It was late afternoon and the sun was behind me. In the shaded corner of a pond this Great Blue Heron make a nice silhouette and reflection in the blue water.
An Alligator frequently occupies this spot in one of Magnolia Plantation’s garden ponds. I had stayed out on the dike longer than I had intended on this afternoon and it was nearly sundown when I headed for my car.
I did have to stop for this nearly perfect reflection opportunity even though there wasn’t much light.
This dead tree trunk with its roots sticking up was laid out in a pond where a dike made a sharp turn giving me different options for angles and reflections.
The first view shows off the “spines” made of the tree limbs and green reflections from a tree line, making the whole thing look like a prehistoric monster.
From a bit further on the spines are hidden, there was no background reflection and I got the impression of antlers.
From the far side, reeds at the edge of the pond came into play and the shifting clouds made an interesting reflection.
Alligators generally appear to be lurking everywhere I see them, it’s just their style. I liked the way the Spanish Moss was hanging down into the pond where this one was doing his thing.
Of course it’s better to see them lurking than not.
White Ibis usually travel in groups but this one was by himself searching the edges of a small pond. There is a full tree canopy over the pond so not much direct light gets to the water, and the reflected light appears in lots of colors.
Back and forth he went with an occasional sweep of the water with his beak, hunting for food.
Reflections of some Cyprus Knees and a few dapples of sunlight changed the look of the water as the Ibis moved along.
A Little Blue Heron waded back and forth in a small, shallow pond, methodically hunting.
Occasionally he stabbed the water, without success as I watched.
Little Blues are all white when they hatch and around a year old start to transition to the full blue of adulthood.
From the other side of the pond I had a back-lit view of the Heron as he continued to hunt.
This wasn’t a full flight, just a short hop across shallow water that was draining as the tide went out.
Maybe that’s why this young Great Blue Heron didn’t bother with much lift and then dragged his toes on his landing.
The water was still and the air was hot. A few gulls and terns occupied old posts standing in the pond while an Anhinga dried off on a stump.
Even though it was early morning when you expect to see the birds feeding there wasn’t much going on.
Trees and grasses on the other side of the pond made interesting reflections in the water.
Bear Island Wildlife Management Area, SC, 8/12/2019
Here are a few more Tricolored Heron images from last month when I saw so many.
This one wasn’t having much luck with his fishing but made nice water ripples and I liked the intersection of his beak with the reeds.
The patient standing pose is common among the bigger herons and I often see the Great Blue Heron standing out in the open like this. The Tricolored Herons don’t seem to do it as often, tending to stick to the pond edges.
This section of the canal that runs around an old rice field at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens has recently been dredged and widened. Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Storm Irma in 2017, followed by Hurricane Michael in 2018 all pushed mounds of vegetation debris into this corner making it less attractive to the various wading birds that pass through.
The upturned dirt has started to sprout reeds and a few Great Blue Herons have been hanging out on the edge.
From the closest vantage point the background still looks a bit like a moonscape. It will be interesting to watch how the birds’ habits may change now that this water can freely flow.