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.
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.
The second image has a nice profile of his beak and the water has a lighter tint.
Not surprisingly he turned away from me as he passed the end of the reed clump.
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.
Quack, quack, and splash …
the dust-up was on.
One of the females stayed near the action.
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.
A Wood Stork paused during feeding, with the afternoon December sun casting a warm glow.
A Belted Kingfisher paused briefly on this dead limb over a view of a pond before swooping away.
A nearly perfect Camellia Blossom, sheltered from the night’s light frost.
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.
There was a small flock of Mergansers milling around in a an adjacent pond, in water that took on an odd color reflection.
A mixed bag of wading birds was feeding in this pool of water at the side of an old rice field pond.
Most of the birds were concentrating on feeding, but a few Snowy Egrets were busier coming and going.
This one came in for full spread landing.
And almost immediately another took off.
Curses on the mud blob ruining this reflection.
Good for me, the flight path he took crossed some clear water.
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.
The water was just the right depth for probing for food.
A little foot splash helps stir up any submerged snacks, which generally get swallowed whole.
Like many of the wading birds, Wood Storks will hold out a wing to change the shadows in the water as they hunt.
Back and forth he went, making some interesting ripples and reflections in the water.