2018 has been a wonderful year of observing and photographing the wonders of nature, mostly birds in the low country of South Carolina. Thank you for following along. I appreciate all of your comments and observations.
I end the year with a Snowy Egret fishing in a rice field canal, taken on one of the few sunny days we’ve had lately.
A White Ibis dropped in amazing close to the Egret considering all the unoccupied space nearby.
I hear Common Gallinules more often than see them. Per All About Birds they “make all sorts of chicken-like clucks, whinnies, cackles, squawks, and yelps.” Needless to say, many a birder has jumped when that racket starts, often accompanied by one or more Gallinules running across the water to safety. I often refer to them as the early warning system for other ducks and wildlife I might have been hoping to see.
These images were taken on different days, but in the same area. The stump in the image above is newly sticking out of the water as the rice field pond has been drained for repairs.
The red bill in the image below looks almost like fake plastic, but that is how they look. Bald Eagles will stalk Gallinules in this pond and I wonder how that beacon of red appears to them.
The majority of the water has been let out of one of the rice field ponds at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in advance of some repairs to be made on the back dike. This has left a mud flat that is very attractive to the wading birds.
From a distance I thought the other creature was a stick but I could clearly see the eyes of a small Alligator as I got closer.
The last image is focused on the Alligator, that was content to hold that spot while the Tricolored Heron hunted behind him.
The reflections were like a pot of gold in the back corner of the canal that runs along the rice field dike. The dike and canal make a 90 degree turn at this corner, and then the water widens off to the left into a pond. There was a little breeze ruffling the water surface in the more open area.
Taken about a half hour later, this view is towards that same line of trees from a bend in the dike. A few Great Blue Herons have been using the clumps of reeds sticking out from the bank as fishing and sunning spots.