Jordan Lake, Tuesday, September 8, 2020. While out with Captain Doug, checking bald eagle and osprey nests, we found this very photogenic bald eagle. I caught him at that moment of suspension just between being perched and in full flight. It was great seeing a bald eagle up close again … it was great to find a bald eagle to share with all of you!!!!!

Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River:  We are all probably familiar with the soft coos of the mourning dove.  Some of us know well the whistling sound of their wings when they take off and land.  What some of us have not seen is just how differently the mourning dove lands when it does so on the ground.  I have been photographing the landing sequence of the mourning dove for a number of years, trying to catch the moment that their feet touch the ground.  The dove is extremely fast and erratic in take off, flight and landing.  But, I was determined to show you the vertical, yes vertical, landing of the mourning dove. The bird comes in, pulling himself upright, lands on his tail feathers and drops immediately into a more horizontal position and then rapidly walks forward.  It is neat!  I have made the video loop twice and on the second pass, please note that the further away bird also landed vertically and rapidly walked forward. The back dove is blurred and this is how too often my photos turned out as I tried to catch that vertical moment of a dove’s landing.

Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River, September 2, 2020.  With ruby-throated hummingbirds, the butterfly bush can suddenly become too small for two hummers at the same time.  The pair started off being too intent on getting to the nectar to bother their hovering neighbor.  Then, well, hide-and-seek and the chase was on!

Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River:  In the prior post, we looked at a whitestar morning-glory (native to NC) during the night, when it was resting and closed.  In the growing daylight, the whitestar blossom begins to open.  The blossom is almost irresistible to the eastern bumblebee.  The bumblebee is just a little bit smaller than the wee whitestar blossom. There is an advantage to the whitestar in this tight fit.  As the bumblebee wedges itself down into the flower, to reach the nectar, the insect picks up the pollen of the whitestar.  The bumblebee backs out, carrying her load of pollen and heads for the next blossom.  Pollination for the flower and nutrition for the bumblebee!  The eastern bumblebee narrates her story and I think she does a fine job…

Jordan Lake, Haw River:  Oh Joy!!! The fledgling bald eagle was going to land very, very close.  I concentrated.  Snapped a photo and got the moment of intent just before the landing. The fledgling disappeared into the boughs of oak leaves.  I waited.  Then I waited some more figuring he would get hungry and fly out.  1 hour and 20 minutes later I was still waiting, and, had to leave for an appointment.  The youngster won the patience round, by default!  Ah, well, I did get us a great look at his precise landing.  Did you notice the set of talons he has???

Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: Great blue herons are very territorial, and are that way from the moment they fledge from the nest.  Each bird wants his share on the shoreline … and will fight to maintain control of the area.  The fledgling great blue heron tried to land on the shore of the riprap.  He was promptly flattened by a subadult great blue heron – about 1 1/2 years-old – who had a stake on that piece of property.  The ensuing fight was loud and quite aggressive on both sides.  The fledgeling is the one whose head is mostly a mottled brown and the subadult has a lot of white on his face and the beginning of the black striped cap of an adult.  Neither bird seemed worse for the fight as the fledgling, for the moment relinquishing thoughts of acquiring the piece of shoreline, headed for the opposite side of the river.  It finally got quiet on the riprap.