Tricolored Heron

A Tricolored Heron was perched on one of the wooden trunks along an old rice field dike. I think he was waiting on the sun, as was I, but we were to be  disappointed until later in the morning.

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron on Rice Field Trunk

When the sun did pop out I saw another Tricolored Heron doing a fly by.

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron in Flight

These small herons are more apt to erratically fly in my experience, darting into the reeds or chasing each other. This one had somewhere else to get to and went by with a smooth, steady flight.

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron in Flight

Nature’s Spectacular, 3

I was able to move further down the dike where I took the first and second posts of this series and found a wide opening where I watched hundreds of birds move in a steady stream into the next open area.

Wading Bird Frenzy
Wading Bird Frenzy

Most of them weren’t interest in the open canal directly in front of me, but a few stopped.

Wading Bird Frenzy
Wading Bird Frenzy

A few egrets waded across. I wondered if the birds were getting tired as they had been at this frenzied activity for well over an hour that I knew of.

Wading Bird Frenzy
Wading Bird Frenzy

Once the birds got further to my right my view was obstructed by the reeds.

Wading Bird Frenzy
Wading Bird Frenzy

Nature’s Spectacular, 2

As the wading birds from the feeding frenzy lifted lifted into the air some of them left, either individually or in groups.

Wood Storks in Flight
Wood Storks in Flight

A group of Wood Storks pulled away from the frenzied group and formed into a ragged line.

Wood Storks in Flight
Wood Storks in Flight

These storks circled and got a little higher then took off for a distant section of the marsh. They were soon replaced by another group that somehow got the word the fishing was good here.

Wood Storks in Flight
Wood Storks Flock in Flight, one White Ibis, one Snowy Egret along for the trip

Nature’s Spectacular, 1

There was so much bird activity in this marsh it was hard to know where to look. It was an experience to be taken in with a wide view, not for images of an individual bird.

Wading Bird Frenzy
Wading Bird Frenzy

The entire flock was feeding in shallow water and slowly working from my left to right. All of the birds would be down and mostly hidden from my view then several hundred would lift off and advance, setting down at the front of the group. They probably were following any remaining fish that were trying to escape.

Wading Birds in Flight
Wading Birds in Flight

This was one of the most remarkable displays I’ve witnessed while out photographing nature.

Wading Bird Frenzy Takes Flight
Wading Bird Frenzy Takes Flight

The wading birds included Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Tricolored Herons, White Ibis, and Glossy Ibis. There were a few Grackles in the mix, too.

Wasp on Yellow Flower

I don’t know either the insect or this flower that was growing wild at the edge of a pond.

Wasp on Yellow Flower
Wasp on Yellow Flower

One of the wasp’s legs was sticking out at an unnatural looking angle, perhaps injured, but it wasn’t slowing him down.

Wasp on Yellow Flower
Wasp on Yellow Flower

He methodically worked the flower blossoms around the stem, unlike some insects that dart around, seemingly unsatisfied with what is in front of them.

Wasp on Yellow Flower
Wasp on Yellow Flower

Good Morning, Sun, Good Night, Moon

The rising sun made a grand entrance over South Carolina’s ACE Basin on Thursday.

Sunrise over ACE Basin
Sunrise over ACE Basin

Turn 180 degrees and the view wasn’t nearly as flashy, but the setting full moon casting a reflection in the canal was quite pretty.

Moon Setting
Moon Setting

South Carolina’s Ashepoo, Combahee and South Edisto (ACE) Basin represents one of the largest undeveloped estuaries on the east coast of the United States.

Yellow and Gold

One of my favorite ponds is showing what passes for fall color in the South Carolina Low Country: yellow and gold, with very little red to be seen.

Fall Pond with Sunflowers
Fall Pond with Sunflowers

This is further down the pond, with my oft-mentioned “skinny tree” just in the right side of the frame. The big birds have moved on, with just a few ducks on the far side of the pond.

Fall Pond
Fall Pond

Merganser Drama

This Hooded Merganser was outnumbered, by Common Gallinules of all things. Gallinules tend to stick to the edges of any waterway and mind their own business except for their cackling squawks which always alerts the whole area to a photographer’s presence. Or so I thought.

Hooded Merganser and Gallinules
Hooded Merganser and Gallinules

The Gallinules quickly got into the Merganser’s space.

Hooded Merganser and Gallinules
Hooded Merganser and Gallinules

He tried out paddling them.

Hooded Merganser and Gallinules
Hooded Merganser and Gallinules

They followed so the  Merganser opted to put some extra distance between them.

Hooded Merganser and Gallinules
Hooded Merganser and Gallinule

Finally, a spot of his own.

Hooded Merganser
Hooded Merganser