Just about every type of bird that came to the sand bars showed up at the same time. Only think missing was a Pelican.
Taking advantage of the light.
Me, not the Heron.
I looked over and there he was, just about on the ground. I never saw him coming.
Tall wading birds don’t take very good photographs head on…way too ‘thin’, nothing to see or focus on.
A head on angle like this, a little body, a slight shift, gives you something to work with. Very glad I caught this one, just different enough.
As I started to finish this photograph in Lightroom I realized I recognized him. Good grief !
The old large males have scars and I could just see the lower jaw, a large white scar. On his bottom jaw, where the teeth protrude.
If you were to look back, at various articles on Alligators you would find this one.
Now, if you had told me this 10 years ago…
Most of the time these birds are catching small, even tiny, fish to eat. That means a lot of hard work for a little food.
Every once in a while their luck changes.
In this case a nice size crab.
Better yet, no gulls around to steal it.
The poor Ibis were the ones the Gulls robbed most often.
But not this time.
Taken in ACE Basin, South Carolina.
This was a spur of the moment photograph shot only because of the Spoonbill. Turns out it’s a pretty good example of what the thick marshes look like in the winter. Looking close I can even spot the small canal and water through the reeds.
In the past I made mention of how we have noticed a distinct difference between the birds in South Carolina and Florida.
Below is a close up of a Red-shouldered taken in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, southern Florida.
Size wise I think they are the same. Where I see the difference is the chest, head, and leg coloring. The Florida birds seem to have less of the red/brown coloring.
Both the Florida and South Carolina birds shown here live in a similar habitat. Swamps surrounded by forest, Florida had more of a Pine forest, however the South Carolina birds were near large pine also.
Light plays into this and the images here certainly have more sun on the Florida samples. However previous photographs with different light have shown a difference. Also there was only a 3 week difference in the photographing of both samples. Mating season should be about the same.
Below are South Carolina Hawks taken in a forest and swamp environment. The swamp here was more Cypress and Tupelo Trees than Florida.
Diet in both areas should be close.
The wings appear close, however the chest and head feathers are now much more red and distinct.
I did not want to provide any full front South Carolina birds since the time frame between the images would have been greater. I want to compare birds that should be in the same cycle. Mating plumage would change the appearance quite a bit.
I might be completely wrong, but we have had this conversation before with no thought of comparing images like this.
So… just a thought.
Never tire of this trick…floating in the air.