Pee Dee NWR Photography

We were back out at one of our favorite local places for Bird Photography the Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge. We feel this is certainly on of the most prolific bird years we have seen. Nature goes in a cycle and most folks miss that but if your paying attention you will see all nature goes in cycle. Hunters notice it in deer season and so do chicken farms, when the raccoons eat all their chicken because they are in a year where they are plentiful. This year there has been so many birds it almost seems double of previous years, we know it's not but is does seem like it. Our summer is over and fall is approaching and even in summer the Pee Dee NWR produced birds that would be gone by this time of year. They retreat back into the woods and you hear them but hardly see them. This summer was surely different in quality and quantity. We are excited about fall season as it starts to cool down around the Pee Dee NWR. We should start to see more ducks arrive soon.

We did manage to get eaten alive by chiggers this year in pursuit of our favorite hobby Bird Photography, more than ever before in previous years. I guess birds weren't the only population increased this year. We managed to get our best Belted Kingfisher photo to date at the Pee Dee NWR. We were on a little pond not many know about and we were photographing an Anhinga sitting in a tree when we looked up we both saw a Belted Kingfisher land in a tree next to it. This was a Female Belted Kingfisher as you can tell by the brown band on her chest. She flew up and perched and then sat awhile looking around and then began to dive for fish. She ended up empty handed on all 3 occasions but we got some great shots of her during her feeding event. Our boy got a great shot of a Blue Grosbeak in the rain sitting on top of corn tassels, he even caught it shaking off the rain. Great shot by him for sure. So many birds so little time. The Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge has lots of other creatures like Bats, Beaver, Nutria, Turtles, Deer, Flying Squirrels, Butterflies, Insects, Dragon Flies, and Frogs to photograph. You never know what you will find. The Pee Dee Wildlife Refuge is only about and hours drive east of Charlotte. It is a great place to go for the day and enjoy nature.

The Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge has lots of  Flowers to photograph too. Every year the Pee Dee NWR plants fields of Sunflowers for Dove Hunting season which is always on Labor Day. The flowers are planted about 6 weeks out from that date. In 3 weeks from the day they were planted they will be fully grown. They grow fast and dies just as quick. You get about 2 weekends to photograph them before they start to wilt and then dry up and die.

We also noticed this year the Hibiscus was growing like it was on fire. We never have seen so much. Hibiscus moscheutos, the rose mallow, swamp rose-mallow, crimsoneyed rosemallow, or eastern rosemallow has several names but usually grows around swampy areas or water in general. Between that and the sunflowers and birds it was a great summer for photography at the Pee Dee NWR this year.