There is not much color around the edge of the marsh right now. All of the reeds have turned brown and most have fallen over. A Great Egret struck a nice pose in the middle of this drab scene.
These wooden posts are leftovers from an old dock or walkway at the edge of a rice field pond and the wading birds often perch on them.
The Great Egret was standing still so a slower shutter speed allowed me to capture some images even though the sun had dipped below the tree line and there wasn’t much light in this end of the pond.
Looking in the opposite direction an Alligator was swimming towards a spot to settle for the night.
Great Egrets spend a lot of time standing and watching. Occasionally one in a group decides to relocate; this one took a loop over the pond. There were a number of Alligators and Vultures sunning along the bank.
The bank slopes up to one of the dikes we often walk on and there is another canal just on the other side.
This Great Egret kept on going over the dike and down into the marsh on the other side.
The rice field impoundments and canals were busy last Saturday morning including a Bald Eagle that was scooping up fish. There had been a die-off over night, likely due to a sudden temperature drop to near freezing.
The Great Egrets went about their business without any fuss.
I was quite a distance from the action but it was cool to see a few Eagles swooping over the Great Egrets and Alligators.
Slowly and deliberately, this Great Egret took one step forward. I watched and waited, hoping for some additional action to photograph against this beautiful blue sky.
One step was all he took.
This dead tree stands on the other side of the dike from where I photographed the Rice Field Trunk Duo.
I’ve wondered if this is the same Great Egret hanging around his favorite fishing spot or if they take turns.
Well, almost everyone.
As I was maneuvering to a spot where I could view the wading bird feeding frenzy I spotted this small group of egrets off to the side. They seemed focused on something to my right; the big group was further back and to my left. The weren’t interested in joining in with the others. Perhaps they’d had their fill.
When the larger groups from the huge flock took off it was pretty noisy, mostly from the wing beats. During one of those lift offs this group decided it was time to move on.
Watching and waiting in the classic pose, this Great Egret had the perfect view over the marsh.
Preening is serious business for wading birds and more important than wanting personal space.
This wooden “trunk” controls water flow to and from the old rice field pond seen here and the tidal Ashley River, just at my back as I took this image. A variety of wading birds have become accustomed to stopping by; when the water is flowing through the trunk the fishing can be pretty easy on the low side.