It had been a totally blue-sky afternoon until about an hour before sundown. Clouds slipped in muting the sky as a Great Blue Heron flew towards his nest.
About 45 minutes before sundown, this corner of the pond was in full shade and the Great Blue Herons were settling in.
A small flock of White Ibis have been hanging out in this tree in late afternoons.
In other years Great Blue Herons have nested here.
Right now the GBH are only in the further trees and the Ibis have the run of this one
Squabbles among the Ibis are pretty common.
Sometimes they just want a bit of alone time.
The top deck of the skinny tree has been occupied by a Great Blue Heron for several weeks. Some “nestoration” had been completed when I took this at the end of December.
Compare the nest to this image from December 14, before this nest site was claimed and a few orange leaves were still hanging on.
At the darkest point of winter the end of my favorite pond where much of the Great Blue Heron nesting activity is in shadows while the Herons are still working at attracting mates.
The White Ibis wasn’t impressed with the song and decided to move on.
The GBH remained hopeful, long feathers up.
I moved a bit further on, and the ritual began again.
January 3, 2021
As the Great Blue Herons move into breeding season I see them often as Stick Gatherers as seen in yesterday’s post.
This one was just hanging out in a bare tree, soaking up the afternoon sun.
I had seen the Heron from the other side of the tree and was surprised he stayed put until I passed by.
He gave me a nice photo shoot, then moved on.
Another nesting season has begun for the Great Blue Herons and this male was on a mission to find some nest material.
You can see from looking at the stick selection on the ground around him that he should have considered going a bit further from the nest.
He eventually found a small stick.
The route to his nest in the skinny tree was into the sun so this isn’t much of an image but gives you the idea of the action. And that the skinny tree is still standing.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
January 4, 2021
Dropping almost in slow-motion a Wood Stork flew in, holding that awkward looking position all the way down.
The center of the pond is choked with marsh grass and cattails beyond the canal.
Fortunately for me the Stork skipped the canal, and had his sights on an open area.
He joined in feeding before his wings were even folded.
A flock of Black-crowned Night-Herons have been roosting around the big pond at Charleston’s Magnolia Cemetery.
Every time someone walked underneath them, or sometimes for no apparent reason, they flew off.
A few minutes later they would fly back in ones and twos, putting on quite a show.
I’ve seen a few Black-crowned Night-Herons in this location before, but on Sunday estimated at least 30 to 40 birds. There may have been more that just staying tucked into the trees.
A Wood Stork paused during feeding, with the afternoon December sun casting a warm glow.