Earlier this fall I mentioned that the water was being drained from the big rice field pond at Magnolia in preparation for burning the invasive cattails. Conditions to start the fire didn’t come together before the approach of a late season hurricane and with the potential for damage to the dikes from a storm management decided to let the water back in.
This past week they decided to try again. One of the staff told me they hope to burn by the end of December. In the mean time, wading birds have gathered to take advantage of easy feeding in the shallow water.
The alligator ramp in the upper right in the next photo would normally have water up to the lower end.
The Great Egret in the center caught a tiny fish, and a leaf.
It was a grey day so I didn’t get much contrast with all the white birds, but it was a fun show.
Perry Pond, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston SC
December 4, 2022
I very rarely see a dirty Great Egret and don’t know if this one is streaked with natural dirt or some kind of pollution. Whatever it was, he didn’t experience any interference with getting his breakfast.
Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, SC
July 24, 2022
After I posted Great Egret Chick Pair yesterday I remembered I had taken some pictures earlier this spring at their nest. They aren’t great images, but I thought interesting as part of yesterday’s story.
On April 29 the adult was laying on the nest, presumable incubating eggs. At that point based on previous years’ outcomes I didn’t have much hope for a productive nest.
Then on May 17th I discovered the chicks had not only hatched but grown enough to be visible.
I’d say a week to ten days old as a guess.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC
April 29 and May 17, 2022