Category Archives: Water Birds

Canada Goose With A Treasure

I don’t see that many Canada Geese expect near housing developments, but a few have been hanging around the pond at Magnolia Cemetery recently.

Canada Goose With Treasure
Canada Goose With Treasure

This one entertained me with a stalk of vegetation that he seemed quite sure was valuable.

Canada Goose With Treasure
Canada Goose With Treasure

He carefully kept his back to his mate, clearly not looking to share this find.

Canada Goose With Treasure
Canada Goose With Treasure

In the end he dropped the whole thing back in the water, perhaps it was too tough or just not edible.

 

American Avocet

American Avocet aren’t the only birds in these images, but I haven’t seen one in awhile so thought I’d give them top billing. And I really like them with their snazzy color scheme.

American Avocet, American White Pelican, Great Egret
American Avocet, American White Pelican, Great Egret

I sure was hoping they would fly closer to my side of the pond.

American Avocet taking off, American White Pelican, Great Egret
American Avocet taking off, American White Pelican, Great Egret

Instead they disappeared on the other side of the marsh.

American Avocet taking off, American White Pelican, Great Egret
American Avocet taking off, American White Pelican, Great Egret

Mute Swan Busking, 2

A few more images of the Mute Swan Busking , after he had moved further into the pond, but still displaying with his wings raised.

Mute Swan
Mute Swan

As the Mute Swan got further from me the reflection of the sky in the water was quite different and the sun created a nice rainbow in the fountain.

Mute Swan and Fountain
Mute Swan and Fountain

Lastly, a nice front view with a few drops of water from his beak.

Mute Swan
Mute Swan

Middleton Place, Charleston, SC
January 29, 2021

 

Mute Swan Pair On A Mission

Before I knew about swans using an elevated wing display for “wind assisted transportation” I thought these two Mute Swans might be getting ready to tussle.

Pair of Mute Swans
Pair of Mute Swans

They were moving pretty fast up the far side of the reflecting pond from where I stood.

Pair of Mute Swans
Pair of Mute Swans

Ah, then it became clear: a passerby was handing out snacks. And the two swans shared without any squabbling.

Pair of Mute Swans
Pair of Mute Swans

From the man’s behavior I suspect this is a regular routine. He threw a few tidbits to the waiting birds then went on his way.

Pair of Mute Swans
Pair of Mute Swans

Middleton Place, Charleston, SC
January 29, 2021

Mute Swan Busking

Busking not as in a street performance, but a threat display or the same posture used for “wind-assisted transportation” per Wikipedia.

Mute Swan
Mute Swan

The wind assist was not something I’ve seen described elsewhere, but there was a stiff breeze this day. Two Mute Swans were traveling the length of this 600 foot (185M) long pond in no time, so it would not surprise me.

Mute Swan
Mute Swan

A water performance and no tips expected, the Mute Swans at Middleton Place were very entertaining.

Cormorant Bouquet

This scene of a cattail, some pond-side greens, and a Double-crested Cormorant made me think of a bouquet.

Cormorant, Blue Water
Cormorant, Blue Water

I edged along the path to get a better angle and the Cormorant decided to relocate.

Cormorant, Blue Water
Cormorant, Blue Water

He wasn’t in any particular hurry, with a gentle splash he dropped into the water.

Cormorant, Blue Water
Cormorant, Blue Water

Then he headed toward the middle of the pond.

Cormorant, Blue Water
Cormorant, Blue Water

Anhinga vs Cormorant

Lots of folks confuse these two water birds, it was interesting to see them side-by-side, watching one of each compete for the same space.

Anhinga and Cormorant
Female Anhinga and Double-crested Cormorant

The immediate way to tell them apart is the Anhinga has a straight bill and the Cormorant’s is hooked.

Anhinga and Cormorant
Anhinga and Cormorant

The Anhinga won the first round of “King of the Hill.”

Anhinga and Cormorants
Female Anhinga and Cormorants

A few minutes later one of the Cormorants returned, showing off his feet as he looked to get closer to the stump.

Anhinga and Cormorant
Female Anhinga and Double-crested Cormorant

An Ibis was on the scene, but had no interest in the competition.

Anhinga and Cormorants
Anhinga and Cormorants

Another view showing off the beak comparison.

Anhinga and Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant and Female Anhinga

Alligator and Grebes

I spotted these two on a collision course. The Alligator wasn’t making a wake but he was moving.

Alligator and Grebe
Alligator and Grebe

The Grebe’s buddy popped up and between them they¬† had more curiosity than the Alligator.

Alligator and Grebes
Alligator and Grebes

A few minutes later I saw another Alligator drifting along. It was a warm day, in the 60s (15 to 18 C), with more Alligator activity for December than you might expect.

Alligator
Alligator