Little Blue Heron Lunching

There is a small pond in some woods beyond the Heron rookery that I check on once in awhile.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

The vegetation has been too high around it to see much lately, but a few days ago I strolled over to discover that the edges have been cleared, giving a nice view into the water.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

This Little Blue Heron was the only bird I saw, and he was cleaning up on little salamanders or something similar.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

Down in one gulp, and then inching ahead he seemed quite content.

Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron

Only Child: Great Blue Chick

This is one of the nests I featured a few days ago that is in a more protected location of the Heron rookery. The trees are rapidly leafing out, those images were taken on the 11th and today’s were taken on the 26th.

Great Blue Heron with Chick
Great Blue Heron with Chick – click image for larger view

I thought I saw two chick fuzz heads here last week, but if so only one survived. The chicks rest a lot the first few weeks, and their first maneuvers include stretching the lengths of their bodies and using their beaks. If there are multiple chicks they chew on each other, otherwise mom and dad get it all!

Great Blue Heron with Chick
Great Blue Heron with Chick – click image for larger view

After awhile the adult did its best to ignore the chick. He was probably hoping its mate would soon return with food for the chick and an opportunity to go off and feed itself.

Great Blue Heron with Chick
Great Blue Heron with Chick – click image for larger view

Azalea Season

One of the most photographed spots at Charleston’s Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, the Long White Bridge is a hot spot of activity this week with the Azaleas in full bloom.

Long White Bridge
Long White Bridge and Azaleas – click for larger view

This has been a banner year for Azaleas in the tri-county area. After last year’s disappointment with a late March freeze that severely limited the blooms, the colors are especially welcome this spring.

Shem Creek Pelicans

Brown Pelicans are attracted to Shem Creek by the commercial fishing activity and are often seen cleaning up behind the boats as they clean their catch. Other times they drop into the creek and fish on their own.

Pelicans in Shem Creek
Pelicans in Shem Creek

Shem Creek also hosts a Kayak/Stand Up Paddleboard rental shop and a public boat ramp for those with their own equipment. This pair of paddlers wasn’t paying much attention to the Pelicans gliding by. I’m not sure how that would be possible.

Pelican and Kyakers
Pelican and Kyakers

Pelicans will land on anything and everything. Their sheer size (between 4 and 11 pounds) always makes them stand out. I liked this shot with the colorful hulls in the background.

Pelican Resting on Docked Boat
Pelican Resting on Docked Boat

Shem Creek – click image for larger viewTaken with my new 20mm lens, 3/24/2018.

Sony Alpha 6500, Sony 20mm F2.8

Great Blue Heron Nests

I take more photographs of the Great Blue Heron nests in trees with little protection because you can see what is going on, but many of the pairs put their nests in more secluded spots. These nests are much higher off the ground and have more branches impeding the view.

Great Blue Heron on Nest
Great Blue Heron on Nest

When the eggs hatch the chicks will be evident from their chirping, not because they are visible from the pathway. It is likely that by the time the young are tall enough to be seen leaves on the trees will obstruct them from view.

Great Blue Heron on Nest
Great Blue Heron on Nest

Shem Creek Board Walk

The shrimp boats and a few sail boats were docked for the day along Shem Creek, a long time fishing center turned tourist attraction when the board walk was added. The smaller inlet off the creek winds around the marsh and frequently hosts egrets, herons and other water birds.

Shem Creek

Shem Creek – click image for larger viewTaken with my new 20mm lens, 3/24/2018.

Sony Alpha 6500, Sony 20mm F2.8

American Avocets

We arrived at Bear Island Wildlife Management area just before the sun came up this morning. A few American Avocets were sitting in the shallow water and reflected the sun’s first glow.

American Avocet
American Avocet

As we progressed around the impoundments throughout the morning there were several other areas with feeding Avocets. There were a few groups but they mostly fed on their own.

American Avocet
American Avocet

This pair in flight shows off the Avocet’s gorgeous colors and their upturned beak.

American Avocets in Flight
American Avocet Pair in Flight

Click on any photo for larger view.