Restless Great Blue Heron

This was the scene under the Spoonbill Tree at Donnelley Wildlife Management Area on a recent cold and windy morning. The Roseate Spoonbills were wisely at the back of the pond, tucked under a bigger tree.

Great Blue Heron, Gallinules, and Double-crested Cormorants
Great Blue Heron, Gallinules, and Double-crested Cormorants

A few Gallinules were popping in and out view and the Great Blue Heron seemed on the verge of doing something as he repositioned several times.

Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants
Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants

The GBH moved back into the water when a Great Egret appeared. This dead tree, which has been a great perch for a Roseate Spoonbills over the last few years,  has taken another step towards its end as another good size limb has fallen off this winter.

Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants
Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorants, and a Great Egret

I was expecting the Heron to drive off the other birds the way he came back around the front of the island all puffed up.

Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants
Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorants

But he decided to ignore whatever was going on behind him at least for the moment, as one lone gull paddled by.

Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorants, and Ring-billed Gull
Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorants, and Ring-billed Gull

February 4, 2021