Category Archives: Dolphin

Brave (Foolish?) Pelican

I count at least four Dolphin this Pelican was trying to steal from.

A good guess is the Dolphin averaged about 450 pounds, and were 12 feet long. The Brown Pelican, maybe 7 pounds and 4.5 feet tall.

I will say the Pelican was careful and stayed away hoping a fish would squirt his way. They do, just not today.

Brave (Foolish?) Pelican
Brave (Foolish?) Pelican
Brave (Foolish?) Pelican
Brave (Foolish?) Pelican

Still it’s funny to watch him trot up close to the Dolphin.

Brave (Foolish?) Pelican
Brave (Foolish?) Pelican
Brave (Foolish?) Pelican
Brave (Foolish?) Pelican

This Pelican followed them a few feet out into the water too.

Brave (Foolish?) Pelican
Brave (Foolish?) Pelican

Bottlenose Dolphin and Brown Pelican.

Dolphin Catch, Pelican Can Just Watch

This Dolphin hunt was the closest I was to the correct angle, the entire day. You really have no idea where they will strand fish until the water swirls just before the push. Educated guess work, which was not great that day.

Dolphin Catch, Pelican Can Just Watch
Dolphin Catch, Pelican Can Just Watch

On this push I did get a Dolphin with his prize so no complaints.

Dolphin Catch, Pelican Can Just Watch
Dolphin Catch, Pelican Can Just Watch

The Pelican had worse luck than I did 🤣 .

Dolphin Catch, Pelican Can Just Watch
Dolphin Catch, Pelican Can Just Watch
Dolphin Catch, Pelican Can Just Watch
Dolphin Catch, Pelican Can Just Watch

This day I may have seen up to nine different stranding’s, and caught five on camera.

Charleston, South Carolina.

Dolphins Passing And Feeding

This first shot is only the second time I have been able to catch a Dolphin watching the shoreline as they herd the school of fish to the beach. They will not hit the shore if they see anything above the sand (like people). In this hunt the Dolphin moved past us a short distance, then charged to shore.

Dolphins Passing And Feeding
Dolphins Passing And Feeding
Dolphins Passing And Feeding
Dolphins Passing And Feeding

The group moved to shore with a smaller, younger member of the pod. Below you can see how much smaller the dorsal fin is. I’m assuming this is how the next generation is taught to strand fish since it’s not a normal Dolphin behavior.

Dolphins Passing And Feeding
Dolphins Passing And Feeding

And of course, when they did rush to shore we were all dive bombed by a Pelican looking to steal a fish.

Dolphins Passing And Feeding
Dolphins Passing And Feeding

 

Face To face With Dolphins

This small series may give you a good idea of how explosive a Dolphin Strand Feeding can be.

In less than a second the shore erupts. Most times there is a quick sign, a tell, it is about to happen. If you don’t catch sight of the mounds of water charging you will miss the first shots.

Below I missed the signs, but did catch the Dolphins lean right as a group. The lead Dolphin looked over to the ‘silly human’ on shore.

Face To face With Dolphins
Face To face With Dolphins
Face To face With Dolphins
Face To face With Dolphins

The Dolphin will watch the beach to be sure they are clear to turn and flip back into the water. They are always on their right side.

Face To face With Dolphins
Face To face With Dolphins

Above the group kick up and twist back into the deeper water.

This entire scene is finished in a few seconds.

Chaos – Fish, Pelican, Dolphin

The only thing I didn’t catch here was the noise. And boy it was loud !

In this shot several Dolphin had drive fish to the shore (flying in the air too) and a Pelican was waiting for them.

Chaos - Fish, Pelican, Dolphin
Chaos – Fish, Pelican, Dolphin

Best viewed large, there’s a lot going on here.

Dolphins Hunting

I think these photographs were shot of the first strand fishing we  found recently. Well, the first close stranding. Far up the shore I noticed multiple hunts. At the time my fear was all the action would be up there.

In a short while I saw them quickly heading to us. However, what I did not see was a concentrated effort to circle around the schools of fish. Usually that is the sign a stranding is happening. They confuse and panic them before a push to shore. It also gives me a chance to position myself.

Never happened this day, in any hunt.

Dolphins Hunting
Dolphins Hunting

My only warning two Dolphin were finishing a hunt was the surfacing and fast push to shore.

Dolphins Hunting
Dolphins Hunting
Dolphins Hunting
Dolphins Hunting

I was too close for the long lens, and to the Dolphin.

Dolphins Hunting
Dolphins Hunting

It worked out since there were only two on the strand. Distance is important for the comfort on the Dolphin.

Dolphins Hunting
Dolphins Hunting

These two grabbed a few fish and rolled back off the sand.

Kiawah River inlet, South Carolina.