Tag Archives: Birds

Great Egret, Nest Material

I saw this Great Egret land and expected him to get run off by the occupant of the nest about 8 feet (2 M) above him.

Great Egret
Great Egret

He poked around a bit, and was surprisingly ignored by the Great Egret in the nest.

Great Egret
Great Egret

Suddenly he swooped down to the water…

Great Egret Dropping To Water
Great Egret Dropping To Water

… and came up with a stick!

Great Egret Flying With Stick
Great Egret Flying With Stick

After circling around the tree he made a nice landing at the top, delivering the stick to his mate. Turns out he didn’t go far from home for this delivery of nesting material.

Great Egret Bringing Stick To Nest
Great Egret Bringing Stick To Nest

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC
March 17, 2021

Nature’s Camoflage

Spotting wildlife is often about subtle contrasts and shapes. The subject’s movement sometimes helps. This Sapsucker flew onto the tree then froze in place.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Looking for the unexpected can help.

Tree Frog
Tree Frog

Some creatures hardly move, like the Tree Frog, and others, like this warbler, are in perpetual motion so it’s helpful to anticipate their next direction.

Black-and-white Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler

Great Egret Over Pond and Reptiles

A few Great Egrets were swooping over the pond as they vied for mates or nesting spots in the nearby trees.

Great Egret Flying Over Alligators, Turtles Great Egret Flying Over Alligators, Turtles

Some were gathering sticks for their nests but they were easily distracted when another Great Egret invaded their space.

Great Egret Flying Over Turtle Great Egret Flying Over Turtle

Occasionally I’ve seen a large Alligator snap at a bird flying overhead without making contact, but these smallish Alligators and turtles ignored the aerial displays going on above them.

Great Egret Flying Over Alligators, Turtles Great Egret Flying Over Alligator and Turtles

Belted Kingfisher on Water Gate

Water levels in the large pond at Magnolia Cemetery are controlled with this screw mechanism connected to a gate that allows water to drain off into the marsh. I’ve often seen Belted Kingfishers that work the pond for food use it as a perch.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

The Belted Kingfisher’s loud rattling call often helps you locate one, and I had watched one make several zippy trips across the pond without even getting to lift my camera. I took these from the car as we were leaving.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

I got a little closer before another car came and captured this head on view showing off the Kingfisher’s top knot.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

I last photographed a Yellow-billed Cuckoo about two years ago. I spotted one last week and recognized him in flight immediately due to his long, thin body.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo

They prefer woodland and the trees he found most appealing were shiny with highlighted leaves behind him.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo

He eventually moved to the other side of the path so the sun was shining on him, but didn’t quite get his head out into the light.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo

He watched patiently presumably for food, often looking up above him, but I didn’t see him even try to catch anything. After a couple minutes in this spot he moved higher and deeper into the tree line.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Cuckoo