These photographs were taken at the mouth of the Stono River, coastal South Carolina. This was our first trip back out to the rookery on Bird Key in over a year. Then yesterday we returned for a second visit. A busy few days since in between back to back boat trips out we spent an afternoon at a wetlands rookery of small wading birds close to Georgia.
We did ocean, swamp, ocean… finally direct to my own pillow !
Below, at the mouth of the Stono we found schools of fish in the shallows. The Brown Pelicans (and Dolphin) discovered them also. This bird came over the boat and immediately started to fish.
In a second the Pelican turned and went into the dive.
It wasn’t from very high making the head twist happen really fast.
Touching the water, bill slipping in was pretty smooth, but those big wings pulled back making that usual splash loud. I found out on this trip a Brown Pelican has two air sacks in their chest which help cushion the hard dives. They also turn their head to the right to protect their neck and throat.
About this time we slowed down to watch the action, and the water around us, Dolphin were also fishing. We had hit the tide perfectly.
Note; Sea turtles are coming in at the same time to lay eggs. I did see a few, but no photos. You see a round football shaped head for a fraction of a second.