Why Is Everyone Flying South?!

Late this afternoon we had light grey overcast skies with a threat of possible thunder storms coming in. I was looking north over and across the salt marsh when I started to notice quite few birds, especially the egrets, that seemed to be flying south in a hurry.

Within 15 minutes I discovered why. The clouds came rolling in from the northwest and were moving in a southerly direction right toward us.

These last two shots are looking north across the salt marsh and were taken 3 minutes apart. Although the long, low shelf clouds appear quite ominous, those are only a part of an approaching storm system and are not in among themselves very dangerous. But they must look rather scary to much of the wildlife who seemed to want no part of whatever was coming next.

Flying South

Flying South

Flying South

Pop Up

This juvenile little blue heron surprised me with a quick pop up out from the reeds in the salt marsh this afternoon.

Little blue herons are interesting because they start out their lives as all white immature birds, then gradually begin to change into the blue adults they will eventually become. At this stage they can easily be confused with snowy egrets which are almost identical. But snowys start out white and remain all white into adult hood.

I was happy to see this guy because I generally see a lot more adult little blues then the juveniles so it was a fun sight!

Little Blue Heron Juvenile

Looking Around

This past weekend I spotted an osprey who spotted something down in the marsh that had his attention.

The osprey did one wide circle over the water but never dove down for the grab, so I guess he didn’t like what he saw after all.

Osprey Looking Around

Osprey Looking Around

Osprey Looking Around

Osprey Looking Around

Quick Snack

Earlier this weekend I was watching this very alert juvenile tricolored heron patrolling along the edge of the salt marsh in search of a tasty meal.

His alertness paid off as I saw him snatch up a couple of these small wriggling fish which certainly made a nice yummy snack for the youngster!

Tricolor Fishing in the Salt Marsh

Tricolor Fishing in the Salt Marsh

Jump Offs

Well…no one has seen our pink friends in three or four days now, so we strongly suspect they have left the area. However  we are optimistic that some will return since Sept. has historically been an active month for spoonbills around the marsh.

In the meantime I still have lots of never before seen spoonie photos available for posting including these jump offs from earlier this week which I hope y’all like.

The only sad part is that this is probably exactly what it looked like when they took off a few days ago…

Jumping Off From The Marsh

Jumping Off From The Marsh

Score One For The Little Guys

This afternoon there were several small alligators (4-5 feet) out in the marsh. Usually we call any alligator five feet or under a ‘baby’ and that’s what these guys were, but there were all acting like big boys.

The first one I saw cruised over to greet me and then he got busy checking out the edge of the pond for fish and crabs.

I saw another little guy over in the salt marsh and he really had the fish jumping. Of course he had quite a few of these yummy fish snacks for his lunch. He also had something unknown balanced on the top of his nose, which remained there even as he fished.

Another young gator suddenly made a bee line for something and I quickly found out what caught his interest. It was a nice crunchy crab which he seemed thrilled to munch down.

Two other little guys were floating but not moving, right beneath my location and I soon found out what there were up to. They would pick a spot and remain motionless with the bottom part of their mouth open under the water. As soon as some unsuspecting critter swims by the trap snaps shut!

Well, they may not be near as large as the real huge alligators but they sure acted like ten footers out there today. That is exactly as it should be, if a little guy wants to grow up to be a big guy, he has to have all the tricks and techniques down perfectly in order to survive.

Score One For The Little Guys

Score One For The Little Guys

Score One For The Little Guys

Score One For The Little Guys

Score One For The Little Guys

Score One For The Little Guys

Score One For The Little Guys

Score One For The Little Guys

 

Wood Stork Activity

Just a few wood storks from yesterday morning…along with a guest appearance by a spoonbill from the day before.

Wood Stork Action

Wood Stork Action

Wood Stork Action

Wood Stork Action

Pretty Pink Flowers

Quite often, people come up to me and say… ‘Hey, Phil, I know you take some nice shots of birds and other wildlife but have you ever thought about taking flower photos? I bet you could take some nice ones!’

Ok, that’s totally made up, nobody ever says that to me, I came up with the idea all on my own.

This morning, since none of our pink spoonbill visitors were around, as soon as I spotted these lovely pink blooms at the edge of the marsh I figured this would be a great opportunity to try out flower photography. So here ya go, this is my experiment, hope y’all like it!

Oh, BTW… while I was there some alligator munched down a nice size flounder that he caught.

Alligator with Flowers

Alligator with Flowers

Alligator with Flounder

Alligator with Flounder

 

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