Egrets and herons are all very agile, twisting this way and that, not minding if their head is upside right or down, as they go about their daily business.
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A number of Great Blue Herons posed in and out of the old rice fields adjacent to the Ashley River last week. The reeds, weeds and bushes along the edge are starting to show that end of summer droop and a hint of color changes.
This Heron was performing what appeared to be a cooling ritual with panting type breathing and his wings at bent angle.
The classic pose, waiting and watching.
Slow and methodical, this Great Blue Heron watched over his swamp.
He flew to the end of the pond as we came along and I got a nice view through the bushes, with just a few pieces of vegetation blocking my shot.
A flexible neck makes it easy to keep an eye out in all directions.
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We have moved to South Carolina just in time to see the end of the nesting season at the Magnolia Plantation rookeries. Little Blue Herons feed their young, which are nearly as big as the adults, in an awkward, wing flapping, spectacle.
These Great Egrets were resting quietly in the heat of the day. Their nest doesn’t look like it will hold them in as the alligators patrol in the swamp below.
I heard some jaw snapping but didn’t see this gator get a meal. They are moving much faster than when we visited this area over the winter.
A juvenile Heron watched warily from his perch.
Following a ritual herons around this pond went back and forth fetching nesting materials.
These beaks weren’t made for carrying and much of what he picked up was lost.
Sticks seemed to be the favored material based on reaction back on the nest.
“Let me help you with that.”
The sign at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens said “Nature Trail.” It turned out to be the highlight of my visit with a variety of water birds sharing the water leading to the Ashley River.
The majestic Great Blue Heron surveys slowly and deliberately. The bird above was squawking at a nearby Alligator at the edge of the Ashley River near Charleston, SC.
Eventually he lifted up and fluttered down in a new spot, showing off his massive wingspan.
Back into the reeds, soaking up the sun.