Tag Archives: Water Bird

Anhinga Swimming Freestyle

I thought I might see this Anhinga dive and catch a fish. Instead she swam passed me, rhythmically arching her neck back and forth as she propelled forward.

Anhinga Swimming
Anhinga Swimming

And she dropped lower in the water.

Anhinga Swimming
Anhinga Swimming

I wondered

Anhinga Swimming
Anhinga Swimming

how low

Anhinga Swimming
Anhinga Swimming

would she go? And why didn’t she dive?

Anhinga Swimming
Anhinga Swimming

She was making steady progress and after a few more beats rose back up a bit and swam out of my sight scoring points for style but not getting any breakfast.

Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, SC
Rice field canal
August 29, 2021

Bird Chaos at Bird Key

Hundreds of birds nested on Bird Key this summer and the land and sky were full of activity on this July day.

Bird Key Stono Heritage Preserve
Bird Key Stono Heritage Preserve

Most of the birds on land seen here are Brown Pelicans, the smaller white ones are chicks. The chicks were awkwardly walking, but not yet flying.  There were lots of Laughing Gulls that provided constant noise, and a few White Ibis mixed in.

Bird Key Stono Heritage Preserve
Bird Key Stono Heritage Preserve

On the outer edge of the island, the open Atlantic Ocean beyond, a sand bar has formed that was popular spot for preening.

Bird Key Stono Heritage Preserve
Bird Key Stono Heritage Preserve

Taken from a boat at Bird Key Stono Heritage Preserve
Between Kiawah Island and Folly Beach, SC

July 12, 2021

Gulls Took To The Air

Danger, danger, fly, fly!

Can you spot the Eagle?

Birds in the Air over Bird Key, Stono
Birds in the Air, Eagle is about 1/4 of way in from the left, one of the top birds

This island has a lot of advantages for nesting birds, but it is not without risk. This time the Eagle appeared to leave without a meal.

Birds in the Air over Bird Key, Stono
Birds in the Air over Bird Key, Stono, Mostly Laughing Gulls

About a half hour later it happened again. We were further away from the action and I didn’t capture the Eagle, but this view gives an idea of how many birds are nesting on this little island. And how unconcerned the Pelicans appeared.

Birds in the Air over Bird Key, Stono
Birds in the Air over Bird Key, Stono

Taken from a boat at Bird Key Stono Heritage Preserve
Between Kiawah Island and Folly Beach, SC

July 12, 2021

Common Gallinule Chicks

The Common Gallinule chicks I saw last week wandered in and out of some pond-side vegetation going through the water, and sometimes just plomping down to rest.

Common Gallinule Chicks
Common Gallinule Chicks

The top of this little one’s head with the orange peaking through reminded me of the old tv ads for spray on hair for men.

Common Gallinule Chick
Common Gallinule Chick

The whole family came together after doing some individual exploring.

Common Gallinule Family
Common Gallinule Family

June 8, 2021

Got Feet?

Common Gallinules are in the Rail family, and have feet more like a chicken than a duck.

Common Gallinule Chick
Common Gallinule Chicks

These juveniles looked a bit awkward when they were resting, with their feet having grown faster than the rest of their bodies.

Common Gallinule Chick
Common Gallinule Chick

They had no trouble getting around; I saw them walking through some grass.

Common Gallinule Chick
Common Gallinule Chick

And then into shallow water.

Common Gallinule Chick
Common Gallinule Chick

June 8, 2021

Black Skimmer and Brown Pelican

I had been watching this Black Skimmer work his way around the inlets at Shem Creek at low tide.

Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican
Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican

I suspect he had a nest nearby as after this pass he took his catch out into the mouth of the creek…

Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican
Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican

… caught up to…

Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican
Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican

…and passed a Brown Pelican.

Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican
Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican

He disappeared from my sight. The Pelican stayed his course, gliding the whole time.

Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican
Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican

Black Australian Swan Cygnets Learning to Feed, 2

In addition to the cygnets being pretty cute as they learned to feed, watching the constant motion of the parents and the little ones was rather comical.

Black Australian Swan Cygnets and Parents
Black Australian Swan Cygnets and Parents

Bottoms up is the only way for the swans to get the grass in the deeper water, which also shows off their enormous feet.

Black Australian Swan Cygnets and Parents
Black Australian Swan Cygnets and Parents

The cygnets certainly swam a lot further during feeding than the parents, around and around.

Black Australian Swan Cygnets and Parents
Black Australian Swan Cygnets and Parents

Most of the time one adult had a head up and they all stayed pretty close together.

Black Australian Swan Cygnets and Parents
Black Australian Swan Cygnets and Parents

Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumpter SC
May 20, 2021

Mute Swan with Cygnets

Hello world!

A Mute Swan cygnet poked his head out just as I was passing this nest, and was soon followed by a sibling.

Mute Swan with Two Cygnets
Mute Swan with Two Cygnets

They didn’t go very far.

Mute Swan with Two Cygnets
Mute Swan with Cygnet

The adult, presumably mother, based on swan behavior, was alert to the squirming around but never shifted her position.

Mute Swan with Two Cygnets
Mute Swan with Cygnet

She seemed to be prompting the pair to settle down;  I don’t know if there were more young underneath or not.

Mute Swan with Two Cygnets
Mute Swan with Two Cygnets

Excursion over, time to tuck back in.

Mute Swan with Two Cygnets
Mute Swan with Two Cygnets

A staff person told me he thought this pair was about two weeks old.

May 20, 2021