No one had ever seen a Black Skimmer working the inlet around the shrimp piers before. I think it was Ellen who pointed him out ‘skimming’ one of the salt creeks.
It was a single bird flying at the typical amazing speed they use when grabbing fish from the surface.
Catching a shot had to be done as he came through an open spot in one of the low tide shallows. Pretty much point and click, fast. We missed a ton of shots, then waited for him to reappear somewhere else.
Black Skimmers have a lower mandible longer than their top beak. They touch the surface of the water with the lower mandible, lightly skimming along.
Above shows when a bird feels a fish they snap the bill shut, their head is pulled down to the water, and somehow they grab their prey without flipping over backwards from the force. Incredible to watch, when you can find them.
The last image is of the Skimmer barely touching the water flying up another tidal creek.
I have seen them in marshes and open beaches, but never in tidal inlets before.
Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.