Category Archives: Water Birds

Common Gallinule Chicks

The Common Gallinule chicks I saw last week wandered in and out of some pond-side vegetation going through the water, and sometimes just plomping down to rest.

Common Gallinule Chicks
Common Gallinule Chicks

The top of this little one’s head with the orange peaking through reminded me of the old tv ads for spray on hair for men.

Common Gallinule Chick
Common Gallinule Chick

The whole family came together after doing some individual exploring.

Common Gallinule Family
Common Gallinule Family

June 8, 2021

Got Feet?

Common Gallinules are in the Rail family, and have feet more like a chicken than a duck.

Common Gallinule Chick
Common Gallinule Chicks

These juveniles looked a bit awkward when they were resting, with their feet having grown faster than the rest of their bodies.

Common Gallinule Chick
Common Gallinule Chick

They had no trouble getting around; I saw them walking through some grass.

Common Gallinule Chick
Common Gallinule Chick

And then into shallow water.

Common Gallinule Chick
Common Gallinule Chick

June 8, 2021

Black Skimmer and Brown Pelican

I had been watching this Black Skimmer work his way around the inlets at Shem Creek at low tide.

Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican
Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican

I suspect he had a nest nearby as after this pass he took his catch out into the mouth of the creek…

Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican
Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican

… caught up to…

Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican
Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican

…and passed a Brown Pelican.

Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican
Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican

He disappeared from my sight. The Pelican stayed his course, gliding the whole time.

Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican
Black Skimmer Flying by Brown Pelican

Black Australian Swan Cygnets Learning to Feed, 2

In addition to the cygnets being pretty cute as they learned to feed, watching the constant motion of the parents and the little ones was rather comical.

Black Australian Swan Cygnets and Parents
Black Australian Swan Cygnets and Parents

Bottoms up is the only way for the swans to get the grass in the deeper water, which also shows off their enormous feet.

Black Australian Swan Cygnets and Parents
Black Australian Swan Cygnets and Parents

The cygnets certainly swam a lot further during feeding than the parents, around and around.

Black Australian Swan Cygnets and Parents
Black Australian Swan Cygnets and Parents

Most of the time one adult had a head up and they all stayed pretty close together.

Black Australian Swan Cygnets and Parents
Black Australian Swan Cygnets and Parents

Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumpter SC
May 20, 2021

Mute Swan with Cygnets

Hello world!

A Mute Swan cygnet poked his head out just as I was passing this nest, and was soon followed by a sibling.

Mute Swan with Two Cygnets
Mute Swan with Two Cygnets

They didn’t go very far.

Mute Swan with Two Cygnets
Mute Swan with Cygnet

The adult, presumably mother, based on swan behavior, was alert to the squirming around but never shifted her position.

Mute Swan with Two Cygnets
Mute Swan with Cygnet

She seemed to be prompting the pair to settle down;  I don’t know if there were more young underneath or not.

Mute Swan with Two Cygnets
Mute Swan with Two Cygnets

Excursion over, time to tuck back in.

Mute Swan with Two Cygnets
Mute Swan with Two Cygnets

A staff person told me he thought this pair was about two weeks old.

May 20, 2021

Anhingas

Anhingas are beautiful birds in an understated way. During mating season the color around their eye intensifies to a rich minty green.

Anhinga
Anhinga on nest with mate standing guard

The male, on the left below, is all black and the female has a tan neck and shoulders.

Anhinga Pair
Anhinga Pair displaying mating behavior

These images are from a few years ago, a post I started but left unfinished. This year we are not seeing nearly as many Anhinga pairs at the rookery as other years.

Anhinga Sunning
Anhinga Sunning

Cormorants Perched on Pilings

These pilings are what are left of a dock on the Ashley River at Middleton Place. The tide was going out and a crew of Double-crested Cormorants were using them as perches.

Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant

This one seemed to be investigating a crack in the wood.

Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant

I looked away and he either jumped or fell into the water.

Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant

I thought he might be going fishing but he flew right back out of the water.

Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants

There was room for a couple more birds to join them.

Double-crested Cormorants on River Pilings
Double-crested Cormorants

Middleton Place, Charleston, SC
April 17, 2021