Tag Archives: South Carolina

Ruddy Turnstone Explorer

An easier to identify shore bird than some due to their pretty rusty colors and calico like pattern, the Ruddy Turnstone breed in the tundra of northern North America but non-breeding Turnstones can be found along most of the eastern and western US coastlines.

Ruddy Turnstone
Ruddy Turnstone

I came upon a small flock after Sunday’s  Sunrise, and this one was acting like an intrepid adventurer as the tide came in.

Ruddy Turnstone
Ruddy Turnstone

Covered in barnacles, there are a number of dead trees that have been knocked over by storms laying in the water here.

Ruddy Turnstone
Ruddy Turnstone

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

I’ve stopped to watch Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in this marshy area several times this summer. One day last week a few were quite close to the walk way and were less skittish than on previous visits.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

Some of the chicks are nearly adult size but are still sticking close to a parent.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck Family
Black-bellied Whistling Duck Family

This one had been standing on the end of the of the walkway and decided to join the others…

Black-bellied Whistling Duck in Flight
Black-bellied Whistling Duck in Flight

…landing in the short greenery with the family group behind him.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck in Flight
Black-bellied Whistling Duck Touching Down

Immature Reddish Egret

Wading birds usually ignore each other when they feed, each one just going about his business. This young Reddish Egret did seem to be intimidated by the Wood Storks clacking their bills. Then he decided to do a Reddish Egret maneuver and flapped his wings.

Immature Reddish Egret
Immature Reddish Egret

He didn’t get the full dance move, but the closest Wood Stork took notice.

Immature Reddish Egret
Immature Reddish Egret

And did his own two-step.

Immature Reddish Egret
Immature Reddish Egret

The Reddish Egret retreated…

Immature Reddish Egret
Immature Reddish Egret

,,, Nothing to see! The Reddish Egret went back to hunting while a Snowy Egret gave a flap for good measure.

Immature Reddish Egret
Immature Reddish Egret

Rarely seen in South Carolina, Reddish Egrets are known for their lively dance across the water as they feed.

Reddish Egret: The Dance has images of the dance I took in Florida in February 2018.

Bear Island WMA, 7/21/2019.

Flowers Around the Swamp

A saw a wide range of colorful blooms in a walk around Magnolia Gardens last week.

A single Morning Glory blossom had opened for the sun pushing a strand of spider web.

Pink Morning Glory
Pink Morning Glory

The Black-eyed Susans were looking a bit bedraggled from the previous afternoon’s pounding rain.

Pair of Black-eyed Susans
Pair of Black-eyed Susans

Texas Star Hibiscus shouts out for attention wherever it blooms.

Red Texas Star Hibiscus
Red Texas Star Hibiscus

This stem of delicate orange blossoms in the shade hadn’t quite dried off. I haven’t noticed it before but sure will look again when I return.

Orange Blooms
Orange Blooms

Orange-yellow Canna Lily

There is a small patch of Canna Lilies at the edge of the big field at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. It’s a wet spot and the lilies and cattails seem pretty happy there.

Orange Canna Lily with Cattails
Orange Canna Lily with Cattails

This dragonfly found an unfurled blossom a nice place to perch on a hot day. True to form he lifted off just as I was ready to shoot then returned to the exact same spot,

Orange Canna Lily Bud with Dragonfly
Orange Canna Lily Bud with Dragonfly

The orange and yellow combination of the flowers is quite attractive, shouting out “summer!”

Orange Canna Lily Bloom
Orange Canna Lily Bloom

Out of a Rut

Ted and I have been visiting the Donnelley Wildlife Management Area regularly for almost three years. Somehow we always take the same few routes. The place is huge, just over 8000 acres, and yesterday we tried a new walking trail which starts in some woods overrun with mosquitoes then opens up to this!

Rice Field Ponds and Clouds
Rice Field Ponds and Clouds – click for larger view

The puffy clouds reflecting in the old rice field ponds were the perfect touch for some landscape photos. Several walkable dikes wind around the ponds and we saw a wide variety of birds, a few Alligators, and two Armadillos. And not another human being.

Rice Field Ponds and Clouds
Rice Field Ponds and Clouds – click for larger view

The Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston

Built in 1905, The Gibbes Museum of Art refers to the  dome that crowns the Rotunda Gallery as “Tiffany Era.” It seems the sought after Tiffany markings are not to be found based on the museum’s news articles about a recent renovation that included cleaning the dome.

The Dome, The Gibbes Museum of Art
The Dome, The Gibbes Museum of Art, Rotunda Gallery

I took the image above standing on the big fleur-de-lis in this next image and looking up. I wanted to lay on the floor but thought it might be frowned on.

The floor is tile, that was (gasp!) covered in brown linoleum along with the beautiful woodwork being painted white sometime in the 1950s or early 1960.

Rotunda Gallery
Rotunda Gallery

This view out the huge windows in the front shows a hint of the neighboring Circular Church, another architectural beauty in Charleston.

View Out Second Floor, The Gibbes Museum of Art
View Out Second Floor, The Gibbes Museum of Art

White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireos are small {0.3-0.5 oz (10-14 g)} song birds that are usually difficult to spot due to their preferred habitat of thickets and scrubby trees. I could hear this one singing just in front of me on a narrow path and was surprised to see him on an open branch.

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo

And when he flew I could still see him!

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo

Although White-eyed Vireo was my first thought, I used the Merlin Bird ID app to verify the ID.