The Yellow-billed Cuckoo normally forages at tree top level for caterpillars but this small group of 4 or 5 birds was flitting along the ground and low branches at the edge of a swamp near the Waccamaw River. When not eating they stayed perfectly still for 30 or more seconds, patiently watching.
This area was recently roughed up by Hurricane Matthew and water is still high, possibly affecting both the birds’ and the bugs’ routines.
Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC.
Several Great Egrets gave aerial shows around the old rice fields at Magnolia Plantation this afternoon.
This one circled around swinging out over the Ashley River several times, seemingly undecided and looking for just the right perch.
The water is high and much of the vegetation is displaced due to Hurricane Matthew that passed through over the weekend. Clumps of what I previously thought was solid earth have floated around the marsh or gotten pushed on to the berm, a few trees blew over, and a lot of the cane is flattened. From the ground is looks like a different place. I expect the bird’s eye view is quite different, too.
From a distance this Wood Stork looked like it could be a branch on this partly dead magnolia. He stood ram-rod straight for several minutes, then started to do toe-touches, this one a show-off on just one leg.
A “croak” and a balance adjustment…
Then he was off.
Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, SC
Many minutes of waiting in two spots finally resulted in one usable image of this cutie. He didn’t hold still long even when he was plucking berries off this tree.
Taken on the West Ashley Greenway, Charleston, SC.
Harsh photos with silvery water and mud background at low tide with most of the water drained out of the marshland around the Stono River.
These photos were taken from an old railroad bed turned to rail trail with limited options to change my angle.
The wading birds pursued fish in the narrowing stream, seemingly oblivious to the mud.
The Yellow-throated Warbler was fun to watch as he worked this tree limb for lunch. And the colors are stunning.
He was closer to the ground than any other song birds we saw this day but unfortunately the angle and lighting did not cooperate for a clear shot.
A number of Great Blue Herons posed in and out of the old rice fields adjacent to the Ashley River last week. The reeds, weeds and bushes along the edge are starting to show that end of summer droop and a hint of color changes.
This Heron was performing what appeared to be a cooling ritual with panting type breathing and his wings at bent angle.
The classic pose, waiting and watching.
These Wood Ducks swam away from shore, circling around each other in no great hurry, but all the while getting further from me.
And always an eye towards shore.
The duck weed was making interesting patterns in the barely moving water at the edge of the former rice fields.
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This little fellow caught my attention as he flitted in a small tree at the edge of a swamp on the Ashley River at Magnolia Plantation.
Hardly a gnat, his catch was pretty good sized.
The coloring made me think he was a Tufted TItmouse, but in profile I could see he was tuftless and he did have more of a “jaunty” tail, as described by Cornell’s All About Birds.
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I was taken aback when I saw this sign. 2020, how could that be?
That the sign itself looks like a 1920s Art Deco leftover adds to my nostalgic feeling of time passing by. This is compounded by the Riviera box office and the preserved entrance to Silver’s Five and Dime on the same block of King Street.
This class of students will see changes in all facets of their lives over the next four years. Locally, one aspect of this is pointed out by the construction cranes that dot the Charleston peninsula, like this one just a block away from the Welcome sign.
Four years will fly by; we should check back in May of 2020 and tally what we all hope will be a net gain towards progress.
In the mean-time, the C of C’s Sottile Theater is ready to get this year started.
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