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.
This is the first time I’ve seen more than one or two wading birds in these two trees that are at the edge of a tidal marsh. Snowy Egrets were coming and going in the first tree, with one lone White Ibis on the left. The sky wasn’t a great backdrop on this morning but I couldn’t pass up photographing this activity.
White Ibis dominated the second tree and while I’m not that happy to have fall arrive, the leafless trees did allow a good look at the birds.
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.
A Snowy Egret worked the bank of a small pond. I did not see him catch anything but he kept at it longer than I expected. Usually the Snowies are the least patient of the egrets, quick to move on when things don’t go their way.
Snowy Egrets are entertaining to watch as they dart about, working to stir up small fish in the water. This one separated himself from the flock of nearby Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks and took a short break. We are used to seeing Great Egrets waiting this way, but generally the Snowy Egrets don’t have the same perseverance.
A quick turn and a pounce into the water yielded nothing, this time.
The Wood Storks were just standing around after having fed at sunrise, while the Snowy Egret was making a fuss. Snowy Egrets are known for their active foraging and strutting as they stir up food in shallow ponds or inlets.
When I first arrived at the end of the boardwalk at St. Augustine Alligator Farm a Great Egret had this little corner to himself. He was just sitting there, not actively bathing, but dunking a little. No Alligators were in the immediate vicinity, that I could see.
Even though he wasn’t doing anything to attract attention he soon had company, as first a Roseate Spoonbill sauntered over, a Snowy Egret dropped in, and then a White Ibis joined the group. The White Ibis, with a splash of mud on his wings, was most in need of a rinse.
The dirt look to the Spoonbill’s feathers is the transition to the darker pink/red that happens as they mature.
1/29/2018, St. Augustine Alligator Farm, St. Augustine, Florida.