Black-crowned Night-heron Gathering

A flock of Black-crowned Night-Herons have been roosting around the big pond at Charleston’s Magnolia Cemetery.

 Black-crowned Night-Herons In Tree
Black-crowned Night-Herons In Tree

Every time someone walked underneath them, or sometimes for no apparent reason, they flew off.

Black-crowned Night-Heron Flying By
Black-crowned Night-Heron Flying By, Young Adult based on darker under wing color

A few minutes later they would fly back in ones and twos, putting on quite a show.

Black-crowned Night-Herons Flying By
Black-crowned Night-Herons Flying By, Adult on left, Juvenile on right

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.

Black-crowned Night-Herons Flying Off
Black-crowned Night-Herons Flying Off

Male Hooded Merganser

I liked the idea of this first composition best of these three, but the Merganser’s beak gets lost where it overlaps with the reed behind him.

Male Hooded Merganser, Reeds
Male Hooded Merganser, Reeds

The second image has a nice profile of his beak and the water has a lighter tint.

Male Hooded Merganser, Reeds
Male Hooded Merganser, Reeds

Not surprisingly he turned away from me as he passed the end of the reed clump.

Male Hooded Merganser, Reeds
Male Hooded Merganser, Reeds

Male Mallard Squabble

I had an idea something was going to happen as I watched a female and vocalizing male Mallard close in on another pair in a small pond.

Two Male Mallards Squabbling
Two Male Mallards Squabbling

Quack, quack, and splash …

Two Male Mallards Squabbling
Two Male Mallards Squabbling

the dust-up was on.

Two Male Mallards Squabbling
Two Male Mallards Squabbling

One of the females stayed near the action.

Two Male Mallards Squabbling
Two Male Mallards Squabbling

I have no idea which duck was which at this point. I don’t know where the female Merganser appeared from, either, but she quickly retreated.

Two Male Mallards Squabbling
Two Male Mallards Squabbling

A Duck In Flight

This possibly is a female Hooded Merganser. I didn’t see her in the water and don’t see them often enough to really know. The Merlin app suggested an Anhinga, which it clearly is not. That was the first time I’ve had that app be way off base.

Duck in Flight
Duck in Flight, Over Marsh Grass

There was a small flock of Mergansers milling around in a an adjacent pond, in water that took on an odd color reflection.

Female Hooded Merganser
Female Hooded Merganser

 

Snowy Egrets On The Move

A mixed bag of wading birds was feeding in this pool of water at the side of an old rice field pond.

Incoming Snow Egret, Over Wood Storks and White Ibis
Incoming Snowy Egret, Over Wood Storks and White Ibis

Most of the birds were concentrating on feeding, but a few Snowy Egrets were busier coming and going.

Incoming Snow Egret, Over Wood Storks and White Ibis
Incoming Snowy Egret, Over Wood Storks and White Ibis

This one came in for full spread landing.

Incoming Snow Egret, Over Wood Storks and White Ibis
Incoming Snowy Egret, Over Wood Storks and White Ibis

And almost immediately another took off.

Exiting Snow Egret, Over Wood Storks and White Ibis
Exiting Snowy Egret, Over Wood Storks and White Ibis

Curses on the mud blob ruining this reflection.

Exiting Snow Egret, Over Wood Storks and White Ibis
Exiting Snowy Egret, with Wood Storks and White Ibis

Good for me, the flight path he took crossed some clear water.

Exiting Snow Egret
Exiting Snowy Egret and reflection

Feeding Wood Stork

This pool that was left when the water was lowered in the boat pond was very attractive to the wading birds, including this Wood Stork.

Feeding Wood Stork
Feeding Wood Stork

The water was just the right depth for probing for food.

Feeding Wood Stork
Feeding Wood Stork

A little foot splash helps stir up any submerged snacks, which generally get swallowed whole.

Feeding Wood Stork
Feeding Wood Stork

Like many of the wading birds, Wood Storks will hold out a wing to change the shadows in the water as they hunt.

Feeding Wood Stork
Feeding Wood Stork

Back and forth he went, making some interesting ripples and reflections in the water.

Feeding Wood Stork
Feeding Wood Stork