Tag Archives: South Carolina

Watching A Large Alligator, A Series

The first photograph here is our basic ‘look an Alligator’ shot. It’s really here for perspective. He is large. A male, since females don’t get above (around) 9 feet. This guy is about 12/13 feet.

The funny part was watching him climb up on a sunning platform. Alligators and birds use these to warm up. Wildlife groups, or owners, place these all over the place in the lowcountry. The southern version of an Osprey nest.

Large Alligator - Click To Enlarge
Large Alligator – Click To Enlarge

The boards used are plain lumber. Above you see 5 across. Maybe 6 inch boards. That would be 30 inches wide. The big guy is starting the ‘climb’ here.

Large Alligator - Click To Enlarge
Large Alligator – Click To Enlarge

Click below to view the struggle.

He filled the entire platform.

Large Alligator - Click To Enlarge
Large Alligator – Click To Enlarge

There are 2 alligators around here of equal size. The larger one has been estimated at about 1,300 pounds (590 Kilos).

I have seen these 2 chasing each other in the water. Very fast, 20 miles an hour fast. Only once has one of them come over to look me over. It’s like we are not worth the effort. But that’s OK.

 

Red Shouldered Hawk

After I took this shot I realized it’s been several months since we have seen any. Around the head waters of the everglades this is the only hawk you can find.

Red Shouldered Hawk - Click To Enlarge
Red Shouldered Hawk – Click To Enlarge

Even in poor light their colors are striking. Here the fall sun was perfect for him.

Red Shouldered Hawk - Click To Enlarge
Red Shouldered Hawk – Click To Enlarge

This is the type of bird / opportunity that makes photography worth the work.

Red Shouldered Hawk - Click To Enlarge
Red Shouldered Hawk – Click To Enlarge

These images were taken on the edge of a large South Carolina swamp. If I had not been out by myself, walking slow and little noise, this bird would have left long before I saw him.

 

Perched White Ibis

Usually these birds are in a flock, and muttering among themselves. This one was not near any flocks. It wasn’t near anything at all. Sat on the top of a tree and looked to be settling in pretty good.

Perched White Ibis - Click To Enlarge
Perched White Ibis – Click To Enlarge
Perched White Ibis - Click To Enlarge
Perched White Ibis – Click To Enlarge

Considering this is a white bird against a bright blue sky the images turned out good. This is a case where using spot metering was important. I metered on the white bird.

Bald Eagle Over The Marsh

The last days have been one photo opportunity after another. Fall appears to have finally come and the morning crisp, afternoon still South Carolina warm. Which means we are out with the cameras and not even looking at what we have until much later.

Bald Eagle - Click To Enlarge
Bald Eagle – Click To Enlarge

The Bald Eagles have now joined the other local citizens at the marshes. This bird was actually part of a pair that have been around the woods near the Ashley River.

We each have 4 or 5 days to work on, but I have been neglect in keeping this site up, so I will start with this image.

Alligator Sharing The Trail

I probably could have used a second set of eyes. Nothing would have changed except I would not have been so surprised.

First, he is not as big as the photo makes him out to be. Maximum not quite 3 feet. Not a baby, but i was not getting in any trouble either.

Alligator - Click To Enlarge
Alligator – Click To Enlarge

I did not spot him until we almost next to  each other. Being alone and walking slow he decided to stay right there. He did have the option of rolling over and slipping into the water, the usual tactic. He obviously didn’t want to.

Alligator - Click To Enlarge
Alligator – Click To Enlarge

The general rule is when you meet an Alligator like this you just give them space and move on. The trail is  wide enough for 2 people to walk here so I stayed on my side, he watched me go by.

He did stand up (you can see he was on his feet below), but probably to make his getaway if needed.

Alligator - Click To Enlarge
Alligator – Click To Enlarge

I did get a shot as I walked by him, I mean really, a bit late to worry about it. Once past I set up for a few more photos and moved on.

This is one of the nice things about going out alone. He didn’t see me as a threat and I got the shot.

Yellow-bellied Sliders

If numbers were the deciding factor these guys would own the swamp. They are everywhere, in all sizes. Some are big, really big. I think they are the last choice for an alligator meal. But the smaller ones, well you get it.

Yellow-bellied Sliders - Click To Enlarge
Yellow-bellied Sliders – Click To Enlarge

The old platforms can be covered with them. It’s so common we tend to look past them now.

Yellow-bellied Sliders - Click To Enlarge
Yellow-bellied Sliders – Click To Enlarge

We do notice when they climb or balance in odd places.